This post was written by guest writer, Brian Lanier, CEO of The Leaders Circle. He hosted a webinar on diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging for our community on September 23, 2023. If you missed it, you can view the complete webinar here.
In today’s fast-paced world, where change is the only constant, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) aren’t just buzzwords—they’re the foundation of thriving organizations. At The Leaders Circle, we believe that DEIB shouldn’t be seen as an intricate language to master but as an innate part of your organization’s DNA—a blueprint for success.
Join us on a journey where we decode DEIB, explore its transformative power, and provide actionable steps for your organization to embrace a more inclusive and successful future.
How to get started with DEIB
To integrate DEIB into your organizational culture, we recommend identifying a Champion or two on your team. These Champions are central in cultivating a culture of inclusion, active listening, a sense of belonging, and consistent recognition that fosters full participation. They are the driving force behind embedding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) into your organization’s core, ensuring its sustained growth and success.
You may also seek out an external guide or expert to help you on your journey. Most importantly: start a conversation about DEIB in your organization. What is happening? What do you want to see happen? And what actions do you need to take to get to where you want to go? Make a plan. Document your plan. Get started.
A few definitions
When we talk about Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, here’s what we mean: Diversity celebrates unique perspectives. Equity ensures fair opportunities for all. Inclusion actively engages everyone. Belonging fosters unity and shared purpose.
Here are four integral ways you can incorporate DEIB into your organizational culture:
1. Igniting Action Through Your Mission
A compelling mission statement is the heart of your organization, the guiding force that inspires action and unwavering commitment from stakeholders. In essence, it’s your organization’s “why.”
Practical application of Igniting Action Through Your Mission:
- How engaged are you with your mission statement?
- Are your actions consistent with your mission statement?
- How does your mission account for diverse perspectives, fair opportunities for all, actively engage everyone, and foster unity?
2. Fostering Relationships and Belonging
Businesses thrive when they nurture both internal and external relationships. These bonds enable your organization to create, collaborate, and thrive in today’s interconnected world. Fostering an authentic sense of belonging ensures people not only participate but also feel valued and connected, promoting a deeper sense of shared purpose.
Practical application of Fostering Relationships and Belonging:
- How effectively are you at nurturing internal and external relationships?
- Are you leveraging relationships to connect, collaborate, and thrive in today’s interconnected world?
- How effective are you at repairing damaged relationships?
3. Elevating Performance Through DEIB
Your organization’s performance isn’t just about achieving financial targets; it’s also about how effectively your team executes your mission through a lens of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). It’s important to capture your team’s honest assessment of their performance in these terms.
Practical application of Elevating Performance Through DEIB:
- Is your team executing the mission and your DEIB initiatives effectively?
- Are they achieving results cost-effectively?
- Are they doing so while considering DEIB principles?
4. Reputation is key
Reputation is the amalgamation of the first three components (Mission, Relationships, and Performance). It’s the collective goodwill that empowers your organization, fosters trust, and opens doors to opportunities.
It is built on:
- Team engagement: are people authentically embracing the mission and operating with integrity?
- Execution: no action, no results. Are you consistently working your plan?
- Management effectiveness: the ratio of management expenses to dollars directed towards fulfilling the mission.
- Communication: how effective are you consistently sharing victories, setbacks, and learnings?
- Recognition: are people being acknowledged? Are relationships being nurtured?
At The Leaders Circle, we assert that diversity isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. Organizations that wholeheartedly embrace DEIB discover that their mission becomes more profound, their relationships grow stronger, their performance reaches new heights, and their reputation becomes a beacon of trust.
So, it’s not a question of whether DEIB is in your organization’s DNA; it’s about how you’ll harness its transformative power. The journey towards true DEIB starts with a commitment to change and a willingness to embrace diverse perspectives. The question is, is your organization ready to take the first steps and rewrite its genetic code for a more inclusive and successful future?