Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why CEO of Top Conglomerate Cried in Outbound Adventure program? Gender Diversity Appreciation & Leadership development

Caution: Please read complete article before forming opinion
Background: Fortune 500, Global consumer electronics in IT, Mobile, Durable
Challenge: Consistent sales volume, increasing revenue, falling profitability
ActivityOutdoor Treasure hunt, 80 participants, 5 teams, war like simulation in jungles/mountains/river (water bodies) & DCC-Dynamic Challenge, also called dynamic obstacle
Duration: 3 days fun filled outbound activities
Top leadership & CEO: all male
Women:18% of all participants
We ensured, for every activity, 1 person goes missing in a team (to hide in tent, climb up the tree & watch with binoculars because he is CEO of the team)
Initial debrief questions
  1. At what point, individual teams realized, that a person is missing? Missing is equivalent to being eaten by lion, falling in river/ditch, bitten by snake.
  2. Why you never realized the time, or at end, that the person is missing?
  3. What role the missing person was playing?
  4. What successful (leading) teams do?
  5. What would you like to do differently, if opportunity is given to play again?
Responses:
  1. Women were first to realize person is missing, however they could never ask, they were not allowed to speak, because men assumed the person might have gone to answer nature's call or some important work. Few also assumed 2 vanished love birds might be spending peaceful time
  2. New generation workforce (young men & women): the vanished person (CEO), was adding no value, better leave him alone. He only bosses around, passes instructions & irritates by always telling us what to do, he treat us like kids. 
  3. Matured teams: Vanished person was not adding much value, not allowing us to speak in this team building group activity or listening to us......
  4. We learned importance of coordination, collaboration & better understanding of how to manage despite constraints
  5. And many more observations, 4 flip charts.....................
Summary of debrief:
  1. Do you think we need to change & we should involve women in decision making as well?
  2. What behavior, men & women need to exhibit to express, contribute, allow each other space
CEO realized, acknowledged, being too masculine is not a strength, being gender inclusive & appreciating gender diversity in team is the in thing
He also cried privately in his tent & now want us do appreciating gender diversity In decision making & team building