Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Córdoba: Diversity in Action

This is a picture I took this weekend at the Cathedral of Córdoba, one of the most unusual places I have visited so far. Firstly, its very name is Mosque-Cathedral gives an indication that it is odd. It is odd, indeed. The combination of the Arab and Christian influence is so striking and simultaneously organic that I perceived it in its unity and uniqueness. In its long history (begun in the 7th century as a Christian cathedral, converted into a mosque during the Muslim invasion and re-built again into a Christian place of worship in the 13th century) is imprinted in the design and the atmosphere of the building.

Many diversity program do not succeed because their implementers in the heart of hearts do not believe that true inclusiveness is achievable, and doubt begets failure. Cathedral of Córdoba defies such concerns by the mere fact of its existence. Thus, it's about acceptance, belief and passion. Unfortunately, many companies approach the diversity issues from a totally different end. Embracing it as a fad, who gets assigned to oversee the diversity and inclusiveness initiatives? Exactly - someone who is not needed elsewhere.

I think that a field-trip to Córdoba should be included in the mandatory curriculum for all the diversity management practitioners. Aya Sofia should also be on the list. Anything else?

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