Understanding diversity and cultural
differences is a key feature of good leadership in today’s global
business, according to a report by the Association of Chartered
Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Economic and Social Research
Council (ESRC).

The report, Driving business performance
through diversity
, comes on the back of a roundtable organised
by the ACCA and ESRC and featured chief executives, entrepreneurs,
academics, HR directors and heads of diversity from organisations
such as KPMG, Credit Suisse, the Equality and Human Rights
Commission, Henkel China and Max India Foundation.

ACCA said the group of panellists described
diversity as “not just an ethical or moral imperative, but one that
can drive performance and innovation through the positive
management of different perspectives.”

ESRC chief executive and chair of the Delhi
panel Paul Boyle said organisations seeking to “harness the
creativity and innovation that can result from greater diversity
need to adopt a broad mindset that encourages and accommodates a
range of perspectives, fresh thinking and autonomy”.

Panellists also spoke about the importance of
chief executives and other leaders having their hearts and minds
open to accepting differences, such as different cultural
perspectives, if they are to keep up with the realities of global
business today.