Krisztian Sardi

Author: Krisztian Sardi, PMP

26. April, 18:30 - "What is the value of Diversity and Inclusion on teams and how to leverage this?" by Valerie Villiger.
Very engaging session and great presentation by Valerie about Diversity & Inclusion. It`s been very refreshing to see how different every one of us are - based on our personality and behavior preferences - and that there is no right or wrong here. We are all very valuable the way we are and who we are! We all could see that during a 5-minute team exercise, where all of us participants took a stand on the "Introvert - Extrovert - Rational focused - People focused" scale in the meeting room. 
 
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I know Valerie for 11 years. We first met in a leadership offsite training in Merten-Muyrez in 2007. There I instantly knew I would like to keep in contact with her as she was and still is an experienced Organizational Development Consultant and Coach who facilitates transformationell learning, innovation and change for leaders, teams and organizations. We have not seen each other for a while and I learned she established herself as a consultant after she had worked for nine years in Global HR and OD roles at a Global Pharmaceutical Company.

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Valerie started her presentation with some facts about the diversity of Switzerland. Did you know that 24% of the Swiss population are foreigners, 1/3 have foreign roots and that the working environment for women are rather not so good in Switzerland? Well, after these facts we learned about the definition of diversity and inclusion and its overall goal to work more effectively as (project) teams based on leveraging diversity. Valerie shared with us that "diverse teams outperform teams that are alike" (based on global research). She showed us the "Iceberg model of Diversity", so the drivers of diversity. Then she introduced the DiSC tools, the DiSC model to us by information slides, exercises and through open discussions and/or Q&A. At the end she shared a few "tips and tricks" for project/operational teams based on her many years of experience like the importance of "team agreements".  
 
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Why is Diversity & Inclusion important to project management? Well, remember that "diverse teams outperform teams that are alike". As a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a project manager, a project team member, a colleague I interact and spend time with my family, friends and with colleagues, and when I do so I often realize how different every one of us are, that we all have our own talent, experience, skills, origin, likes & dislikes and that we are all very valuable the way we are and who we are! Understanding the personality / behavioral preferences of my wife, my children, my mother, my friends, my stakeholders and colleagues is very important in my view, so that I do, speak and act with them in the best possible way harnessing their values, talents and uniqueness. Understanding the personality / behavioral preferences of my own self helps me to achieve that. To me these are the key messages of the session, the take-away about diversity and inclusion.
 
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What if you wrote this article based on the exact same notes. Would it be better? Possibly. Would it be different? For sure! 
 
See you next time in a PMI Basel event!