How does Diversity / Meritocracy affect the business in the leadership of Next Generation CEO ?

Diversity is one of the major topics to be discussed now and next years to come. It simply means equal opportunities for each individual. Unfortunately, today, all companies understand female to male ratio when we say diversity. Diversity is not only women/men ratio, it is also related to age, religion, race, culture, ...etc. If you have a specific top level position, and your target is to increase diversity within the company, you need to consider the following questions: Can a younger employee qualify for the position ? Do I need different / creative mindset to enhance the outcome of the position ? Do I need different angle to involve different cultures ? Who can fulfill the expectations of the position other than sex, age, race, and others ? Actually in short, basic comment would be "I will give this position to whoever qualifies and makes the best with the adequate competence without considering her/his physical appearance, where she/he is coming from.

As Next Generation CEO, diversity topic is really important. The main reason is that you are searching for the "new" and the new only comes from different ideas, perspectives. Once you create the harmony of different disruptive ideas, then you can find the innovation and new. And disruptive ideas come from different minds. So, you need every individual who can create the difference other than considering their apperances. In practice, to create an organization with people who are women or men or handicapped or Turkish based only does not mean anything as long as they create the differ. By doing that so, your organization is kept young, dynamic and active, especially ready to change. That is why this topic is important for Next Generation CEO.

In most of the companies today, if decision makers choose a person to a top level position, all the things start to change. Once they choose a lady, they adjust the benefits accordingly. Once they choose a young person compared to old experienced one, they start to decrease the salaries, benefits of the position. Or when a foreigner is chosen for the position, they increase the benefits of the position. However the position is the SAME. it was same before. It will be more or less same in near future as well. Why do we change the benefits of the position for an employee according to the person who is chosen for that. That is not diversity. Diversity means this: there is a well defined position which has its grade level, benefits, responsibilities, expectations. There are of course lots of applications for this position internally and externally. You have to choose the person according to competence regardless what gender, nationality, age, disability, connection this person has. If the person fits in her/his young age, why not ? By the way, we will see lots of examples of this age topic in digitalization. If the person is woman, why not ? If handicapped, why not ? If from China, why not ?

If we use diversed teams to solve the problems in our organizations, there will be high level of efficiency. In a typical company, you will need different elements of competency and diversity is only utilization point of resources. When you start an inititative, a project, diversed groups will be much more successful. To talk about diversity too much is wrong. It must be naturally existed in the company already. Sometimes we exaggerate this topic a lot. Even talking about that gives negative impression. To overcome this challenge, meritocracy is the key. It means giving the position to the person who can do the best, who qualifies, who has the full fletch competency. If you use meritocracy, there will be automatically diversity and no need to talk about it anymore. So, it naturally exists. Next Generation CEO needs to take diversity topic into account and try to use mentality of choosing the most competent, qualified person for desired position no matter what gender, nation, race, religion the person has.

Hakan Özdemir

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