PASADENA -- If your organization consists of a homogenous group that doesn't encourage dissent or disagreement you are likely wasting time, resources, and money according to Whitney Pyle, V.P., and COO of Advanced Cabinet Systems in Marion, Indiana. Pyle was the keynote on March 27 Cabinet & Closets Conference & Expo. Her address was titled, "The Business Case for Diversity."
"Homogenous social groups are more cohesive than diverse social groups," said Pyle. "So leaders have to work hard to create an environment where everyone understands that dissent and disagreement are good. It is okay to have disagreements and it should be celebrated. It’s imperative that disagreement and dissent are professional and respectful."
"There is no place for violence, insults, or uncivilized behavior. But there is also no room and no place for a bunch of yes people who constantly agree with everything everyone else always says or does. That’s a complete waste of time, resources, and money."
Pyle, who is also a Woodworking Network Class of 2017 40 under 40 honoree, discussed her career path through the industry as a female. "The construction and woodworking industries as a whole lack diversity," said Pyle. She said many times when she attended industry events people would presume she was just somebody's spouse.
Pyle encouraged audience members to consider:
When you look at your organization does everyone look like you?
How many people have real differences?
Do the members of your organization check themselves at the door?
Do they leave their personalities at home because they’re expected to act, feel, speak, or behave in a certain way when they get to work?
If they do that are they really able to bring all their experience to the table? Would they be comfortable discussing previous experiences at work because they feel like they’d be looked down on?
If people feel like they can’t be themselves at work then an opportunity is being missed to capitalize on their experiences and contributions and if everyone in your organization is similar then you’re missing huge opportunities daily to better your organization.
Advanced Cabinet Systems has been manufacturing plastic laminate casework since 1983, selling its casework through a dealer network throughout the United States. Owned and operated by building and construction firm JGBowers, Inc., it is a family business with multiple subsidiaries. The company also manufactures retail store fixtures, including turnkey store interiors for companies like Verizon, fabricating and shipping dozens of retail interiors around the country, also supplying floor plan layout, feature and focus displays, and cashwraps.
In 2015, Advanced Cabinet Systems announced a $1.5 million expansion of its manufacturing operation, doubling its plant space as it relocated to a 100,000 square-foot facility located Marion.
The Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Wood Pro Expo, owned and managed by the Woodworking Network, will both return to Charlotte March 6-8, 2019, co-locating at the Charlotte Convention Center. The Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo last appeared in Charlotte in 2011. The Wood Pro Expo brand comprises a series of strategic regional events, located in key areas throughout the U.S. where professional woodworkers congregate. The Woodworking Network plans to hold Wood Pro Expo in Charlotte annually.