I am back from a Washington DC meeting of 40+ Partners and Directors of the Signium Search and consulting team. It was a great learning in the value and importance of Diversity.
As a born and bred New Yorker I bring some significant cultural and social biases to work everyday and am often unaware of them. In part because everyone I have worked with locally pretty much has similar biases. Yes I have travelled globally and done conference calls across borders and even had reporting matrix with China, North America and the Middle East. However this was at depth and intimacy I have not had in a long time. Most of the participants were senior executives with backgrounds as deep if not deeper then my own. There was an EMEA flavor to the mtg. as the majority of the folks were based in Europe. However we had representation from the Emirates, Egypt, India, Singapore, Australia and China too.
In fact even though we were in the states we were a minority of the folks at the meeting. My favorite interactions were with the folks from the UK. We spent 2 afternoons/evenings in downtown D.C., one visiting the Lincoln and Vietnam memorial. the other with a private tour of the Capital where we had a former congressman provide the tour. We sat in congress and listened to amazing discussion on democracy and international politics. The realization of how little most know about our political history was a sad commentary on our current state of affairs. I joked and jabbed with my UK counterparts, all in good fun. Asking if they had a fourth of July in England, and whether they imported tea from the USA….
In the end it was a great week. We culminated the conference with dinner and dancing to a Motown band at the Mothers of the Revolution house, directly across from the White House. Rich history, great company, and a successful and “diverse” week.
We live in a truly global business environment today, even in the high end retained search and HR consulting world. It’s amazing how much we all have in common with all of our differences!!!