Two White Men, a Black Man and an Indian Man

Hello – text that starts like this doesn’t make its way to my inbox very often.

I stayed in Nottingham overnight last Thursday. While having my breakfast in the hotel on Friday morning I sat in close proximity to four men who were sharing a breakfast table. Two were white, one black and one Indian. This wouldn’t normally be an event that I would stop to take much notice of. However, I couldn’t help but notice how the four seemed to get on. There was camaraderie, back slapping laughter and courtesy – all at 8 o’clock in the morning!

The black man even stood up to get some more toast and before he made his way to the toaster, asked his colleagues if any one else wanted some! What struck me was that this was happening despite their despite their obvious exterior differences. It was great to see. When I finished my porridge, I got up and walked away and they were still there having a good time. They obviously don’t have a high enough workload….

Managing Difference

The management of difference is becoming a greater challenge to organisations nowadays. The compelling business case indicates that businesses do much better when equality and diversity principles are adopted. Some individuals, however, still feel less able to achieve because of their fit with one of the six diversity strands.

The Equality Bill may soon force organisations to embrace certain aspects of Equality and Diversity. In reality, legislation, although sometimes good, can fail to change hearts and minds. The test for many organisations is how, at all levels, they can demonstrate fairness for all. The even bigger test is achieving fairness whilst keeping relationships intact – in the way so ably demonstrated by the four men at the breakfast table last Friday morning.

Have a good week.