Chile And the Rescue of the San Jose Miners

Article first published as Chile And the Rescue of the San Jose Miners on Technorati.

Diversity in the Chilean rescueThe whole world watched the rescue of the last Chilean miner last night.  There was not a dry eye in the crowd, countries from Japan, to China to Australia, the whole Middle-East; even Iran rejoiced the rescue of the miners which is unusual.

Till now, 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 teams efforts cross-culturally.

The President of Chile asked for help from any country form anyone that could help save his miners, his team, he looked beyond he went beyond his own personal lens, his own emotional limitation, and  reached out for the United States, NASA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany.  He said bring it on no matter where you come from, no matter where you are and no matter what it will take.

Chile through excellent use of diversity, inclusion and crisis management was able to turn around a possible disaster into a rejoiced 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 included in 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 getting them alive no matter what it took.
  • They put together an effective business strategy as how to solve the problem; that even worked better and faster than expected.
  • Leveraging 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 strength’s 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.

It feels so good to see diversity serving its real purpose, bringing people together for a good cause; showcasing the positive influence of diversity in our everyday life.  What a better way to celebrate diversity than cheering the lives of 33 men that were trapped for 70 days, with an unprecedented rescue that will be remembered worldwide for generations.

There are many lessons learned from Chile that will become more obvious in the upcoming days, lessons that we can apply if we are ever hit again with disasters like Katrina or the BP oil spill. But for now, let us celebrate the saved lives; and sheer the resilience and strength of the human spirits.

Diversity starts at home,

(- Picture credit to -)

Sahar Andrade
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC.

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