5 Super Bowl Diversity Lessons for Corporate America

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seahawksThe Seattle Seahawks displayed one of the most impressive performances in sports history, but more importantly what can we takeaway from last night (other than an upset stomach from one too many meatballs and wings!)?
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1. The Seahawks’ Implicit Mission: Build a Culture of Inclusion, Engagement and High Performance

You’ve heard it many times, that Coach Carroll has a mix (i.e. diversity) of players, and he manages the mix (inclusion) by allowing the players to be themselves and bring their whole selves to work- this drives high levels of engagement, which?results in a Quantam leap in High Performance.

2. Competitive Advantage from Diverse Pipeline

The Seahawks have a band of mishaps, as a number of the starting players come from an untapped pool (or diverse pool) of candidates- low round draft picks, one star designated prep players, undrafted free agents and?the Canadian Football League. This ability to consistently find great talent from a more diverse candidate pool leads to a competititive advantage pipeline.
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3. Mastering the Millennial

Corporate America has not tapped into how to manage the talent and the vibrancy of the youngest pool of talent, yet Seattle wins a Super Bowl with the second youngest team in the League.
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4. Diversity of Thought Drives Innovation

Just how can the Seattle players hit their offensive opponents so hard and consistently, without a rash of penalties? They learned their tackling techniques from another global tackle sport- Rugby. In Rugby, you lead with the shoulders, not the head and aim for the “Region of Boom”- shoulders to the upper thighs of an opposing player.

5. Diversity Sustainability

Diversity & Inclusion is integrated into the DNA of the Seahawks. Starting at the top, diversity is infused in the Leadership, Principles, Culture and Processes of the organization. This started four years ago, and will continue in the future.
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While nobody knows what Seattle’s Championship future will hold, these 5 lessons are intriguing and may be tapped into for Corporate America’s quantum leap in high performance.
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* (Douglas C. Freeman is the CEO of Virtcom Consulting and a past Network Journal 40 Under Forty honoree.)