Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo movement, and the pandemic, among others, have shone a cruel but necessary light onto some of the gaping disparities within our societies. Systemic change is called for. As a result, we are seeing more organizational stakeholders pressuring leaders to be accountable for their diversity and inclusion initiatives. But how we have traditionally gone about our diversity and inclusion initiatives has failed to achieve the desired results. How might we do better?
Simon Fanshawe, OBE has some ideas about this. Simon is a diversity consultant based in the UK and co-founder of the groundbreaking gay rights organization, Stonewall. He is the author of our newest CoachingOurselves module, “Global or Worldly: Diversity in the 21st Century”.
Simon advocates reframing diversity so that it is meaningful for everyone. While the diversity deficits within organizations must be tackled (and they are stark), enhancing diversity should go beyond compliance towards recognizing the power of difference. By unblocking talent in dealing with diversity deficits, diversity can and should be pursued for the real value it brings to our organizations.
Here is an excerpt from Realizing the Power of Difference: Thinking Differently About Diversity:
The way we go about achieving greater diversity needs a rethink. Because, while there has been progress, it has been too small and too slow. So, we are either not doing the right things or the things we are doing, we are not doing right.
My experience with clients and in working on social and organizational change over many years tells me that, first, we need to change our view of diversity from a thing that companies do, to the way they do things. Diversity can no longer be a separate strategy. It needs to become the way your organization or team recruits, manages, and retains the talent you need to tackle your significant challenges. Amongst them: the changing world of work, the transformation of the skills required in your sector, and the digital future.
This topic is designed to help you to:
- Give a distinct focus to each of the two separate elements of diversity – the diversity deficits and the diversity dividends;
- Reframe diversity as a talent strategy to achieve your team/ department/ organisation’s strategic goals;
- Articulate the precise reason why diversity will enhance your organisation/ team’s ability to achieve its strategic aims;
- Provide you a brief introduction to a way of putting together those teams of difference that you need.
Simon’s new book The Power of Difference will be out in August, 2021 published by Kogan Page.