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Action Books (Diversity Breakthrough! Strategic Action Series-Set of Six Books)

Action Books (Diversity Breakthrough! Strategic Action Series-Set of Six Books)

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It's the twenty-first century, and corporations and organizations everywhere are scrambling to implement diversity programs. But most of the current glut of books on this thorny topic are too weirdly technical, irritatingly New Age, or just plain vague, leaving their generally well-intentioned readers feeling more diversity-illiterate than they did before.

Not so with this well-thought-out series. The brainchild of Debbe Kennedy, veteran consultant to companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft and a former Equal Opportunity and HR manager at IBM, it includes six short, snappy booklets--each on a key phase in what Kennedy calls the "imperfect circle" of change. The first, "Assessment," helps companies take a diversity inventory, while "Acceptance" shows how to build internal support for change. "Action" helps organizations launch a new program or breathe life into an existing one. "Accountability" gets everyone in on the process, and "Achievement" comes with a plan for measuring and celebrating success. Crucially, "More Action" keeps everyone from resting on their laurels once the good work has begun.

Each booklet is nicely outfitted with jargon-free guidance (particularly refreshing these days), quickie worksheets and vivid, firsthand accounts from folks in corporations, government agencies, small businesses, nonprofits, and even churches on how they tackled the multilayered challenge of promoting diversity within their ranks.

The components function either à la carte or as a full-course meal, and can serve a company-wide initiative as well as a small, ad hoc group... or a CEO who curls up with it one night in bed. All told, an extremely astute, user-friendly tool kit that demystifies diversity management and accords it the seriousness of purpose it deserves. -- Timothy Murphy