France’s World Cup Success a reminder of the importance of D&I

France’s triumph at the 2018 Fifa World Cup proved once again how talent,teamwork and togetherness is the formula for success. France have long been blessed with talent but rarely harmony – the infamous World Cup Campaign of 2010 a recent example of individual egoes drowning the team. The French National Team represents the complexity of its country and the identities within it. Seventeen of the 23 in the squad were eligible to play for at least one other country and yet the team that was often referred as “Black-Blanc-Beur” (Black-White-Arab) overcame their differences to deliver at the World Cup. The victory offers great lessons for other countries worth emulating, lessons about immigration, assimilation, multiculturalism globalization and citizenship.

Crafting a truly effective inclusion and diversity strategy is no small effort, and requires strong and sustained and inclusive leadership. Didier Deschamps – only the third man to win the World Cup as both a player and a manager – picked the group he thought would be harmonious on and off the field rather than simply calling up the best players available.His ability to mould his squad socially as well as tactically into a tournament-winning side is an achievement from which many global leaders , managing diverse teams , can learn from and implement to get the best out of their line-up.

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The benefits of embracing diversity for companies are massive.Creating a more diverse workplace helps in keeping team members’ biases in check and make them question their assumptions. A diverse workforce brings different ideas and new ways of thinking to the table.According to McKinsey’s report, “Delivering through Diversity” , Companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity at the executive level are 33 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile.Even companies in the top quartile for gender diversity being 21 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile.

Increased cultural diversity is a boon to innovativeness. Enroute to the Final France adapted to each and every opponent they faced – matching Argentina toe to toe as they beat them 4-3 in the Round of 16 and defending deep to eliminate Belgium in the semi finals. Olivier Giroud,the striker who played every game for them,did not have a single shot on goal but was key to their success. More importantly the French won because their team fits well together.Rather than building around one or two players, everyone on the team was at their best because they had someone to cover for them if they fail and thus,despite not being the most aesthetic team at times,France operated as a functional and eventually victorious team.

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France are an inspiring example of collective happiness. Their master stroke has reiterated the importance of diversity and inclusion at workplaces. Crossroads Global – one of the leading thought and training consultancy on cross cultural issues, global management and global leadership – offers unique D&I solutions designed and customized for all kind of organizations. Through our workshops, you’ll gain strategies and skills for engaging employees in D&I initiatives, deploying D&I education and training throughout your organization, and leveraging D&I as a competitive advantage.

 

 

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