Diversity is about ensuring you have enough difference within your organisation so you are set up solve today’s complex business challenges. Inclusivity is valuing the people you have.
We support businesses in creating a culture in which people feel able to show up as themselves, where diversity of thought is valued and where people are cherished. We recognise that creating diverse and inclusive organisations is not necessarily an easy path and we help businesses to navigate this complexity, learning the skills required for everyone to be able to step into their inclusive leadership.
To be a business leader in today’s world, it’s vital that we reflect the society we are serving. To ensure this, Diversity and Inclusion needs to sit at the heart of business strategy. In addition to attracting and retaining the best talent, a more diverse workforce and inclusive environment will also help you to:
- Attract new clients: a D&I statement will increasingly become part of your business strategy and purpose. Put simply, being clear on your strategy will help you to win business
- Better understand your audience: having a wider range of experiences within your agency will give you new perspectives, adding more depth to your customer insight
- Increase productivity: reducing our unconscious biases will help to ensure that we recruit the best talent and an inclusive environment means employees feel valued, which leads to greater productivity.
Through a combination of consultancy, 1:1 coaching and group training, we can help you understand your unique challenges and embed alternative approaches and new processes to create a truly inclusive environment, valuing people and talent.
EXPLORE THE SERVICES THAT WE PROVIDE TO TOOL UP ORGANISATIONS TO BE TRULY INCLUSIVE BY CLICKING ON THE BOXES BELOW:
THE CHALLENGES IN DELIVERING A DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE
We are operating from a place of unconscious incompetence
We literally don't know that there is another way. What we see happening around us is what we know, and it is difficult to grasp an alternative way of doing things, let alone the benefits that might bring. Despite strong research from McKinsey, the business case remains largely intuitive and conceptual.
The human brain wants to fit in
The human brain is wired for survival – meaning that it likes certainty and to feel like it fits in. Growing up, we learn that compliance makes us safe and that belonging feels good. The shift to a diverse and inclusive workplace is going to require vulnerability, swimming against the tide and a comfort in being around people that are ‘not like us’. The other side of this coin is that those who don’t feel like they ‘fit in’ experience imposter syndrome and operate from a place of ‘not enough’ – meaning they often play small. We can help people recognise and move beyond their imposter syndrome, at the same time creating cultures which are less likely to give rise to this phenomenon.
The human brain is also wired to categorise and to stereotype. It is a universal human trait that helps us to make sense of the world. Unfortunately, that skill comes with a less useful by-product – that of unconscious bias. We, unconsciously, hold stereotypes about groups of people that may make it harder for those groups to succeed in the workplace. We may also internalise stereotypes about the groups to which we ourselves belong.
Fear of conflict
Most people have an aversion to conflict and certainly would prefer to be surrounded by people who agree, rather than disagree, with them. Getting a more diverse range of opinions in the room is going to mean greater disagreement. Period. We need to show people that conflict doesn’t need to be feared, that it can be a place of personal growth and give them the tools and skills to have difficult, challenging conversations.
The ability and knowledge of how to build diverse and inclusive teams
We like to be right, and the current leadership model, whilst shifting, is still in the ‘all knowing leader’ paradigm. Often, we don't have the resilience to align rather than agree and we are not aware of our greater role in the system. Asking for help is seen as a weakness, whereas it could in fact mean listening to other people’s valid, different and possibly more useful opinions. Diverse teams need a skilled leader to harness them otherwise homogeneity is probably preferable. Such leaders let go of ‘coerce and control’, understand our interconnectedness and know how to align teams on a common purpose. It is a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world and team leaders need support in being able to deal with that, when they have been taught to look for certainty.
We are too busy
This is a two-fold challenge. Often teams feel like the D&I agenda is going to be resource intensive within teams that are already stretched to breaking point, (we would argue that it requires shifting your ‘being’ rather than a series of time intensive initiatives and that operating from the current place is more time ineffective). Alongside this, when we are operating at full pelt, we neglect to access our intuition and we ignore our emotional needs. We need to listen to both to move forwards – as individuals and as teams. When systems ignore their pain, it is stressful and this makes us less socially intelligent, empathic and creative. We are functioning from our limbic brain, we waste human capital and stress shuts down our neural pathways.
We value certain ways of thinking
Culturally, we value the left brain over the right brain. We value reason, judgement, cause and effect... and yet what could be possible if we valued feelings, relationships, intuition and creativity? Some experience shame at being ‘differently brained’, again dampening their productivity.
WHERE TO NEXT?