The time is now. Like so many leaders, you are thinking about meaningful inclusion and belonging initiatives for your organization. Your colleagues are eager to talk but don’t know where to start. And your commitment to diversity is strong and real.
There are many approaches to developing an actively anti-racist company. But to do it well – no matter what avenue you choose – you must avoid this one mistake.
We focus on what individuals do for their teams, but rarely on what teams do for them.
Are we wrong?
Let’s be honest: virtual connection just isn’t the same as human-to-human contact. But it can be a valuable tool for developing and sustaining workplace culture.
Virtual connection is an integral part of our organizational culture. We have learned that our mindsets and behaviors are more important than the software we leverage or the habits we practice.
Exploration of the edges – of ideas, of perspectives, of backgrounds – is something we examine frequently at Books@Work.
The results we see again and again in Books@Work sessions reinforce the idea that the collision of diverse perspectives are key to creativity and innovation – and the effects spill over into the workplace.
When we think of values, we often think of big nouns like trust, integrity, and moral responsibility. Values are words and standards to live by.
But one quick look at the stated values in today’s companies indicates an interesting trend – namely, that there are no nouns without verbs, and that values are nothing without actions to back them up.
In deeply divided times, and with so many forces competing for our attention, a good conversation is rare. We can go days and months with only the most perfunctory interactions, often aided by social channels and digital devices.
Good conversations build trust, invite learning and break down barriers. But a good conversation takes work and practice – and, in today’s environment , a new set of skills.
Literature is a powerful storytelling technology that unites us across space and time. It invites us to reflect on our lives and our work and, in discussion with others, to share our voices. Literature makes us think.
To unleash the full power of literature, we need to bring it to new people in new places in new ways.
Navigating today’s workplace takes the courage and conviction to call out behaviors that limit inclusion and the full realization of human possibility. But work can be the hardest place to take a stand. We are least comfortable “taking on” colleagues, let alone superiors, when we are keen to prove ourselves as “team players.”
How do we create the conditions to enable the courageous conversations we need for our organizations to benefit fully from the plurality of human perspective and experience? The courage to champion true belonging and inclusion – and to have the hard conversations – takes time and practice, and a commitment to a culture of openness and respect.
Helen Keller once said: “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
These words didn’t resonate with me until I participated in a discussion on Dafina Lazarus Stewart’s book, Multicultural Student Services on Campus: Building Bridges, Re-visioning Community, at the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion at John Carroll University.
Read more about Shanice’s insights into social learning and the power it brings to the workplace.