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This afternoon, I ran 4-hour workshop on diversity.  It was the firs time I run the workshop on diversity, though I gave several seminars and talks on diversity in the past year or so.

As I wanted to engage the participants, we started with their introduction.  As the ice breaking, we tried the game of  “What news caught your eyes?.”   We discussed with the list to identify underlying forces etc.

Then I tried to explore what issues they have about dealing with diversity by asking participants to share with their concerns at present.  The list we came up with included the definition of diversity, what’s next in the second phase of diversity management, how to make people in the company aware of the importance of diversity etc.

We tried to figure out why Diversity has become a “hot” topic recently, by identifying external forces and internal forces.  Next comes the  fun part.

I divided the participants into two groups. One group was assigned to visualize the best scenario for diversity in 2017(5 years from now) and the other the worst scenario.  The groups worked on the assignment, and after about half an hour, each group presented, followed by Q & A.  It was quite interesting to see the group working on the best scenario engaged in lively discussion, while the group working on the worst scenario becoming serious and almost depressing.   The comment made by the participants on the worst scenario did it.  He said, “it does not look like the worst scenario, it looks like the one we will have.”

After some more work, I asked each participant to make one wish.  i.e. Who do they want to do what, if they have one wish. The list we developed was an interesting and insightful one.

The workshop ended with my presentation on strategy development and on importance of having different people for innovation.  I ran out of time for Q & A and thus gave them my e-mail address so that they could send me the questions.

It was the first attempt and rather long (I noticed that the teams got a bit tired after the first exercise), but I learned a lot about how to design the workshop.

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