Harnessing Army Values: Embracing Diversity for Organizational Success
The purpose of this essay is to show how diversity is fundamental to an organization’s development and success. Statistics show diversity, without a doubt, is becoming more and more predominant in all aspects of daily life. The US Army, in particular, is one of those organizations that is composed of individuals from different countries and ethnicities from around the world. The members of the US Army vary in race, age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic background. Diversity and a multicultural environment are vital to be as successful as possible. With diversity comes different perspectives, building a more effective organization.
Diversity: Enhancing Problem-Solving
Diversity will provide more than just productivity to the organization. It will also give a different perspective. Having together individuals of various backgrounds with different life experiences will provide different ideas or perspectives that others may not have ever considered or been aware existed. Being from different backgrounds, each member has their own unique way of viewing a problem, formed by the individual experiences that they have had in their life. When encountering an issue, it is better to have multiple analyses and approaches rather than everyone contributing the same ideas and conclusions. Having different points of view will lead to more productive answers to the encountered problem.
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Cultural Diplomacy in the Army
Accepting diversity makes us better human beings. When you experience diversity in your everyday life, you expose yourself to different people. These people will bring to you their unique cultures, traditions, and practices that are unlike your own. You begin to learn the skills to communicate and interact with others. In the US Army, we have many allies as well as adversaries. It is vital we know our allies’ culture to build stronger bonds with coalition forces. In Gandhi’s words, “No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive.’ – Mahatma Gandhi. It is also crucial to know how the enemy works and thinks.
By having members of our team speak the same language and know the enemies’ traditions, we have a better understanding of the way they work. This will lead to having the capability of predicting their next moves. Our nation’s military wants to communicate to other nations they are not there to conquer. It must show for glory, but to help people gain their God-given freedoms back, we must be able to communicate this to the locals of the different nations we are involved with. Winning the hearts and minds of the people is our best chance of making a lasting impact.
Fighting Prejudice Through Acceptance
When diversity is promoted, the first step is taken, not just tolerating but true acceptance of surrounding neighbors and their cultures. Through increasing contact, exposure to, and communication between new people with unique ideas, individuals will see that they may have more in common than they thought. Alternatively, they may find out they are still different, and that is okay, too! Increasing familiarity with these differences can alter perspectives, facilitate acceptance, and diminish the misconceptions and prejudices that fuel discrimination.
The second reason there is value in diversity is the multicultural environment that has numerous benefits for personal growth. Learning how to accept and be more aware of team members’ cultures. It can help remove previously held stereotypes. Diversity and inclusion breed productivity as the ability to learn and grow from each other is exponentially expanded.
Diversity is embracing and rejecting hate and prejudice in all forms. We have led on these issues throughout our history but know that we as a military are also susceptible to the forces of bias and prejudice, whether seen or unseen, deliberate or unintentional. These things have no place in our military because they can degrade the morale, cohesion, and readiness of our force. This is why we must keep working to do better.
- Seidman, Gwendolyn. “Why Do We Like People Who Are Similar to Us?” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 18 Dec. 2018.