The Melting Pot or Hungarian Goulash
How many times have you heard, “America is a melting pot?” That sounds great, doesn’t it? Isn’t that what people from diverse backgrounds are looking for when they come seems the right thing to do if an immigrant desires to be an active part of the American culture. What is America relinquishing in this melting pot; nothing. I will compare the most popular three food analogies to accentuate what works the best for all in an organization.
The three analogies are the melting pot, the salad bowl, and the ethnic stew. These are unique and provide a basis for a highly productive work environment. First, the melting pot requires people to assimilate by giving up their religion, cultural customs, and much more. Initially the concept of the melting pot sounds great; however, instead of mixed veggies it is simply soup with no flavor.
Next, the salad bowl analogy has good intentions yet something is still missing. Individuals maintain their cultures which should create a dynamic and successful work environment. Now, this salad bowl analogy appears to be the perfect solution for working together. However, there is one thing missing to make the salad bowl affective. There is nothing to tie cultures together to work efficiently. Working with different cultures leaders should focus everyone to the common organizations goals.
The final analogy is ethnic stew or Hungarian Goulash. Ethnic stew is closer to a Hungarian goulash because of different kinds of meat and vegetables. When cooked they keep their solid structure. In ethnic stew, a work environment, there is integration and cultural distinctiveness. Any organization that works like this analogy is rocking.
All three of these analogies are a great tool for leaders in an organization. They also help explain what does and does not increase productivity. If work environments followed the melting pot example then there is only one group that is right. That way of thinking creates an organization of one thought, one mind, one way to dress etc. with no variation. Without cultural diversity every day, every discussion grows stale and predictable.
The other end of the spectrum is the ethnic stew or Hungarian goulash. Goulash is a mixture consisting of dissimilar or diverse parts. Using this idea in the work environment creates a very successful organization. When individuals can remain who they are, they are eager to work with others to attain organization goals. Your work environment will be amazing
What are some ways to make a goulash environment work:
- Concentrate on individuals’ skills, talents, abilities, and unique perspectives
- Conduct intercultural training
- Promote on merit
- Fair treatment and opportunities to excel
In this global economy the Hungarian goulash will increase productivity, increased employee engagement, increased revenue, and find new markets. Who knew that food could help an organization thrive?