Diversity and Inclusion from 38,000 ft
27 February, 2017
The last month has been a mixture of delivering keynote speeches at conferences, conducting consultancy work with clients and being interviewed on radio about our book ‘Inclusive Leadership’ and the impact it’s having on how companies deliver ‘D&I differently’.
During all of that I had the privilege of speaking at a conference in Mumbai where I shared our STAR Framework, a tool designed to really understand where a company is on the two critical areas of ensuring your strategy and activity is impactful and making sure that it is sustainable – engaging and embedding into the business.
The conference was fantastic – great insights and practice shared from the stage – but the real value of the conference for me came from the interactions with others, the side conversations and challenging debates outside of the room…and this stayed with me whilst flying back to the UK.
As I looked out on the world below at 38,000 ft., I wondered, do we spend too much time getting into the detail of D&I or should we commit to taking time out now and again to reflect on the bigger issues that are going to make a difference?
The key insights that have stayed with me, and will continue to do so are:
- How dangerous it is for all of us to focus our strategies on ‘borrowed thinking’ – absolutely find out what others are doing but, move away from the ‘cut and paste’ mentality.
- Have challenging debates about D&I with others who can continually stretch your thinking - if you think you know all there is to know about D&I you should leave the profession – curiosity and a desire for learning is key!
- Let’s move away from best practice – let’s talk about what hasn’t worked in some companies as well as what has worked….showcasing success is great but learning from failed attempts is so much more insightful
…and continue do all of the above whilst role modeling the traits and behaviours of inclusive leadership. If people don’t see that behaviour in us, how can we expect them to become the beacons of inclusivity?
So, will I commit to taking that time out and reflect on the bigger issues at 38,000 ft.? Absolutely! That’s the only way as D&I professionals we can ensure that we are sharing the newest insights, testing out the newest theories and delivering in a way for our companies that will create the change we are all striving for.