Proactive vs Reactive DEI

graphic illustration of heads

graphic illustration of headsToday’s blog is from Australian contributor, Dr. Tom Verghese. Tom is Principal and Founder of Cultural Synergies. His work helps organizations perform at optimal levels, improving cross-border staff engagement, communication, diversity, equity and inclusion.

We have recently been engaged to work with a client that is experiencing rapid growth and has partnered with a global leader in their field. The leadership contacted us, as they felt it was a good time to revisit their organizational values and ensure that they are aligned and in place as they expand. Having recently worked with another external organization, the leadership noticed that some of the behaviors of the external staff had influenced their staff, shifting behavior towards being less inclusive. As an organization that values diversity and inclusion, the leadership swiftly decided and saw value in taking steps to alleviate this shift and ensure that it didn’t continue on a trajectory that could lead to challenges is this space.

The next steps involve engaging the team in a workshop to review their values, redefine them if necessary and as future growth happens, ensure that the organization and staff commit to upholding these values.

It is wonderful to see organizations taking a proactive stance when it comes to diversity and inclusion. It demonstrates excellent leadership, foresight and vision. In some ways it is very much like a health check, making sure all is well and making the changes you need before an issue arises or becomes serious. Too often some of the “symptoms” of exclusion are not listened to or ignored by leadership and it can snowball into greater issues for the organization affecting recruitment, staff performance, staff retention and client interactions. The response then becomes reactive and usually requires significant effort and work to recalibrate and realign the organization.

How are your organizational values aligning with your culture? Are you taking a proactive or reactive approach and what are the impacts of that for the organization?

“We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race.” – Kofi Anan