Diversity at the Top

I know the hard work starts now:  our President, his team, and all of us have to find our way out of the hole we're in.  It will require, as he said, hard choices, personal responsibility and clarity of purpose.

And yet, even now, as we roll up our metaphorical sleeves, there are already so many indicators that this is a new beginning. For instance, I read an article in the NYT this morning about the diversity of Barack and Michelle's extended family. I've tried to reproduce the graphic here, but you can also find it in the article.


In business, I always take it as a very good sign of things to come when the senior team of an organization starts to evolve from being made up entirely of baby-boomer white men, to a mix that looks more like the rest of the US and of the world. It means to me that an important psychological barrier has been broken…that the powers-that-be in that organization have gone from "thinking diversity is a good thing" to simply wanting to have the best people for the job, no matter what they look like, how they live their lives, or where they were born. 

And it also means, almost invariably, that this more diverse and expansive team is going to think in fresh ways and come up with new and better solutions.

I'm crossing my fingers that this wonderfully varied new First Family signals the same things for our country.

Posted in Current Affairs

About Erika Andersen

Over the past 30 years, Erika has developed a reputation for creating approaches to learning and business-building that are custom tailored to her clients’ challenges, goals, and culture.

Visit Erika's Forbes.com Blog

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