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Ian Dodds Consulting’s (IDC) Monthly Best Practice: September 2018

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

Inclusive Cultures deliver: high performance; great customer service; race and gender equality; innovation; complex change

The way to get the business and performance benefits from diversity is to build an inclusive organisational culture. However, what does an inclusive culture look like? How would you know you had one? I would look for the following:

1.The leadership’s vision of its inclusive, organisational culture gives a clear picture of: the business benefits they want it to be delivering; who the stakeholders are and how inclusion is contributing to theirs’ and the organisation’s success; the ways in which people are behaving inclusively and how they are feeling; how the business processes have changed to embed inclusivity in the way things are done.

2. The leadership is setting a visible example in a few vital, inclusive behaviours that are critical for delivering their strategic priorities.

3. People, irrespective of their diversity, are fully engaged in helping the organisation succeed and empowered to do so. Their managers have received training to enable them to manage inclusively and empoweringly.

4. Positive action activities exist to identify, develop and enable high potential people from under-represented backgrounds to gain promotion to more senior positions across the entire business activity and not just in support functions.

5. The organisation’s culture has become truly meritocratic in that managers responsible for performance appraisals and promotion and selection understand how unconscious bias influences such decisions and have acted to counteract it. This includes being open to different leadership styles rather than being unconsciously biased towards that of the historically dominant culture (in the UK normally white, male, heterosexual, non-disabled and middle aged).

6. The organisation measures, e.g. using cultural mapping methodology, employee engagement surveys, leadership behaviour surveys, etc, the extent to which its culture is inclusive and engaging of everyone.

IDC’s deep, global experience and knowledge of diversity and inclusion, organisational development (OD) and transformational change makes it ideally placed to help clients create inclusive organisations like that which I have described and reap the enormous business benefits it offers, including addressing disruption.

Dr Ian Dodds


27 August 2018

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