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Advantages of diversity


I'm running a workshop on Cross-cultural management. I'd like to include a short session to show that, although it can be much more work to manage a culturally diverse group, there are advantages in terms of better problem solving and creativity and, potentially, better appeal to a wider range of customers. I've already got lots of theory, I need something fun to fit in between a couple of heavy sessions.
Philippa Forsyth

3 Responses

  1. Advantages of diversity
    Hi Philippa,

    Just off the top of my head!

    How about a quick role-play scenario, whereby you give each delegate an inappropriate role? Create diverse roles that could be applicable to cover all bases. You could choose just about any scene relevant to your delegate workplace and the course goals.

    Give the delegates ten minutes to acquaint themselves with their roles – and then allow them fifteen minutes to swap them within the group (but do not inform them of this at the outset).! I suggest that this will promote effective teamwork in different cultures, and a real time understanding of how different cultures, attitudes and stereotypes are misconceived. You could take the exercise further, should you wish, and allow the delegates to amend their roles according to their beliefs. This would afford an interesting debate/discussion.

    A bit sketchy, I know, but if you would like me to elaborate, drop me a mail.

    Good luck!

    Kind regards,


  2. Diversity Bingo
    I’ve played a game with my Girl Guides (yes, really) that we call Diversity Bingo. Each player is given a bingo card but instead of numbers, they must mark off diverse attributes for example “has blue eyes”, “is left-handed” or “is a vegetarian”. Each player goes round the room meeting other players – if they meet someone with one of the attributes on their card they can mark it off. It really gets the Guides excited about their own special qualities as they go around introducing themselves to new people with “Hi, I’m AManda and I’m left-handed – you can mark that one off on your card”.

    I know it seems rather facile in the format outlined above, but it’s a really lively ice-breaker and you may be able to adapt the game to suit your needs. Perhaps the attributes on the card could be essential for the solution of a problem or the completion of a task. What about making the numbers/attributes into a cast list for a play that your delegates have to “cast” from among their number?

  3. suggested icebreaker for managing diversity
    Ask each learner to turn to the next person and say something positive about them. This works even when they are new to a group. It helps to create an environment where people feel more encouraged to get to know each other. You can debrief by discussing issues relating to praise/criticism – is it easier in our culture (UK) to criticise or praise? Explore differences in cultures, communities, societies. Then you could discuss our attitudes to being praised, and how we can celebrate the different positive attributes we all have. This activity helps us to see this in practice.


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