Chile And the Rescue of the San Jose Miners
- Picture credit to dailymail.co.uk -
The whole world watched the rescue of the last Chilean miner last night. There was not a dry eye in the crowd, and people in countries from Japan to China to Australia — the whole Middle-East, even Iran, rejoiced the rescue of the miners, which is unusual.
I am still mesmerized by the spirit of these miners and their resilience as well as the resilience of everyone involved in the rescue operation, including both the Chilean president and Chilean minister of mining.
There are many lessons to be learned from this miracle, as a business case, a human spirit case, safety case etc… But what I am mainly concerned with today is the application of diversity and leadership building great team efforts cross-culturally.
When the president of Chile asked for help from any country that could help save his miners, he looked through his own personal lens, his own emotional limitation, and reached out for the United States, NASA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany. He said to bring it on, no matter where you come from, no matter where you are, and no matter what it will take.
Chile, through the excellent use of diversity, inclusion and crisis management, was able to turn a possible disaster into a rescue mission that saved lives.
The president of Chile demonstrated his strong leadership skills by being creative, inclusive, positive, inspiring, looking for solutions before placing blame, taking control of the situation, claiming responsibility and accountability for the situation, and finally putting together a diverse global team for the operation. And he delivered.
The president of Chile also showcased the advantages of applying diversity:
• Diverse global talents that were part of an inclusive culture enhanced productivity, creativity and were a key driver in success.
• Diverse talents established a benchmark of global team work directed to one goal; to save the miners and get them out alive, no matter what it took.
• They put together an effective business strategy for how to solve the problem that even worked better and faster than expected.
• They leveraged each unique individual to strive toward a common goal and objective.
• Diversity of voices and ideas created the successful brainstorming and competencies that resulted in saving the miners.
• The diverse rescue teams leveraged their diverse skills, perspectives, and problem-solving and creativity skills to find a solution.
• The diverse team built on each other's strengths and practiced effective communication cross-culturally.
• None of the team members looked for individual gratification and recognition; their reward was the success of the rescue operation as a whole team operation.