Inclusion Is a Capability to Be Built

Let's do this.

The needs of humanity and the needs of business have finally, truly collided.

The state of the world has unleashed a pervasive experience of isolation, anxiety, uncertainty, devastation, and a ravenous appetite for purpose and meaning.

Finding a way forward is the only option. The wisest organizations will define this path collaboratively - inclusive of a collective of voices within its own walls.

Inclusion is not a strategy to be laminated. It's a capability to be built.

Inclusion. Not Diversity.

Diversity matters deeply to me. Now more than ever. It's about who gets a seat at table. 

But driving diversity is not my expertise.

My muscle to flex is inclusion - or who gets a voice and how.

Inclusion is a capability. When organizations invest in it, when leaders lean into it, teams and individuals experience a sense of belonging - without conforming. And suddenly ideas are spoken. Important questions asked. Collaboration thrives. Remote teams experience a newfound connection.

Inclusion is the tool leaders should be using to define the path forward. It's what business and humanity demand now. And my goal with this piece is to support you in amplifying Inclusion within your team.

Help Inclusion Thrive

Working with leadership teams on building "speak-up" cultures, amplifying voices, and mining the great unspoken ideas, I lean on five drivers of Inclusion. How can you leverage them to structure a conversation with your own team? 

  1. Commitment: Inclusion isn't defined by a scorecard. There must be true buy-in. What risks are you taking by not focusing on inclusion? What opportunities are you leaving on the table? Whose voices aren't being heard? Offer a point of view, and then invite leaders to expand upon it.
  2. Listening. Listening - actively and without judgment - is a critical piece of Inclusion. Are your leaders doing this? Are they listening for both what is and isn't being said? How will you support them?
  3. Recognition of obstacles: Every organization has its blocks and obstacles. There are reasons people don't speak up. Take a hard look at how things work in your organization. Ask - and listen - what holds people back from showing voice? 
  4. Action: Inclusion isn't about words, but observable leadership behaviors. What specific behaviors will you commit to your organization? What will leaders say, how will they follow up, what forums can your teams count on? (I've got a list of recommended ones - let me know if you'd like to see it).
  5. Accountability: Every leader at every level must hold everyone in the organization accountable to agreed-to behaviors. There can be no exceptions. No one can be irreplaceable.

No one can be irreplaceable.

Wherever you are in your journey, I hope Inclusion is on your agenda. If you'd like any support in building this capability, I'm here to listen or help - no strings attached.

Related: It's Time to Lean On Some Certainty