7 Keys 2 Success: The Supporting Cast
There are seven keys to creating, maintaining and supporting an inclusive culture. They are: The vision comes first. A clearly articulated business case that engages and motivates all employees is vital. The vision should be alive and future focused. This is the foundation of the diversity and inclusion journey. It must be clear, easy to remember, simple to communicate, repeated until anyone can recite it and fit it on a T-shirt. The visible and consistent leadership commitment follows. Leaders must make footprints that others can follow — not small and shallow, but large and deep so that they can be seen from the top floor of the building. The leader who demonstrates the passionate commitment to diversity and inclusion will generate passion in all who have been looking for someone to follow. At this point the initiative will begin to generate its own momentum. Everyone needs help. It takes seven to ten years and the intelligent help of many to get it right. It is essential to have knowledge, energy and ideas — strategic and operational guidance on the journey. Participation engages hands, hearts and minds, spreads the strengths and provides the leadership with valuable resources. Learning, education and training prepare us. They come in many forms: passive, active, technological and interpersonal. They can take place in the classroom, the local museum, on conference calls and on Web site visits. Learning, education and training can be exciting and interesting. The local Gay Pride Parade, the photo exhibit and the Chanukah celebration can move us from unconsciously incompetent to culturally competent. They offer opportunities that energize employees’ curiosity. What gets measured gets done. Measure your progress based on what you want to achieve. Don’t measure what others measure unless you have the same needs they do. Measurements will evolve with the initiative. Everyone rows. Everyone participates. There’s room and a seat at the table for everyone. Get people involved. Give them hundreds of ways to join the journey. Make it fun. Ignite their passion and their intellect. Faith. At some point we know that it will work. We just have to close our eyes and make a leap of faith — like kids jumping into a pile of leaves in the fall.
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