Book News: December 17th, 2009

By Laura A. Liswood

This is a fable that explains why organizations need to move beyond the old-style diversity efforts to actually benefit from difference.

In today’s modern workplaces with their many different types of people, cultural and personal differences can be challenges-whether you’re a team-member or a leader. Different cultures teach different values and we carry those values throughout adulthood and into the office environment. Understanding the cultural and gender viewpoints of colleagues is a major key to healthy, conflict-free work environments.

This fable takes its name from a Chinese children’s parable about how “the loudest duck gets shot.” It’s a parable that contrasts with the American idiom “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Comparing the two, it’s clear that different cultures teach different views, and those views often translate into distinct ways of behaving. In today’s world, understanding each other-where we come from and what we’re taught-is more important than ever.

Published by Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 978-0-470-48584-2. US $21.95