Let’s stop with the opportunistic and deal with the real issue–organizational culture.

With the tragic death of George Floyd nearly two years ago came an onslaught of organizational consultants attempting to leverage the aftermath. It was an opportunity to create consulting businesses by helping organizations deal with diversity, equity, and inclusion. But D, E, & I is an outcome. It’s an outcome that results from an organizational culture where members are expected to be supportive, influential, and open minded.

I could have joined the fray but chose not to. Instead, I watched all this transpire as consultant after consultant offered their services to address D, E, & I. It all seemed patronizing to me rather than attempting to fix deep, underlining problems. Yes, Floyd’s death was a flashpoint, but this chapter did not seem to consider that all employees might need to be treated with greater respect and given more opportunities for inclusion.

This took me back to a time earlier in my career when I felt like I didn’t fit in. Ultimately, I discovered that I was an ENFP (Myers-Briggs personality type) working in an organization filled with ISTJs. We were complete opposites. No wonder I didn’t fit in. Point being that this is not just about race or gender. It’s about supporting and respecting different perspectives. Being open to other ideas.

Let’s change up the conversation. Let’s start talking about building a culture that supports one another, uses influence appropriately with each other, and encourages open mindedness. How? I can think of 40 different things we can do to create this kind of culture. Here are a few:

  • Listen more and talk less; actively listen to listen, and don’t listen to respond.
  • Enroll employees in organizational changes, particularly those that impact them.
  • Mentor others, meaning help them make better, more rounded and fact-based decisions.
  • Build a leader, not a “thing.”
  • Be vulnerable; apologize, admit when you don’t know, share thoughts and feelings.

If you earnestly strive to develop along these five points, I’m certain you will achieve great results. Among them will be greater diversity of thought, more inclusion, and certainly greater equity in participation.

Please like and share this post on LinkedIn. And while you’re there, please add your thoughts or comments.

Change. Grow. Win.

Steve

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