Manufacturing is working at it. Banking is getting better. North America is challenged by it. And the charming Robert Lattimer is an expert on it. His expertise lies in managing diversity, and this was the subject of his address at the Institute of Personnel Management's annual conference in Harrogate. Lattimer is managing director of an American consultancy that encourages diversity in the workplace. He claims that a mixed sex, multicultural workforce, left to be themselves without trying to emulate one another, will outperform a homogeneous one.
Many are convinced. Revenues at his Atlanta-based company, Diversity Consul are up 135%. Organisations such as AT and T, the New York Times and The US Army (not usually known for its tolerance) have all paid an average $100,000 for his skills.
Personal experience has played a huge part in his success. A reconnaissance commander in the Marines during the Vietnam war, he was decorated for bravery. Surely his experience made him realise that boys are better than girls? 'No, there are some fine lady marines.' Diplomacy obviously goes along with diversity.