Become More People-Centric
Written by Bob Larcher
According to studies carried out by McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Korn Ferry and others, diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their peers.
Diverse and inclusive teams make better decisions 87% of the time, 70% are more likely to capture new markets and 36% are more likely to outperform on profitability.
What exactly is D&I?
Diversity is often reduced to a question of “identity”: man, woman, transgender, black, white, handicap, nationality.
While all of these are important, true diversity is a more holistic vision of human differences and similarities; not just personal identity but also cognitive, behavioural, attitudinal, values, etc. – diversity is not just “on the surface” of Freud’s famous iceberg, it is also “below the surface.”
Inclusion is about unlocking and integrating the power of diversity. Inclusion is about making what is above and below the surface work.
The barriers to D&I are both behavioural (mindset and skillset) and structural (policies and processes), and it is by removing these barriers that the power of D&I will be released.
Creating transparent recruitment algorithms and interviews and promotion processes and practices, while not easy, are doable, and are being worked on in many organizations.
However, developing inclusive mindsets, skillsets, behaviours and relationships is a more difficult affair.
Even those of us who like to think that “we are non-judgmental” and “treat everyone equally,” have biases that lead us to believe that some people, ideas, etc., are better than others. That usually results in us treating some people, albeit unconsciously, unfairly.
Many team members fall into the trap of monopolizing meeting time and interrupting those they consider less knowledgeable than themselves. Some will underestimate the abilities of others because of their diploma and others will make inappropriate jokes or comments.
In most cases this is not meant to be discriminatory; as adults, and in spite of being “well-meaning people,” we have spent a large part of our lives unconsciously “wiring” our brain to think, speak and behave in a particular way. The “rewiring” process is long and needs to be a “conscious” process – unlike rewiring a house, our old wiring is still there and it is easy to fall back into using the old circuits.
Building a D&I organization is a significant transformation project; leaders, managers and their teams will need to identify and recognise the adverse effect of their inbuilt biases in order to accept moving towards more inclusive thoughts and actions.
This transformation will need to “start at the top” by creating leaders able to inspire an inclusive mindset in others
You can’t “train” leaders and managers to be more open to D&I, it’s a developmental process; however, that process can be accelerated by skilled facilitators integrating the power of emotional, social and leadership intelligence helping communities and teams to grow together.
It can also be accelerated by reconsidering the structures and systems that are taken for granted. People Centric Organizations do both, restructure and facilitate.
If you would like to know more about how we, at PCO, can help you on your journey to greater D&I contact us at: www.peoplecentricorg.com/contact
You can also follow us on the PCO LinkedIn page to get notified of updates as they are published.