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Product Description

Diversity in the workplace is a wonderful thing—but it also challenges many of today''s business leaders. For managers and team-members alike, it can be difficult to navigate in a truly diverse workplace made up of people of different cultures, races, creeds, body types, hobbies, genders, religions, styles, and sexual orientations. But understanding our cultural and social differences is a major key to a high-performing, merit-based work environment.

The Loudest Duck is a business guide that explores workplace diversity and presents new ideas for getting the most business and organizational benefit from it. In the Chinese children''s parable, the loudest duck is the one that gets shot. In America, we like to say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Comparing the two, it''s easy to see that our different cultures teach us different sets of values, and those values often translate into different ways of doing business that may subtly advantage one culture at work and disadvantage another.

In the global marketplace, it''s more important than ever that we understand and are conscious of our differences to work together effectively. It is not enough to create Noah''s Ark, bringing in two of each kind. We all bring our unconscious beliefs and personal narratives about who we are and who others are with us to work and, with diversity in place, we can no longer ignore them. Truly effective leaders can''t pretend that we''re all the same or that our preferences and preconceptions don''t exist. The Loudest Duck offers a way to move beyond traditional diversity efforts that ignore our differences and toward modern diversity practices that embrace those differences—and profit from them.

Diverse organizations require more sophisticated leadership, conscious awareness of diversity issues, new behavioral patterns, and effective tools for reaping the benefits of true diversity. This book will help you develop the skills you need and the tools you can use to go beyond what Grandma taught you to make diversity work in your business.

More than just an enlightening tale about diversity, The Loudest Duck is a powerful resource for any manager, business owner, team leader, or employee who wants to meet the challenges of the modern heterogeneous workplace. It''s not simply about accepting others—it''s about ensuring a level playing field for everyone and building an organization that gets the best from all its people.

Review

"Laura Liswood has both great theoretical and practical understanding of diversity—why it is important in organizations and why attempts to create it often fail to deliver. The Loudest Duck is essential reading for anyone who wants to maximize the effectiveness of organizations or just wants to understand why things are the way they are."
Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, Canada''s 19th and first female Prime Minister

"Diversity is a popular buzzword, but too many organizations treat it as window dressing. Laura Liswood explains how successful leaders learn to value diversity for the advantages it brings. This book is clearly written, savvy, and wise."
Joseph S. Nye Jr., University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University; Author of The Powers to Lead

"The Loudest Duck is a must read for managers and leaders of multinational corporations and international organizations. It provides an insightful look and fresh approach to cultural and gender differences that must be better understood for a more effective workplace."
Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director, UNICEF

"Laura Liswood brilliantly shows us how to get to Diversity 2.0 and beyond. A workplace of people from different backgrounds can lead to tensions, but this book shows, with great insights and examples, how it can lead to real creativity instead. It’s an indispensable guide for managers and leaders—and also for anyone who wants to succeed in any aspect of life."
Walter Isaacson, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Aspen Institute

"Laura''s timing is perfect and her message is spot on. Embracing diversity creates competitive advantage. Her book should be mandatory reading for everyone in business today. In the most engaging, fun, and real way, Laura gets to the heart of the opportunity—enabling Noah''s diverse floating Ark to fly to the moon and beyond."
Beth Brooke, Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, Ernst & Young

"Globalized businesses are increasingly aware that diversity belongs in the boardroom, not the public relations department, so The Loudest Duck is beautifully timed. Liswood is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Best of all, she''s practical, helping ambitious employees from nondominant groups to prove their worth, and advising leaders how to transform diversity from rhetoric into an engine for innovation and growth."
Kevin Kelley, Chief Executive Officer, Heidrick & Struggles

"Iconoclastic and savvy, Laura Liswood''s The Loudest Duck reminds us that not all diversities in the Ark are equal: Some in the Ark are louder and they get heard most. Combining an impressive breadth of research with colorful stories from corporate life, this book is essential reading for anyone who is serious about reaping the promise of diversity at work."
Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organizational Behavior; The Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning Director, INSEAD Leadership Initiative

"Brilliant! Liswood offers unique insight and fresh tools for a Diversity 2.0 world. Drawing on thinkers from Thucydides to Malcolm Gladwell, and on more than three decades of executive experience, she offers leaders ideas for building a meritocracy that will ensure corporate success."
Robin Gerber, Author of Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way and Barbie and Ruth

"The Loudest Duck is one of the clearest and most profoundly informative analyses of why, despite decades of effort and investment, most diversity initiatives fail to produce the promised benefits to organizations or their employees. This book goes beyond analysis and provides a new language of metaphor that captures the unexamined dynamics of dominance, unearned privilege, and unconscious bias that undermine our attempts to create truly diverse and inclusive workplaces. In her introduction Laura Liswood makes clear her goal to move us beyond Diversity 1.0. She is successful. The Loudest Duck has the potential to usher in Diversity 2.0, a new conversation and approach to changing our organizations and ourselves. It is a must reading for leaders who are serious about diversity and inclusion in their organizations."
David A. Thomas, H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; Author of Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America

From the Inside Flap

Praise for the Loudest Duck

"Laura Liswood has both great theoretical and practical understanding of diversity—why it is important in organizations and why attempts to create it often fail to deliver. The Loudest Duck is essential reading for anyone who wants to maximize the effectiveness of organizations or just wants to understand why things are the way they are."
—Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, Canada''s 19th and first female prime minister

"Laura Liswood brilliantly shows us how to get to Diversity 2.0 and beyond. A workplace of people from different backgrounds can lead to tensions, but this book shows, with great insights and examples, how it can lead to real creativity instead. It''s an indispensable guide for managers and leaders—and also for anyone who wants to succeed in any aspect of life."
—Walter Isaacson, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Aspen Institute

"Laura''s timing is perfect, and her message is spot on. Embracing diversity creates competitive advantage. Her book should be mandatory reading for everyone in business today. In the most engaging, fun, and real way, Laura gets to the heart of the opportunity—enabling Noah''s diverse floating Ark to fly to the moon and beyond."
—Beth Brooke, Global Vice Chair of Public Policy, Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement, Ernst & Young

"The Loudest Duck is one of the clearest and most profoundly informative analyses of why, despite decades of effort and investment, most diversity initiatives fail to produce the promised benefits to organizations or their employees. This book goes beyond analysis and provides a new language of metaphor that captures the unexamined dynamics of dominance, unearned privilege, and unconscious bias that undermine our attempts to create truly diverse and inclusive workplaces. It is a must reading for leaders who are serious about diversity and inclusion in their organizations."
—David A. Thomas, H. Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; author of Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America

From the Back Cover

Diversity in the workplace is a wonderful thing—but it also challenges many of today''s business leaders. For managers and team-members alike, it can be difficult to navigate in a truly diverse workplace made up of people of different cultures, races, creeds, body types, hobbies, genders, religions, styles, and sexual orientations. But understanding our cultural and social differences is a major key to a high-performing, merit-based work environment.

The Loudest Duck is a business guide that explores workplace diversity and presents new ideas for getting the most business and organizational benefit from it. In the Chinese children''s parable, the loudest duck is the one that gets shot. In America, we like to say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Comparing the two, it''s easy to see that our different cultures teach us different sets of values, and those values often translate into different ways of doing business that may subtly advantage one culture at work and disadvantage another.

In the global marketplace, it''s more important than ever that we understand and are conscious of our differences to work together effectively. It is not enough to create Noah''s Ark, bringing in two of each kind. We all bring our unconscious beliefs and personal narratives about who we are and who others are with us to work and, with diversity in place, we can no longer ignore them. Truly effective leaders can''t pretend that we''re all the same or that our preferences and preconceptions don''t exist. The Loudest Duck offers a way to move beyond traditional diversity efforts that ignore our differences and toward modern diversity practices that embrace those differences—and profit from them.

Diverse organizations require more sophisticated leadership, conscious awareness of diversity issues, new behavioral patterns, and effective tools for reaping the benefits of true diversity. This book will help you develop the skills you need and the tools you can use to go beyond what Grandma taught you to make diversity work in your business.

More than just an enlightening tale about diversity, The Loudest Duck is a powerful resource for any manager, business owner, team leader, or employee who wants to meet the challenges of the modern heterogeneous workplace. It''s not simply about accepting others—it''s about ensuring a level playing field for everyone and building an organization that gets the best from all its people.

About the Author

Laura Liswood is a Senior Advisor and former managing director for Global Leadership and Diversity at Goldman Sachs and is Secretary General of the Council of Women World Leaders. She has held executive positions in the banking, cable television, and airline industries, and cofounded The White House Project.

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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
175 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Kelly Roberts
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Middle-aged white American female HR professional
Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2019
Having practiced human resources in multiple industries for ~ 30 years, 8 recently on a global scale I come to this topic late in my career. This book was a good primer and as another reviewer states, appropriate specifically for the privileged or non-under-represented... See more
Having practiced human resources in multiple industries for ~ 30 years, 8 recently on a global scale I come to this topic late in my career. This book was a good primer and as another reviewer states, appropriate specifically for the privileged or non-under-represented individual.
As an HR practitioner, I learned new tools to share with leaders from various skills levels and backgrounds in an organization to strengthen and stretch their diversity skills.
One person found this helpful
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CJP
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great read
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2020
An interesting and eye opening perspective on diversity and how to better understand and respect colleagues. Would recommend this read from entry level through experienced management, HR and the regular office worker to help improve communication and teamwork within the... See more
An interesting and eye opening perspective on diversity and how to better understand and respect colleagues. Would recommend this read from entry level through experienced management, HR and the regular office worker to help improve communication and teamwork within the company.
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April Kontostathis
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book- very readable - with practical advice
Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2014
This book has something for everyone who works in any type of organization - and don''t we all? Not just for management or just for employees. Focuses on corporate but is 100% relevant in my world and I work at a small college. This has already informed and improved (i... See more
This book has something for everyone who works in any type of organization - and don''t we all? Not just for management or just for employees. Focuses on corporate but is 100% relevant in my world and I work at a small college. This has already informed and improved (i hope!) my interactions with both colleagues and students. I really like the practical nature of the book - too many books on diversity focus on the problems without offering solutions or talk about how great diversity is, without providing the tools for reaping the benefits of diversity. Read and enjoy - at times I laughed out loud at the jokes and analogies - takes a serious subject seriously but also addresses it in a fun way!
One person found this helpful
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Limey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Thought provoking
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2020
This book made me think a lot about my behaviour and ways to improve. The real world examples were esepcially useful.
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Asela M Calhoun
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book for any executive committed to diversity in all ...
Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2016
Excellent book for any executive committed to diversity in all levels of their company, to understand the difference between cultural diversity "Noa''s Ark style, and true diversity. You have to read this book! Great read and very applicable to today''s business... See more
Excellent book for any executive committed to diversity in all levels of their company, to understand the difference between cultural diversity "Noa''s Ark style, and true diversity. You have to read this book! Great read and very applicable to today''s business environments.

Asela
One person found this helpful
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Breeda McGrath
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must read!
Reviewed in the United States on August 26, 2019
Excellent read - tremendously interesting, insightful, and well written.
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Taylor Tobey
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Laura gives great examples and shares simple insights into the hardships of ...
Reviewed in the United States on October 12, 2017
Every person in Corporate America should read this book. This book is spot on and describes what often happens when diverse individuals enter the workplace. Laura gives great examples and shares simple insights into the hardships of bringing people from diverse backgrounds... See more
Every person in Corporate America should read this book. This book is spot on and describes what often happens when diverse individuals enter the workplace. Laura gives great examples and shares simple insights into the hardships of bringing people from diverse backgrounds together to accomplish goals at work. She explains that it''s not just the color of our skin that makes us different, it''s everything from the sports teams we like, our tendencies for being introverted versus extroverted, to what country or city we grew up in. This book is a must read for anyone who wants to become more self-aware, emotionally intelligent, and culturally sensitive both in and outside of the workplace.
One person found this helpful
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Junior Samples
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting book.
Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2017
An interesting book. I bought this for a discussion group, and had much skepticism beforehand. It turned out to be reasonable, and I learned something. Who woulda thunk it?
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Top reviews from other countries

Clare Patterson
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An interesting reminder of the biases we all have and the dynamics of dominant and minorities in business
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 14, 2017
A good reminder of how the lens we view the world is distorted by our own upbringing, our experiences and our position of power within an organisation. It is an easy read with some good statistics which highlight the issues.
A good reminder of how the lens we view the world is distorted by our own upbringing, our experiences and our position of power within an organisation. It is an easy read with some good statistics which highlight the issues.
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Carmen
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Unterhaltsam geschrieben
Reviewed in Germany on March 15, 2017
The Loudest Duck ist ein kurzweiliges aber gehaltvolles Buch, das es Interessierten ermöglicht einen guten Einblick in das weite Feld der Diversität am Arbeitsplatz und darüber hinaus. Der Autorin gelingt es, ein komplexes Thema anschaulich zu vermitteln und den geneigten...See more
The Loudest Duck ist ein kurzweiliges aber gehaltvolles Buch, das es Interessierten ermöglicht einen guten Einblick in das weite Feld der Diversität am Arbeitsplatz und darüber hinaus. Der Autorin gelingt es, ein komplexes Thema anschaulich zu vermitteln und den geneigten Leser zum Nachdenken über sein eigenes Handeln zu animieren.
The Loudest Duck ist ein kurzweiliges aber gehaltvolles Buch, das es Interessierten ermöglicht einen guten Einblick in das weite Feld der Diversität am Arbeitsplatz und darüber hinaus.
Der Autorin gelingt es, ein komplexes Thema anschaulich zu vermitteln und den geneigten Leser zum Nachdenken über sein eigenes Handeln zu animieren.
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Lael
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Primer for Organizational Change
Reviewed in Canada on November 14, 2013
This is a very easy to read book that provides a good overview of why valuing diversity and moving to inclusion are so important in our workplaces. A good primer for managers and leaders wanting to engage in diversity organizational change. Lots of good stories that produce...See more
This is a very easy to read book that provides a good overview of why valuing diversity and moving to inclusion are so important in our workplaces. A good primer for managers and leaders wanting to engage in diversity organizational change. Lots of good stories that produce ''a-ha'' moments that people can identify with to move them further to accepting and leveraging the advantage of different backgrounds, perspectives, etc. in organizations.
This is a very easy to read book that provides a good overview of why valuing diversity and moving to inclusion are so important in our workplaces. A good primer for managers and leaders wanting to engage in diversity organizational change. Lots of good stories that produce ''a-ha'' moments that people can identify with to move them further to accepting and leveraging the advantage of different backgrounds, perspectives, etc. in organizations.
Report
HG
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Nothing New
Reviewed in Canada on August 12, 2017
Unfortunately, nothing new was presented here.
Unfortunately, nothing new was presented here.
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