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Canvass- Pan European Diversity Conference BAWA, Bristol 4 July 2008

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Canvass- Pan European Diversity Conference BAWA, Bristol 4 July 2008 Diversity Management in Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Presenters Fola Kudehinbu - Principal Consultant, Imagine Consulting, Bristol Solomon Fubara - Managing Director, CEED, Bristol. UK SMEs in Context.

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Canvass- Pan European Diversity Conference

BAWA, Bristol

4 July 2008

Diversity Management in Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)


Fola Kudehinbu - Principal Consultant, Imagine Consulting, Bristol

Solomon Fubara - Managing Director, CEED, Bristol

uk smes in context
UK SMEs in Context
  • Definition of SME
    • businesses with less than 250 employees and annual turnover of less than £6.5m
  • 58% of private sector workforce
  • Contribute over 50% of UK GDP (£700b) in 2007
  • Make up 99% of all businesses
  • In 2008, there were 2.7m businesses registered in Great Britain (12,000 are public companies)
  • Federation of Small Businesses (210,000 members):
    • 66% have annual turnover of £250k
    • 40% have annual turnover of £100k
meaning of equal opportunities
Meaning of Equal Opportunities


  • Giving people the chance to achieve their full potential
  • Dealing with people solely on the basis of merit and without prejudice
  • Treating customers and stakeholders fairly and delivering a quality service which meets their needs

Underlying Principles

  • The moral case
  • The legal case
  • Anticipating, managing and benefiting from change
meaning of diversity
Meaning of Diversity

The Diversity Challenge

“How do we harness peoples’ creative energy to achieve individual fulfillment whilst delivering sustainable prosperity for the organisation and society?”

  • Diversity simply means differences
  • In human diversity, there are individual, social, professional and societal differences that are a natural part of society
  • The essence of diversity is focusing on how to use the differences between people (not just the similarities) to drive excellence and creativity in performance
drivers of diversity
Drivers of Diversity
  • Changing Demography
  • Globalisation
  • Civil and Human Rights (encompassing equal opportunity legislation)
  • Inclusion
  • Information Technology
diversity management
Diversity Management

Some Definitions

  • “Process of creating a climate or environment in which all employees can be valued and be at their most productive in order that they can deliver organisational goals and delight their stakeholders”
  • “A comprehensive management process for creating an environment that enables all members of a workforce to be productive, without advantaging or disadvantaging anyone” (Thomas, Harvard Business Review, 1990)

Traditional Management – Definition

  • The “effective and efficient utilisation of employee’s in pursuit of the organisation's goals and objectives”
diversity management principles
Diversity Management Principles
  • Platinum Rule

Treating others the way they want to be treated

  • Empowerment

The capacity to generate and exercise creative choices to help solve a problem

  • Trust

Accepting someone's position at face value changing where there is contrary evidence

  • Process

A series of activities that deliver a desired output

  • Compassionate Communication

Communicating with concern for the feelings and understanding of others and yourself

  • Risk-taking

Recognition that the unknown is an ever-present part of transition, change and progress

diversity as a business issue
Diversity as a Business Issue


  • Current Paradigm - diversity as an initiative
  • Emerging Paradigm - leveraging diversity and moving towards inclusion

Return on Investment

  • Individual
  • Organisation
  • Society
benefits of diversity management
Benefits of Diversity Management

The 3 Rs

  • Reputation
  • Relationships
  • Results/Performance
implications for smes
Implications for SMEs
  • Meeting legal requirements
  • Developing human capital and talent (innovation and creativity)
  • Customer care and satisfaction
role of diversity management in opening up new opportunities for smes
Role of diversity management in opening up new opportunities for SMEs
  • Able to focus more on the key purpose of diversity management
  • Ability to respond to change quickly and efficiently
  • Flexibility in the use of resources (people, IT, finance, procurement)
  • Competitiveness
  • Efficient employee management (retention, turnover, sickness & absence, ET litigation)
diversity management practice and models
Diversity Management Practice and Models
  • Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS)
    • “a society of independent agents that can act in parallel, develop “models” as to how things work in their environment, and be able to refine those models through learning and adaptation” (Pascale RT)
  • The Human Diversity Model (HDM) is the practice that is designed to create the environment for CAS to exist. It is based on 3 workplace components:
    • Openness
    • Inclusiveness
    • Accountability
  • Framework for Excellence in Equality & Diversity (FEED) (Bronze, Silver, Gold standard)
  • Equality Standard for Local Government (1-5 levels of achievement)
business measurement indicators
Business Measurement Indicators
  • Recruitment & Selection – is the organisation an employer/destination of choice?
  • Employee Fulfilment – how are employees developed and retained?
  • Stakeholder Fulfilment – what are the satisfaction levels of your staff, customers, shareholders, partners, funders etc?
  • Organisation’s prosperity – what are your 3Ps (People, Performance, Profit) or 3Rs (Reputation, Relationships, Results) achievements?
  • Sustaining diversity initiatives require moving to inclusive organisational practices
  • Benefiting from diversity management initiatives and practice require an examination of business and not only human resources practices
  • Measuring diversity achievement is critical to successfully developing measurement indicators and achieving overall organisational goals
a glimpse into the future
A Glimpse into the Future

“A defining feature during the next 30 years will be

the constant tension between greater interdependence

and intensifying competition”

  • Climate change
  • Globalisation
  • Global Inequality
  • Managing the relationships between individuals, governments and businesses