A Culture of Diversity and Inclusion: Essential for Top Performing Companies

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“Diversity and inclusion lead to more innovation, more opportunities for all, better access to talent, and better business performance,'' notes Dennis Nally a global leader with PwC.  

While many companies adopt a robust approach to diversity because it's the right thing to do, they often reap multiple economic benefits from nurturing an inclusive and diverse workforce. With it, diversity and inclusion brings additional skills, ideas, and perspectives.

A recent McKinsey study found that "companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams—not only with respect to absolute representation but also of variety or a mix of ethnicities —are 33 percent more likely to outperform their peers on profitability. That's comparable to the 35 percent outperformance reported in 2014."

McKinsey states the relationship between financial outperformance and diversity is due to the ability to attract top talent, improved customer orientation, increased employee satisfaction, and better decision making. 

How do you get inclusion right? 

  • Emphasize from the start and at every level. 

  • Create a community with nonprofit organizations that provide support, advocacy, education, and mentoring. 

  • Find the right voices for innovation. 

  • Make it a performance marker: goals, feedback mechanisms, and accountability.

For inclusion and diversity to be the "way we work," a systems approach to culture change is required. Leader behaviors, organizational systems, and reward systems need to mature to reinforce the new way of working. As organizations embed design and change capability into the foundations of how they work, the culture shift begins. Events become patterns, and underlying structures begin to mature to embrace the change. Organizational systems need to evolve to reinforce the change. Leader behaviors and reward systems develop to strengthen the new way of working. These underlying theories inform our change coaching and transformation work. 

"The only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture. If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening." - Edgar Schein

Consider these 3 takeaways when reimagining your D&I strategy:

  • Set diversity goals. It's essential to keep inclusion in the topic of regular conversation within the organization.

  • Representation matters. Representation allows diverse talent to feel like they matter within the company. Organizational leadership must be distinct.

I&D starts at the top. Based on social learning theory, employees that witness inclusive behaviors are more likely to also engage in inclusive practices.

Our immersive simulation workshops provide teams with training and a new mindset of organizational change. Facilitated change design workshops give your teams the opportunity to create a change approach for a unit or new solution. Leader learning consolidations provide peer coaching feedback for scaling change. We also offer a range of tools and coaching packages to ensure your change is sustainable.

Meredith MooreComment