Born after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and raised to be culturally polite, I’ve been taught to avoid calling attention to racial and cultural differences. While this may have been a well-intentioned message, it doesn’t prepare us to acknowledge and confront factors that can divide us (p.34)
So Laura Kriska acknowledges the existence of the Us versus Them culture that exists in many of our social circles and workplace situations, where the dominant group defines the norms and the “others” are marginalized on the periphery, along with the talents they might have contributed to a more inclusive group.
The Business of We seeks to right those wrongs, to acknowledge the top-heavy workplace culture and encourage those on the inside to remove those barriers to create a more inclusive setting.
The Business of We broaches a very topical discussion, highlighting some of the lessons we should learn from the recent Black Lives Matter protest and the yearlong pandemic which shows the fragile nature of our glass houses. I enjoyed the honest introspection that the author shared, acknowledging the limitations of her own background, but also sharing practical steps along with her call to action to be more inclusive.
Although this book focuses on how to build better teams in a corporate environment, many of the steps Kriska outlines can be applied to many other organizational and social settings.
As we are all thinking about diversity I highly recommend The Business of We
Diverse teams add tremendous value to any organization… if they work as a cohesive unit. Empower your leaders to bring together teams made up of members from different cultures, age groups, and socio-economic backgrounds.
In today’s workplace, cross-cultural collaboration is essential to the survival of any business. Unfortunately, bringing together people from a variety of backgrounds can lead to “us vs. them” misunderstandings and clashes that work against the goals of the company.
Too often, well-intentioned consultants and HR representatives attempt to solve these problems with a band-aid approach to situations that warrant comprehensive solutions. Diversity in virtually every U.S. organization has increased over the past twenty years, yet the closest we have come to a workplace best practices guide is online diversity training courses or methods of coaching “problem” executives to be more sensitive. Neither of these avenues leads to meaningful change.
Kriska teaches leaders in any organization how to prevent “us vs. them” culture clashes by promoting inclusion in their organization to increase employee retention and productivity and to prevent misunderstandings that lead to lost time and increased legal risk.
- Title: The Business of We
- Author: Laura Kriska
- Format: Paperback
- Publisher: Harper Collins Leadership
- Publication Date: January 12, 2021
Note: I recover a complimentary copy of The Business of We from the publishers Harper Collins Leadership and TLC Book Tours in order to complete this review.