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

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

What are the three priorities to leverage the Power of Inclusion?

A little while back I was the keynote speaker in Warsaw at a Diversity Day organised by The Responsible Business Forum for Poland. The Forum’s mission is: “to promote the idea of responsible business as a standard in force in Poland in order to enhance the competitiveness of enterprises, social satisfaction and improve the environment”. I had been asked to give an inspiring presentation on the subject of managing diversity and inclusion to enhance business success. I spoke about getting the considerable benefits of the Power of Inclusion through a long term strategy based on the 5 stages of driving successful behavioural change (see my Best Practice for November 2018 for a full description of these). The presentation was illustrated with lots of case studies. It was well received because leading edge Polish companies were beginning to emphasise inclusion in their diversity management efforts and they were keen to find out how to do it.

One of the questions I was asked was if a company could only do three things to leverage the Power of Inclusion what would these be? I replied that the first thing I would do was to devise a long-term strategy to gain the business benefits of inclusion and underpin this strategy by the 5 stages of change, i.e. ‘Unfreeze’, ‘Mobilise’, Realise’, ‘Embed’ and ‘Sustain’. This is because it takes long-term strategic effort to change mindsets so that everyone is: respected and valued; listened to; able to perform to their full potential. Moreover, this can only be achieved by underpinning this long-term effort with behavioural change methodology. It is IDC’s deep knowledge and experience of delivering behavioural change which differentiates it from many of its competitors.

I then explained that the second thing I would do was to work with the leadership team to help them identify the behaviours that they needed to role model to drive the change to an inclusive culture. Leadership behaviour is the most powerful influence on behaviour throughout an organisation (Prof Ed Schein, MIT). They would need feedback and coaching to become exemplars of inclusion.

Finally, I explained that the third thing the company should do is to train its managers to be interactively effective. This would enable them to have highly effective dialogues with individuals and teams as they would be proficient in both advocacy and enquiry. Interactive effectiveness is the most important contributor to developing ‘great teams’ (Harvard Business Review, April 2012). A full explanation of how this works is described in IDC’s Best Practice for June 2013.

I illustrated the power of this approach by a quote from a Sunday Telegraph Business pages’ article which had had a fly-on-the-wall reporter in the largest UK tax office with around 650 people. The director of this office had driven inclusive change through these three approaches. The reporter stated in, what was a highly positive article about what he saw in this office, that: “I don’t think I have ever been in an office with a stronger sense of purpose, contentment, candour, coherence or vigour”. In two years the office turned itself round from being one of the worst performing tax offices in the UK to becoming one of the best.

If you would like to find out more about leveraging the Power of Inclusion please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dr Ian Dodds,



29 November2018

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