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Monthly Best Practice: May 2014: Ian Dodds – The Inclusion Builder

Inclusion is now increasingly seen as mainstream to business success and here’s how to make sure you deliver the benefits it offers

In last month’s best practice blog, Apr 2014, I described how inclusion was increasingly seen as mainstream to business success. I exampled as evidence the ‘The Inclusion Imperative’, a book by Stephen Frost, a Harvard Fellow, and just published, which powerfully demonstrates this. In addition, I cited the McKinsey Insight for January which states: “To ensure that corporate culture supports—not hinders—the ability of women to reach top management, companies must address mind-sets and develop a more inclusive, holistic diversity agenda.”

Most regular readers will know that IDC is differentiated from many of its competitors by having the capability to successfully deliver inclusion in its clients’ organisations. This is because we have in-depth behavioural and culture change knowhow from our long experience of enabling clients to change mind-sets and deliver an inclusive work environment. Moreover, I am an elected member of the NTL Institute of Applied Behavioural Science, the leading knowledge body in the world on behavioural and culture change and leadership and organisational development.

In terms of making it happen, five stages of change need to be followed to enable the successful delivery of inclusion (see the Apr 2014 blog). Of these, the second stage ‘mobilising’ is particularly critical. This is the stage when an offline body, either an Inclusion Steering Group or an individual, is appointed and reports into the executive. This is a classical behavioural change practice; because changing mind-sets requires long-term strategic effort. This offline body supports line managers who are often too preoccupied with pressing operational issues to provide the sustained attention needed for the successful delivery of inclusion. IDC has considerable experience of educating and enabling the Inclusion Steering Group, or Inclusion Director, to deliver success by fulfilling the following tasks:

  1. Establishing a compelling business case for inclusion that is bespoke for the client’s organisation.

  2. Formulating an inclusion strategy, taking account of any diagnostic or engagement survey data. This is then presented to the leadership team for their agreement and sponsorship commitment.

  3. Establishing any task/project groups needed to work up inclusion policies and practices. These might be on: flexible working; researching and recommending inclusion best practices; the communication of the inclusion strategy and its progress; the collecting of success stories delivered by the adoption of the strategy; the training of line managers to deliver the inclusion strategy.

  4. Putting in place the means to ensure that the business case for inclusion and the accompanying delivery strategy are communicated throughout the organisation.

  5. The identification of and training and support for:

    • Inclusion Champions who will be role model exemplars in inclusive behaviour;

    • Internal Inclusion Change Agents, who will assist and coach line managers with the implementation of the inclusion strategy.

  1. Monitoring progress with the implementation of the inclusion strategy and addressing any barriers to progress and identifying and publicising success stories.

If you would like to know more about how we help our clients to build high performance, inclusive cultures, or what we call leveraging The Power of Inclusion, please contact me.

Dr Ian Dodds,



IDC Academy Online: http://idcacademyonline.com/

27 Apr 2014

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