Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Programs for organizations

Agility, Creativity and Innovation for a Global Workforce

The need to have a diverse workforce has never been greater, and we all now know that embracing diversity is the right thing to do. We hire for diversity, and demographics such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age and ability are all factors that we strive to increase. We want vibrant, inclusive teams that will foster innovation. But does hiring a demographically diverse workforce improve business results?

In the rush to become diverse, we often focus on how we can recruit, train and then change diverse employees to conform with our existing culture. So, we hire for diversity and then focus on fit. But organizational growth, innovation and productivity are intricately linked with allowing diversity in thought or cognitive diversity to flourish. Cognitive diversity in the workplace is not about fitting in. Its about being comfortable with differences in thoughts, ideas and opinions; its about being able to communicate effectively across various demographic differences or cultures; its about being interculturally competent.

At the Intercultural Skills Lab, we move the conversation from demographic diversity to cognitive diversity. Our customized programs help your organization capitalize on diversity and create the cognitively diverse and inclusive workplaces that can drive innovation, creativity and growth.

An organization is only as good as its culture. We partner with you to create customized programs that are aligned with your organization’s inclusion, people and culture strategies. Our programs are designed to address the needs of all employees ranging from those in the frontline who interact directly with your diverse customer and vendors to senior management and board members.

Our programs provide core insights into what culture is, how it influences our behaviour and communication style and what it means to become interculturally competent. Participants learn to communicate and collaborate with people who operate within a different frame of cultural values and norms – be it differences across gender, ethnicity, race, age, or industries.

Our series “Culture Counts” can be customized to meet the learning needs of sectors, roles and functions within an organization. The series of workshops can be adapted for:


Corporate leaders and senior management


International Project leads


Human resource professionals


Customer Service and Sales Professionals


Vendor and Supplier Managers


Educators in both primary and secondary education


Health care professionals


Settlement, employment and community development staff

Benefits

ISL’s programs and tools promote self-awareness and cultural agility. The result? Higher employee engagement, broader customer orientation and more innovative, creative solutions for our changing business landscape. Our programs focus on experiential learning experiences that are transformative and lead to new ways of thinking, performing, communicating and collaborating. We offer a flexible program design, that can be easily adapted to both online or in-class formats.

Our practical approach to creating learning around the unspoken codes of thinking, behaviour and communication at play in the workplace will lead to:


Maximizing your teams’ talents and experiences


Cultivating culturally fluent teams for a stronger communication internally and with customers or stakeholders


Developing strategies and practices that can leverage your organizations diversity for agility, innovation and growth

© Rotman School of ManagementThe Rotman School of Management is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AASCB)