One of the values that makes the modern commercial world possible is ‘diversity’.
Unfortunately, many who might otherwise love modern commerce, have the wrong idea about ‘diversity’ as it applies to commerce. Diversity in this context does not mean gender difference, melanin difference or difference in income level or ethnicity.
A group of five people who are on the board of a Sacramento Seed supply company can include an elderly rich lesbian woman, two black academics one of whom is gay, a Taiwanese mother of two and a Filipino male nurse and they will have no diversity of worldviews. They can all be Marxist or all hardline anti-sugar foodies. Their diversity of gender, melanin or ethnicity is not the kind of diversity that ‘diversity’ in modern commerce is about.
Real diversity is about different worldviews and different life experiences. A group of 5 white men with one a former Navy fighter pilot, a Buddhist monk, an aeronautic engineer, a young graphic designer and a Public Relations expert from Washington DC could be a much more diverse group that would be appropriate for a modern commercial management team.
What is wanted in a modern commercial society is ‘diversity’ of experiences and worldviews in order to get real vitality in decision making about technology, marketing and management.
Real commercial grade diversity generates creativity and originality. That is why all modern commerce evolved first in big coastal cities where genuine diversity exists: Amsterdam, London, New York and Glasgow.
I was asked by a planning agency in Japan in the early 1970’s what made the U.S. such a technical prodigy. My answer was in a small phone directory I carried with me, the 1960 internal New Jersey Bell Lab directory. I showed them a few pages of names. This is the laboratory that invented the transistor, found the background radiation of the universe and had 6 winners of the physics Nobel prize. The example of names were: Narain Gehani, William Shockley, John Bardeen, Arno Penzias, Steven Chu, Horst Stormer, Daniel Tsui, George Smith, Robert Wilson, Herbert Ives, Joseph Mauborgne, Russell Ohi, Mary Torrey and George Stibitz. This list didn’t look like an ordinary American telephone directory. These people were brought from all around the world to create a team of the top global minds. True diversity of the modern commercial sort.
You won’t find a list of names like that in Mexico, South Korea, France or Poland. You won’t find the kind of genuine commercial diversity like that in most of the world.
That is the kind of diversity that allows a modern commercial company to be innovative in technology, marketing and management.