Something big happened in May 2020—something very big and also very bad. So bad, in fact, that it has fueled a movement that does not show any signs of abating in the near future. And that’s a good thing. Because despite how utterly despicable George Floyd’s very public murder was, Floyd is likely to be long remembered for being the face of a movement that is prompting change in even some of the most conservative quarters.
It’s an incident that has led to heightened awareness of not just diversity and inclusion (D&I) or inclusion and diversity (I&D) as we like to frame it, but of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
A Mandate for Change
As we reflect back on a year filled with dissension, disruption and, ultimately, discussion we welcome the conversations. There is no reason that George Floyd should have died that day in May. There is no reason that Floyd is, unfortunately, only one of so many examples of Black males being unfairly and brutally treated by a group that is sworn to protect and serve.
What does this have to do with business? Everything!
Inclusion is a Business Imperative
We have been coaching and consulting clients on how to establish and maintain a culture of inclusion for almost 20 years now; our 20th anniversary will be this summer. We have long exhorted CEOs and other C-suite leaders to recognize the massive bottom-line impact that inclusion can have for organizations. Some have listened. Many have not—or had not up until that horrific day in May 2020.
Now those who didn’t listen previously are starting to pay heed. That’s the good thing to come out of all of this. But only if we all do pay heed and think about how we can take action through our own circles of influence to effect much-needed change.
No, George Floyd is not the only Black person to have been the subject of unnecessary violence or to have died due to bigotry and bias. Unfortunately, he won’t be the last.
But this is a tipping point. It’s an opportunity to make a change. For all of us.
Inclusion is a business imperative. How are you taking steps to ensure that this tragedy results in positive outcomes for your organization, your employees and your customers?
Related: The Big Benefits When Women Lead