Thankfully, a lot of things are finally getting the attention they deserve in our workplaces. Things like building great cultures, mental health, diversity (gender, cultural, lifestyle choices, handicapped – both physically and mentally), inclusion and physical and psychological safety.
Unfortunately, and maybe it is because I am a Culture Turn Around guy, in my travels into and around countless organizations, I am not seeing leaders doing enough, or fast enough.
Culture is a clear distinctive advantage. A functional culture has a positive ROI. In my role as a Turn Around Mercenary though, I get to see the other side of functional cultures, and I get to see how it impacts: recruitment (Employment Brand is more critical than ever), retention, engagement, customer satisfaction and profitability. I have seen first-hand countless times how culture turn around can change everything for the positive.
Today, I want to talk about a part of a culture turn around and that is Diversity and Inclusion.
In our increasingly multicultural and gender balanced business world, the ‘good old boys club’ is, thankfully, becoming something in the rear-view mirror. But is it happening fast enough?
I am still seeing management that assumes they are smarter than anyone else. I am still seeing misogynistic treatment by males toward women. I see racism at all levels of management that is holding organizations back from getting the very best people on the job.
It is fascinating to me that a newborn baby does not have the ability to hate. Kindergarten students do not have the ability to judge and pass judgement against people of color, religion or gender. All of that can be attributed to learned behavior from a collective intelligence born out of fear of those that are different than themselves or the group of people they hang with. People that have a bias in their mindset toward or against anyone else without truly taking the time to assess the merit they have as humans, are missing a key leadership tool… the ability to be servants to their people.
A leader I once worked with recently wrote a book called: “Be Different or Be Dead”. The book is about creating a differentiator for your business. However, I believe it could also mean, as a leader, if you don’t think differently about the people, you surround yourself with and learn to serve all of your stakeholders, your business will fail.
If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, your team and business will be in trouble and you will be looking to hire a Turn Around guy (It is sad, but it is how I make my living).
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, International Keynote Speaker, and TEC Top Speaker of the Year for 2018. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, connect with Robert on LinkedIn.
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