Creating Strategic Diversity

Diversity is one of the core values that underly the Transmission Project, as well as throughout the not-for-profit world. Pulling from a different playbook, the following is from the Chief of Information for the US Navy for naval officers:

  1. Leaders who embrace diversity and differing viewpoints and seek talent that embodies a broad range of life experiences ensure naval readiness today and tomorrow.
  2. The Navy must reflect the face of the nation. Further, we want an officer corps that is reflective of the enlisted force it leads.
  3. Obtaining talent from diverse populations across the U.S. strengthens the force and ensures forward progress.

It’s good advice for us with a quick search and replace of nouns. And of course, if you feel military thinking doesn’t apply to not-for-profits, just think about it next time you look at your strategic plan, develop your social media tactics and prepare for your capital campaign.

I found this quote from the Information Dissemination blog (“The intersection of maritime strategy and strategic communications”), and they have a pointed criticism that is also equally valid for nonprofits: diversity includes more than the factors involved between conception and 18 years old. If your staff all have similar work histories, or your leadership team all has similar management degrees, you haven’t achieved what the naval context calls command track diversity. Diverse professional histories are just as important as diverse personal histories.


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