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Some words on Marilyn Loden’s Diversity Wheel

Marilyn Loden created the diversity wheel and has updated it three times since 1991. She recently changed Religion to Spirituality, changing the name and adding new categories that were not previously there, speaking to identity and things that create a sense of identity.


Like the diversity wheel, I will be writing at a high level as I continue to learn about organisational design. When looking at the version of her diversity wheel (as is), the organisational ring needs a second look. There are organisational versions of her diversity wheel that have the lenses that create cross-cutting or nesting subcultures within organisations which are different types and forms of the relationships that can be developed within an organisation. At this moment in time, we have no idea about the long term effects of organisational culture and nested cultures and cross cutting cultures.

Geography plays a unique role within organisational culture. Companies oftentimes reflect the local and national cultures. Coca-Cola adopts and/or adapts to the local metropolitan Atlantan culture, the regional humid “Southern” culture (that created a need for a “Delicious and Refreshing” drink), and the national US culture. Political events also play a unique role within organisational culture because they are oftentimes sources of gravity (drawing investments in or repelling them to other places). Coca-Cola locations based in Singapore “provide global experiences for their employees to learn and grow” because the Singapore government remains committed to working with companies, to continually invest in R&D, technology adoption and skills training, which the US government does not do much. Because of Coca-Cola’s interest in growth potential, they have locations in Asia-Pacific that leverage political events (agenda)s to their advantage. This global footprint results in these Coca-Cola locations renegotiating and taking on different or similar traits based on both cultural locality/geographic location and political events.

It’s not widely studied, agile cross-disciplinary teams that are a part of their discipline, such as a dev in their own team but also a member of an agile cross-disciplinary team where they create a hybrid culture working with designers, PMs, and researchers – but whatever hobbies they have outside work, they are a part of that culture too and those different experiences are slowly influencing the cultures that they are interacting with so it becomes this weird interconnected web – can you truly understand a culture?

An organisation is a system, that doesn’t mean that humans are a part of an organisation, they are a part of a culture, a dominant culture, and whatever cultures they have been exposed to, it becomes nuanced and complex in an extremely fast way. It becomes a web of meaning, 

Thanks to the wonderful Amanda Andres for taking the time to edit

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