Windhoek, Namibia, February 16, 2015: Fons Trompenaars, world-renown speaker and consultant on organisational culture and diversity management, presented on the topic of diversity to about 90 delegates on Thursday 12 February 2015 in Windhoek.
Trompenaars highlighted diversity is necessary for innovation. “I’ve also learnt that we need diversity to effectively manage our brands. The way you manage diversity in the workplace will impact on your business,” explained Margareth Gustavo, main organiser of the event. “We came up with practical solutions for real life problems and we realized how much diversity plays a role in all we do,” said Natasha Williams-Phatela, one of the Organising Committee members.
During his presentation, Trompenaars explained dilemmas and how they may be reconciled. He helped to understand cultural differences in dealing with a number of dilemmas. What would you do if you were confronted with the following situation? You witnessed your boss or teacher make a mistake – would you tell him or her? Under which circumstances? Are you honest or polite? Is hierarchy more important to you or the quality of your work/studies? Could you have it both ways? And there are many more dilemmas!
Some cultures propose specific solutions to these problems, and these solutions are closely connected to their value preferences. In one group or society, honesty might be more important than politeness, and in another, the reverse may be true. The same goes with respect for hierarchy. How do we deal with situations where someone who expects a high level of politeness and hierarchy meets someone with the opposite expectations? There are many situations like this that we have to deal with every day – especially in intercultural environments. Trompenaars introduced some of them in his presentation.
Trompenaars, is founder and director of Trompenaars-Hampden-Turner, an intercultural management firm, based in The Netherlands. During the past 25 years Trompenaars has been helping Fortune 500 leaders manage and solve their business and cultural dilemmas to increase global effectiveness and performance, particularly in the areas of globalisation, mergers, acquisitions, HR and leadership development.
His thirteen books include best seller and “Book of the Year” Riding the Waves of Culture, Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business, Culture for Business, Riding the Whirlwind: Connecting People and Organisations in a Culture of Innovation, Innovating in a Global Crisis and The Global M&A Tango: How to reconcile cultural differences in mergers, acquisitions and strategic partnerships.
This week PwC and Nedbank Namibia both formally committed a total of N$100 000-00 each to the Diversity Namibia Conference. “The conference organising team is immensely thankful for the support we have received from Nedbank Namibia and PwC Namibia,” explains Gustavo.
The organising committee of the Change and Diversity Conference 2015 consists of: Prof. Joseph Diescho (NIPAM), Andrew Jansen (Simonis Storm Securities), Margareth Gustavo (Cornerstone Joe Public), Priscilla Husselmann (Nedbank Namibia), Natasja Williams-Phatela (Grow Training and Advisory Services and Franklin Covey Namibia), Florence Amuenje (Consultant) Rauna Nghishekwa (Cornerstone Joe Public), Hilda Basson-Namundjebo (Oxygen Communication), Brendon Ihmig (PointBlunt Multimedia Productions), Talitha Jario (Consultant), Helene Meintjes (Bright! Communication), Tracy Eagles (Old Mutual Namibia) and Taamba Iithete (Consultant).