Ian Dodds Consulting Change Font size:

Building an inclusive culture - putting in the effort

An IDC client has ambitious plans to transform its organisation by building an inclusive culture that delivers real business benefits from diversity. Its Chief Operating Officer wanted to know the areas where organisations fail to put enough effort and, as a result, do not to deliver against their expectations. This is an important question for this organisation, which is complex and has some deeply entrenched attitudes and behaviours.

I would start by emphasising the importance of making full use of the diversity change drivers in implementing a diversity and inclusion strategy. These are:

  • Leadership message and example
  • Communications and engagement
  • Education and training
  • Measurement

Many organisations fail to underpin their efforts with these drivers. Even those that do often don't put adequate effort into:

Leadership example

If the leaders of an organisation do not set an example in the behaviours they expect of others in the new inclusive organisation, their message, no matter how clear, will not be seen as authentic. They will be accused of 'not walking the talk'.


Building an inclusive culture involves changing attitudes and behaviours. This does not occur through exhortation. It requires those affected to be involved in diagnosing the needs and helping to address them.


To change entrenched behaviours, people must be shown what is considered appropriate and inappropriate behaviour for an inclusive culture. It is important that the training effort is designed to do this.


It is critical to choose measures appropriate to the stage you're at. Looking for tangible returns on investment when you are only starting your D&I change efforts will enable the sceptics to demean the entire process. This is because a clear foundation of awareness and the need for change must be established first. Organisations that keep measuring the representation of non-traditional groups in management only-important as that is-never discover new ways to move ahead and gain the business benefits they aspire to.

IDC's consultants all have considerable experience of helping clients gain the business benefits that accrue from proficiency in D&I change management.

Related articles

Getting quick wins from diversity and inclusion (part 1)

Getting quick wins from diversity and inclusion (part 2)

Your diversity strategy must emphasise the need to build a productive, inclusive and meritocratic culture for all!

Website Management and SEO Consultancy by Amoo Business Nursery        Website Created by Toast.it