DEI in Action – The 3-Step Process of Moving From Conceptual Understanding to Integrated Practical Application
"I've spent the last few years learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion, my staff is on board, but I just don't know what to do now?"
This is a common predicament for organizational leaders who, although they are ready to make a positive impact and be a part of societal progress, just don't know how to take their understanding of DEI to the next level – into action. I understand the confusion because we have all the want, excitement, passion, and willingness; we've learned about the concepts and ideas, but we don't know how to convert that into actual tangible, substantial outcomes.
The solution is a simple 3-step approach:
Use this as your starting point and outline because not knowing where to begin is guaranteed to sabotage your DEI success. If you can only "talk "about diversity and being inclusive and lead discussions with your...
Traditional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts have focused heavily on recruitment and retention, totally missing the bigger picture issues that have kept either from having deep impact or being sustainable. The emphasis has been on “diversity hires'': Where are they? How do we get our position descriptions to them? How do we convey a compelling story about our organization that will draw them to want to work for us?
We create targeted lists of places we think all the “diverse candidates” will be: HBCUs, community and activism focused groups, specified professional organizations. We send our one recruiter who seems to be either a member of the target community or comfortable in intercultural interactions as the spokesperson. And we aren’t successful.
It’s been a bit of a dog chasing its tail story for decades. In 2022, traditional focus on recruitment and retention won’t help us build a diverse and competitive organization.
By journey I mean the path that we are all traveling as we invest in the daily practice of learning, growing, managing, and leading ourselves and others. Ideally, this path is intentional--we are consciously identifying topics around which we want and need to gain greater clarity, a more robust foundation of knowledge, or take our skills to the next level of proficiency.
I’m often asked about how one should approach their own developmental journey--should it be a serendipitous series of experiences or structured and applied by an outside force, like one’s employer? Though I am a huge fan of serendipity, it won’t lead to the equitable outcomes many of us hope for ourselves and our employees.
For example, I recently spoke with an executive, Tim, who loves to describe himself as a “collector of experiences.” His career path has been formed by “taps on the shoulder”...