The paper is a report based on the book titled, “A Peacock In The Land of Penguins” written by Gallagher Hateley and Warren H. Schmidt published in 2001 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. It is worth noting that due to the concept of globalization coupled with new technological innovation the world has turned in to a global village. Globalization is characterized by free movement of capital, goods and services capital and more importantly human workforce.
Thus, it is evident that at any given organization, there is a diverse workforce on the basis of varied cultural background. Similarly, diversity comes in other forms such as age, gender, education, race, religion, marital status, social status among others. It is a fact that a number of those who have worked in an environment predominated by a certain set of employees have experienced frustration due to resistance as well as the feeling that they are not accepted. Holding varied views, opinions and values from the majority warrants such an individual to be harassed, ignored or perceived to pretend that he/she know more. Additionally, it has been noted that innovation and very creative solutions do emerge from the least expected areas as well as individuals (Gallagher & Warren, 2001).
Due to the fact that employees are the most valuable resource an organization has at its disposal to aid it achieve the predetermined goals and objective, there is need for the entire persons who make up the organization come out of their “penguin suit thinking”. There are indeed very strong positive or benefits brought forth by having a diverse workforce that is not only highly motivated and satisfied but are free to put into practice what they have in mind that can provide solution to existing problems. Additionally, employees in their quest to fully exploit their capabilities for the benefit of the organization do come across serious challenges. According to Sonnenschein, 1999 time and again the management through the branch managers call for recruitment of creative and fresh blood that will revitalize the way things are done. Once these individual, their ideas seriously sought after when tried to be put into practice, they are indeed seen to be a hindrance to how things were being done.
It is worth noting that since organization are always full of the desires to be a household name in future, outwit their competitors and capture new market, side from other strategies, creating and nurturing an environment in the workplace in which employees’ creativity as well as innovation can thrive need to be highly prioritized.
The book addresses the issues relating to a diverse workforce. The book contains four major parts (a peacock in the land of penguins, tips and tools for feathered friend, ideas and examples for teaching penguins to fly and lastly additional resources for peacocks and penguins) each tackling different but closely linked topics. By using a story which is very interesting and mind catching, the authors have tried to the various stumbling blocks they face while dealing with mangers that are resistant to change, risking (Gallagher & Warren, 2001). The fable used brings in a humorous manner how a peacock that is full of energy, innovation and creativity is being viewed in a negative manner with the exotic penguins.
In this context, both refers to new employees or those already in the system that re energetic and have the potential to use their creativity in solving the existing problems faced by the organization. On the other hand the penguins are those individuals within n organization that are resistance to change and will view those with the potential of bringing change as a threat and will fight them by all means (Gallagher & Warren, 2001). Through such a creative way of presentation the authors have successfully, brought to light the importance of comprehending the fact that the varied perspective held by each and every employee are of significance. With the realization that resistance to change by the bureaucratic penguins will definitely pull back the organization, the book proposes mechanisms, tools, strategies, resources among other thing that will help in teaching the penguins to change their attitudes and learn how to accept change. All these has been done for instance by bringing forth real case studies exemplified by Chevron Kellogg. The guiding principle is that no one knows where the next great idea will come from hence the need to nurture all employees so that they will be free to come forth and speak their voice.
By reading the book, there are a number of business lessons that an individual and an organization as whole can learn.
One very important lesson is that managers together with the employees need to have in mind that there are always chances that some of them will be holding unpopular opinion, perspective and views that might provide business solution to the organization. The important thing is to give such individual as well as those who are like minded an opportunity to come forward and present what they have without prejudice (Gallagher & Warren, 2001). Secondly, as suggested by Sonnenschein, 1999 through the fable tale of the peacock and penguin, it is evident that there is always some sort of resistance to change in organization. With this at the back of the mind, there is need for top management to have in place mechanisms and strategies that will help it convince her workforce about the intended change. It has been deemed that change is an ingredient to a successful organization. Similarly to fully realize the intended meaning of human resource or workforce managers need to harmonize and maximize the potential within these individuals. With this accomplished there will be room for employees to learn from each other, development of viable solutions from within, arriving at decisions that will have very minimal chances of being denied in the future (Gallagher & Warren, 2001). All this gives the worker a sense of belonging and responsibility hence satisfied and highly motivated.
By attaining these, the predetermined objectives and goals such as provision of quality services to customers can be easily attained. In addition, organizations also need to have in place strategies to counter the risks that are associated with certain innovation and creativity as not all the ideas are one hundred percent safe. c Last but not least, research has shown those organizations that have a greater number of bureaucratic managers in this case penguin bosses have higher number of employee turn-over. It is established that one very expensive activity and very challenging to organization is recruitment, selection and hiring of new staff members (Sonnenschein, 1999). One major reason for departure is lack of room to show case ones capabilities.
Hence, business must have in place plans and strategies that will ensure that its workforce have ample opportunity to practice what they have in mind.
Gallagher H.B & Warren, H.S. (2001). A Peacock In The Land Of Penguins.
Toronto: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Sonnenschein, W. (1999).
The Diversity Toolkit: How you can Build and Benefit from a Diverse Workforce. New York: McGraw-Hill