The Wisdom You Need to Succeed in a Diverse and Divisive World


Author: Dick Martin
Pub Date: June 2012
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814417522
Page Count: 288
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417539

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Most professional people think they have a good grasp of diversity and how it impacts their business. They can point to company websites with ethnic faces, and ads tailored for multicultural audiences. They may even have suppliers in South Asia and customers with foreign addresses.

But diversity means more than it used to. Multicultural markets are becoming the new mainstream in the United States as the non-Hispanic white population is on course to slip below 50 percent. Globalization is remaking markets as a new middle class emerges in developing countries. Meanwhile, technologies that promised to make the world smaller are making us smaller by enabling us to create our own worlds, isolated from people who are different, or just think differently. The fissures of partisanship, class, and belief are creating increasingly fractious societies.

Building relationships in such a diverse and divisive world requires broader and more inclusive thinking. It’s not enough to be smart; we also have to be OtherWise. But how do you let go of the barriers and baggage that get in the way of understanding others, whether down the hall or on the other side of the globe?

OtherWise is a deep and engaging exploration of diversity in America and beyond, showing how we can bridge differences—across race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, faith, and even politics. It goes far beyond census data into the realm of cognitive and social science, helping readers break through stereotypes and fears to develop a profound understanding of people unlike themselves. This is not touchy-feely stuff, but crucial information for businesspeople everywhere whose success depends on embracing the new realities of our increasingly fragmented and global society. You’ll find insights on:

• How unconscious biases shape behaviors and beliefs, and how developing empathy and respect for other perspectives can alter those ideas

• How to acknowledge the differences among people while focusing on their commonalities

• How to target a complex market, where the old “married-with-children” profile accounts for less than 20 percent of adults

• How to sink roots and build enduring relationships in global markets

• Why technology has made people more tribal, and how to connect across differences —and much more

OtherWise strips away the barriers of “us” and “them”, and lays bare profound truths for relating to others around us.

Dick Martin is a writer whose articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review and other publications. The author of Tough Calls, he was executive vice president of public relations, employee communications, and brand management for AT&T. He lives in Summit, New Jersey.

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