In this respect, diversity within Nestl is viewed as an opportunity, which enables the company's managers to fully adapt to its 86 foreign markets by integrating a diverse set of cultures, allowing them to become more responsive to its customers' needs. Thus, Nestl's philosophy focuses on developing a diverse workforce, which mirrors the needs of its equally diverse consumer. Furthermore, Nestl, together with other European companies, views diversity as "inseparably intertwined" with leadership development (Reichlin, 2004). Hence to effectively incorporate diversity, Nestl focuses on more than just developing a diverse workforce, but on integrating diversity with leadership training and advancement and workforce retention and recruitment.
2. Two notable diversity initiatives implemented in Nestl lies in its value-added leadership approach and emphasis on the company's leadership training program focused on honing its internal workforce for top management positions (Reichlin, 2004). First, through its value-added leadership, Nestl successfully develops a highly-motivated workforce, where minor employees are given the chance to excel and play larger roles within the organization. As Reichlin (2004) explains it, everyone, regardless of their position, are given responsibilities within in the company insofar as they add value to the firm, hence fostering inclusiveness. Its leadership training program, on the other hand, fosters collaboration and cooperation across the management spectrum. One characteristic of this program is its focus on mentoring. By giving one-on-one attention and monitoring potential leaders' development and maturity, Nestl succeeds in maintaining its employees' original cultures while integrating individuals into their corporate culture and honing them for advancement to top-management positions. Furthermore, company executives also gain better knowledge regarding its workforce, allowing them to make better decisions with regard to diversity.
3. Taking Nestl and other top companies' experiences as benchmark, several key practices can be identified. First, as stressed by European companies, lead by Air Liquide chairman Benoit Potier, "Diversity has to become a manager's policy", such that apart from assembling a diverse workforce, company leaders must also learn how to manage such diversity (Reichlin, 2004). Second, companies must understand that successful diversity training lies in the collaboration of internal employees, management and staff, with the guidance of external consultants (Velasquez 2004b), such as the role IMD played in the success of Nestl. In this respect, diversity training must also be inclusive and integrative. Hence, companies must strive to ensure that differences co-exist harmoniously in a manner that benefits both the workforce and company. Fourth, companies must ensure that diversity training takes into consideration a company's employees and its customer base. As Velasquez (2004b) explains, effective diversity policies accommodate the needs of its customers to improve its bottom-line, while ensuring that employee diversity suffices these needs. Lastly, diversity training must be understood not as an end in itself, but as a means to improve the company's bottom-line (Velasquez 2004a).
4. Prior to any diversity initiative, companies must first begin with "building a