Monday, November 21, 2005

A Peacock in the Land of the Penguins

One of those business fables made so popular by writers like Ken Blanchard, who wrote the forward for this third edition. This book was recommended by our VP of Insurance (recently made President of Personal Lines) who announced at a department heads meeting that he considered me a peacock. It is one of the highest compliments paid to me in my professional life. The author, BJ Gallagher Hateley, has subtitled it "A Fable about Creativity & Courage." And it will strike a cord with anyone who has felt they were out of step in some way with the rest of their organization. Companies need talented people who bring a wide variety of skills to the table. Managing such diversity corporately is a challenge, but it's essential to create a culture where many different types of people feel valued and their contributions recognized. As the job force ages and there are fewer talented people to hire, those companies who have put thought and resources into creating a diversity friendly environment will be the employers of choice. My 19 year old daughter picked this book up off the table and started reading it because of the title and cover illustration. She found the concepts presented there fascinating and it spoke to her in a way she readily understood even though she has had a very short work experience. She too recognized that she was like one of the personality types described in the book who doesn't quite fit in - Sara the Swan. The book will have something to say to nearly everyone who reads it I think.

1 comment:

Insuranceman said...

BJ was a writer for the NY Times and WSJ...very competent, but so different than the pinstriped suits who ruled. She is tall, wears lots of purple and always has a feather in her hair. Clearly didn't fit the culture, but added lots of value. They lost her because they couldn't "manage" her difference.

We can't afford to lose any talented people. The game is won by talent...