In nature, we talk about biodiversity.
This is where there is a variety of plant and animal life in a particular ecosystem. This biodiversity is important for the system to thrive as any type of biological threat is unlikely to attack every species within the system. The system can, therefore, survive and recover.
This is unlike what happens in agricultural fields with just a single plant. An attack by pests or disease is likely to thrive and wipe out the field. Hence the heavy use of pesticides and fungicides.
This type of diversity also plays a part in countries where diverse cultures often create a different type of culture altogether. This is like Trinidad and Tobago where people of different cultures have created a society with different food, song, and celebrations.
Companies also talk about diversity, with having people of diverse cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds. And how diversity is so important to the business.
But is that so?
What I usually see is people hiring people much like themselves. It’s never really about hiring for diversity. Much like communities where people like to be around other people much like them.
As much as companies talk about diversity, they actually want people who think the same way. We may look different, but they want a certain level of thinking.
This is different from people buying into a mission. This is where the corporate culture borders on cultish.
This is like companies that force employees to sing the company song. Or where people are given names like chief people officer or some shit or the others. Under the guise of bringing the people together.
You would think the mission is enough to do so? Or perhaps the mission is unclear, or just generic. "To be number 1 is so and so field." or "be our customers top choice in so and so service".
Like single-crop fields, you have to use a lot of pesticides to keep that field going. It means any type of dissent is quickly removed. Anyone that challenges the thinking, bring up issues, or points out wrongdoing (perceived or otherwise) is cast aside.
In the end, you end up with a field that a single strain of resistant disease can wipe out that entire crop.
A truly diverse culture would probably withstand something like that. But most leaders don’t want that, even if they say so. They want subservience and obedience. At all costs.
These fields of single crops are short term. To grow for a time and reap afterwards.
A forest grows to last forever.
Companies are no different. But the "leaders" are not there to last forever. Instead, they focus on short term growth and Year-on-Year profits.
They could be like a forest — with true diversity — and last forever. But not many companies dare to do differently.
So we end up with fake diversity and corporate "cults" and wonder where things went wrong when a scandal breaks.