When I was growing up, to be ‘tone-deaf’ meant that you couldn’t sing in tune. Embarrassing to be sure, but at the end of the day, no more embarrassing than not being able to catch or kick a ball.
Nowadays to be ‘tone-deaf’ is a much bigger deal, not in the sense of not singing in tune, but in the stigma of being out-of-touch, with which this word is now synonymous. As we read and laugh at the news everyday about another instance of a company, or world leader, or celebrity committing this merciless mistake, we do so knowing it could so easily be us that messes up next within our social network, or neighbourhood/community, or even at work!
To be tone-deaf in business is a scary thought. One wrong decision, one poorly thought out plan could end up alienating an employee, a vendor, a customer or even a whole nation! And as our world becomes smaller and even more connected the risk of being tone-deaf increases exponentially as we interact with cultural diversity on all fronts whether it be race, gender, generation, religion or worldview.
In our modern global world it is therefore more important than ever before to be agile and adept at navigating these cultural sensitivities towards success.
Are you in tune with all your stakeholders?
Being Tone-Deaf is so last season. Make this the year you get in tune.