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Ian Dodds Consulting’s (IDC) Monthly Best Practice: Nov 2017

By Ian Dodds – Lotus Award Winner 2017 Lifetime Achievement for Pioneering Inclusive Cultures

The key factor in successfully building high performance inclusive cultures

A manager of a major and large organisation recently asked me if I would review its Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Strategy that had just been published. He knew that I had much successful experience of building inclusive cultures to deliver high performance. Examples include:

  1. Saving a factory of 4,500 employees which was in danger of closing. It became one of the best in ICI; then the largest chemicals company in the world.

  2. Making a loss making international business, employing 11,000 people, profitable in 3 years.

  3. Turning around, in 1 year, the largest office in the Inland Revenue from being one of the worst performers to the best. It was so successful it was the subject of a full page highly complementary article in the Sunday Telegraph business pages.

There were some good features in the strategy the manager asked me to review. For example, it offered a vision of success in 3 years’ time. It also stressed the importance of the leadership team role modelling inclusive behaviours. Moreover, it required departmental heads to include D&I targets in their business plans.

However, it had, in my experience, a serious omission which meant that it was unlikely to deliver an inclusive culture. It did not have a process for training managers right down to the front line to be Inclusive Leaders. This is the key factor to successfully building high performance, inclusive cultures. I do this by arranging for all of the managers to be trained to:

  1. Be interactively effective. The following is the interactive effectiveness tool that I use in coaching and developing interactively effective managers:


  • Objectives and why important
  • Giving information
  • Making content suggestions
  • Making process suggestions
  • Summarising
  • Disclosing:
    • Information known only to you
    • Something about self
  • Summarising outcomes and follow-up
  • Seeking information

  • Seeking suggestions

  • Checking understanding

  • Developing suggestions

  • Acknowledging:

    • Content

    • Feeling

  • Bring in

An individual who is interactively effective is skilled in using all of the interactive behaviours in the tool as appropriate in a work conversation.

  1. Empower people by using the Lawler Empowerment Equation: Empowerment = Power (P) x Information (I) x Recognition (R) x Coaching (C), i.e. Empowerment = PIRC;

  1. Help their team members identify their talents and develop them by being skilled at coaching in the moment.

It is the training described above that, in my view, has resulted in my high level of success in helping clients build inclusive cultures to deliver high performance, great customer service, race and gender equality, innovation and complex change.

If you would like to know more about this hugely successful approach to developing inclusive cultures please do not hesitate to contact me.

Dr Ian Dodds FRSA, www.iandoddsconsulting.com, 29 Oct 17


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