As the benefits of a diverse organization have become more clearly evident in recent years, the HR departments of many publicly traded companies have been eager to implement initiatives aimed at creating a more diverse work environment. While most CEO's publicly support such initiatives, few are more involved in fostering diversity than Pepsico's Steve Reinemund. In this paper, I will maintain that Steve Reinemund's clear, heartfelt commitment to developing a diverse organization is the primary reason for Pepsico being named the fourth best company for diversity by DiversityInc magazine. This claim is validated by his approach to the actual process of communication, the dynamics of communication, and the ability to
CEO since May 2001, Reinemund has led Pepsico to implement aggressive efforts at hiring, promoting, and retaining ethnically diverse personnel. Strong human-capital numbers back the heightened diversity emphasis; however, an experience shortly after being appointed CEO in 2001 awakened him to the complexities of communication within a diverse organization. Following a company sponsored social event involving a group of Pepsico's African American employees, Reinemund concluded the evening by standing on a patio to provide some closing remarks. The CEO was shocked to receive an email from an attendee who said the scene of his closing remarks reminded her of "a plantation owner lecturing his slaves from on high." This experience proved as a valuable lesson to the CEO that, due to unique life experiences, multiple individuals will rarely apply the exact same meaning to something. The objective of communication is not to achieve an identical meaning, but a shared meaning between individuals.
Julia Wood, author of But I Thought You Meant
Misunderstandings in Human Communication, writes: "The word communicate means to commune, or to make common. When we communicate with another person, we seek to create common perception of feelings,...
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