It’s got it all: talent, diversity, passion, creativity, innovation and individualism – what’s not to love? And if we look past the glitz and glamour, there are lessons for our business leaders too!
Once again, the Eurovision Song Contest graced our screens in all its glittering glory! Nicola Britovsek, Director of Human Resources at Sodexo Engage, explains how many lessons can be found in the contest.
Four years ago, Conchita Wurst ‘the bearded woman’ from Austria, shot to fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 by a landslide. In 2006, we witnessed Lordi, the gimmick shock metal band rock out on stage and who can forget the 2012 Russian entry ‘The Grannies of Buranovo’? What these fantastic acts demonstrate is how inclusivity is at the very heart of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Acceptance, inclusion and equality are all words business leaders strive towards, but in order to make leaps in the right direction it’s about acting now. Role models like Conchita use the global platform to raise awareness for issues such as LGBT rights. Having role models like this in the workplace not only attracts more diversity, it also has a way of removing unconscious bias and stereotyping.
If you look beyond the well-oiled dance routines, the show stopping voices and the epic costumes, the Eurovision Song Contest is made up of people from all backgrounds, races, religions, genders and sexual orientations. This level of diversity is exactly what businesses are currently working to improve but they’ve still got a long way to go. The gender pay gap, the ever-widening generational differences or the lack of females and ethnic groups in senior positions are just a few challenges business leaders are faced with.
But why does it have to be like this? When we look at the Eurovision Song Contest, whatever the background of the acts, ultimately, they’re all there with the same purpose – to make it the best night they can and represent themselves, and their countries, with pride! If we can bring together people in the same way in a business context then talent, skills, experience, innovation and improved performance are just some of the benefits it can bring.
For the 63rd year, contestants from every corner of Europe came together to put on an epic show. This spirit of collaboration is a lesson that businesses can learn from. Unfortunately, it’s rare to see this level of team spirit in business. It’s more common to see teams siloed into departments, with work and behaviours out of sync with business objectives and values. So, this begs the question: are today’s business leaders genuinely working cooperatively or can more be done to join up the dots?
There is one thing you can’t deny about the Eurovision Song Contest and its contestants - they’re all having the best time! It’s this passion and fun that makes every year amazing. Enthusiasm like this gets the best results out of people. In business, whether it’s having fun as a team on a social event, getting to spend quality with the family or just having some down time, injecting ‘fun’ is an easy way to keep everyone motivated.
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