“No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.” Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
The triad: ‘The fragile wants tranquillity, the anti-fragile grows from disorder and the robust doesn’t care too much.’ All systems can be categorised as one of these three. Anti-fragile systems are those which improve or get stronger when unexpected and volatile events happen.
Diversity and inclusion are key ingredients for anti-fragility. Companies with diverse teams can understand and serve customer markets better while leveraging varied experiences, perspective, and approaches to solve new-age business problems. Anti-fragile diversity and inclusion is thus all about promoting healthy friction and a balance of voices while making sure these voices are heard and acted upon.
In fact, organisations can even leverage uncertainty and chaos – both representative of a heterogeneous environment – to be prepared for an uncertain future in which change is the only constant. An antifragile approach to being future-forward involves actively positioning the organisation's activities such that the downside outcome of any future event has a protective floor. Individual differences challenge conventional wisdom within teams and provide the small shocks necessary to build anti-fragility. It is thus vital to create an inclusive culture; one which harnesses different perspectives and encourages comfort with ambiguity.
At Mahindra, we believe that diversity means embracing the uniqueness of every individual by respecting and nurturing ideas, opinions, and experiences of everyone and enabling them to Rise.
We have traversed a journey, where today diversity and inclusion have become a key employee lever across the Mahindra Group. Culture building is an ongoing exercise and therefore, we must get comfortable with being uncomfortable around a multiplicity of gender, age, orientation, ethnic background, socio-economic status, as well as values, beliefs, and perspectives. This is especially important in our hyper-connected diverse world of customers, investors and other stakeholders, wherein organisations mirror the complex ecosystems they serve and exist within.
Anti-fragile diversity and inclusion is hard work. It involves vulnerability, awkwardness, and discomfort. This is the soil where innovation and creativity can flourish, enabling people and communities to Rise.
[As originally published in Medley, a monthly magazine by Mahindra Partners]
ARTICLE BY :
Sangeeta is the Co-Chairperson of Group Diversity Council, Mahindra Group and CEO of Integrated Cities & Industrial Clusters, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd.