Learning Activities #1
If I were to assemble a diversity team, I would want to bring in members of the religions that are having conflict with the dress code. I would also want to bring in an outside individual that deals with OSHA issues. This person could be on an “as needed” contract, with a daily cost if used. I think that having someone that is held as a role model to the employees would also be important. My attempt with this group would be to create a common workplace culture. This common culture can be used to understand where each employee is coming from but also for the employees to understand the legal regulations surrounding different aspects of the job (Top Ten Tips: How to manage diverse teams, 2013). Also by having a diverse committee, employees can confirm that there is an open door policy and everyone’s opinion matters.
I think that the team will be part of the decision making process but will not have the final say in decisions. Their main job will be to recommend potential actions and to be a voice for the employees. By bringing in an outside expert, hopefully new ideas can be brought up that not only allow the candy company to maintain compliance with legal regulations but to also respect and stay compliant with an employee’s rights. With that being said, the candy company may be able to use the Bona Fide Occupational Qualification clause of Title VII. This states that employers may discriminate against people based on their race, religion, gender, national origin, age or other protected status if it is a necessity to comply with law, regulations, or essential job duties (Title VII/Sex/BFOQ/Caregiver, 2013). In this case, the safety of the employees and the candy company’s ability to comply with legal regulations “could” be used as a basis for termination on religious grounds. It is important to note that BFOQ is not an easy thing to prove and rarely is a winning argument in court.
Learning Activity #2
There are five reasons that the 21st century leader must be innovative to be successful.
- A 21st century leader is a change agent. We learned that a change agent is a necessity for the 21st century leader, especially with the emergence of the global market. I consider managing varying cultures and expanding into new global markets to be the definition of innovation. Innovation should not be looked at as the end goal or as creativity. Instead it should be thought of as the best process to solve complex problems and/or to take advantage of complex opportunities (Legrand & Weiss, 2011).
- The 21st century leader is also someone who must collaborate and work together for the greater good of the organization through flexibility and realistic goals (Purt, 2012). This ties into the Forbes article that states that innovation leaders must be consciously aware of their connections within their organizational ecosystem and its complex relationships (Doss, 2014). A leader’s network internally and externally is an important part of their success.
- The 21st century leader is known as a risk taker, someone willing to push for the greater, untapped rewards (Purt, 2012). Innovation leaders tend to wear three hats as brokers, risk-takers, and role models. It is important that they walk a fine line between the three areas by mindfully watching and assessing the risks and rewards of their actions.
- One of our Week 1 readings suggested that 21st century leaders are known as knowledge seekers. Individuals that push to learn and develop their skills. Someone who is constantly cultivating their skills and knowledge (Must Have Leadership Skills For The 21st Century, n.d.). This ties into innovation leaders being mindful of how and why they cultivate and nurture their varying roles (Doss, 2014).
- 21st Century leaders must not only have a vision but must also be able to articulate their vision through inspiration and focus. Innovation leaders must have an innovation plan. A plan to achieve their goals and visions. The plan will give structure and focus on business objectives while engaging the whole team (Legrand & Weiss, 2011).