Building a House for Diversity: How a Fable about a Giraffe & an Elephant Offers New Strategies for Today's Workforce, Volume 461

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AMACOM, 1999 - Business & Economics - 266 pages
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"What could an elephant and a giraffe teach people about working together? Some very important lessons, it seems, about the complex--and critically important--issues of dealing with diversity in the workforce.

Building a House for Diversity begins with a short fable about how a friendship between the two animals is threatened when the house built for a tall, skinny giraffe cannot accommodate his invited guest, a broad, bulky elephant. Using this story as a vivid metaphor for the difficult issues inherent in diversity, the book goes on to demonstrate how managing diversity can be seen as a set of skills that anyone can learn and use.

In a way that makes diversity management ""up close and personal,"" Building a House for Diversity offers compelling, real-life stories of individual experiences at work. It includes:

* The perspective of both ""insiders"" (usually white males) and ""outsiders"" (usually minorities or women)

* Insightful commentary illuminating what these experiences tell us about the challenges and opportunities of diversity

* A particularly interesting segment on Phil Jackson, legendary Chicago Bulls coach, and how he dealt with diversity issues in his relationships to Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippin, and others

* Hands-on guidance to help readers become ""diversity mature"" and take personal responsibility for their attitudes and actions.

Throughout, the book reflects the seminal thinking of R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., a pioneer in articulating the concepts of managing diversity. In this book, he has produced his most creative and practical approach to this continuing challenge."

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This book should be required reading for anyone in the diversity field. It breaks down diversity and it's relevance to business and the world in a way that anyone at any level or education can understand better than any other book I've read, and I've been working in this field for over 23 years
Simma Lieberman
 

References to this book

About the author (1999)

"R. ROOSEVELT THOMAS, Jr., Ph.D. (Atlanta, GA) one of America's most respected authorities on diversity issues, is CEO of R. Thomas Consulting & Training, Inc. and founder of the American Institute for Managing Diversity. He is the author of Beyond Race and Gender (AMACOM 0-8144-7807-7) and Redefining Diversity (AMACOM 0-8144-0228-3).

MARJORIE I. WOODRUFF is Director of Curriculum Development at R. Thomas Consulting & Training, Inc.

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