Your Learning Sandbox

Paving the way to fully inclusive diversity

Numerous studies have shown that representation of diverse groups adds value to organizations, not only enhancing their performance but also significantly improving psychological safety and engagement. However, real diversity remains a lure opposed by a stronghold of insiders reluctant to changes that might threaten their positions. We are also cautious of an emerging over-compensation trend that attempts to rectify unjust patterns of the past without truly getting to the heart of the matter. Ideally, the best ideas should come from anywhere. The best ideas should always win. How do you strike the balance?

Today, there is no doubt that increased representation of diverse groups brings value to an organization by fuelling critical thinking and improving overall performance.  As a matter of fact, research directly correlates performance with diversity. McKinsey & Co. reports that companies in the top 33 percent of the gender and racial diversity ranking outperform those in the bottom quartile. Racially and ethnically diverse companies are also 87 percent better at decision-making than homogenous companies and enjoy revenues that are 1.4 times higher. Regarding innovation, diverse management teams generate 19% higher revenues from innovation compared to their less diverse counterparts (BCG). Equally important is the impact on employees’ approach to work, with 26% more team collaboration and 18% more team commitment in diverse and inclusive organizations than in non-inclusive ones. Enhanced engagement, and diverse perspectives feeding into a richer collective build, are other bona fide outcomes of diversity and inclusion, along with improved company reputation.

It is noteworthy that diversity and inclusion constitute a crucial dimension of psychological safety, which directly influences team performance. This correlation was confirmed by ‘Project Aristotle’ (Google, 2015) as it explored over 250 team-level variables and found that successful Google teams have five elements in common: psychological safety, dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact of work, with psychological safety being the most critical factor and a prerequisite to enabling the other four.

Many corporations have therefore made it a priority to integrate previously underrepresented population groups both at the team and organizational levels. However, the latest trend of diversity and inclusion in corporate culture brings its own set of challenges. Firstly, it can be perceived as a mere catchphrase that sounds nice but is difficult to implement in practice. Secondly, while good intentions have led to some welcome reforms, reluctance and insufficient groundwork can spawn poor retention.

Additionally, while there is still much to do to reach defendable levels of equity, we are cautious of an over-compensation trend emerging in an attempt to correct unjust patterns of the past without genuinely getting to the heart of the matter. This, too, can have harmful effects if people who are perceived as advantaged are marginalized and excluded or if positions are given to individuals who may not be suitable for the role. Ideally, the best ideas should come from anywhere. The best ideas should always win. How do you strike a balance?

Integration and inclusion cannot be effective without addressing individual biases and collective cultures. K2C2 adopts a systemic approach as we partner with YOU to build an ‘infrastructure’ that supports a culture of belonging by harnessing diversity and valuing effectiveness. We intervene at various touchpoints where organizational structure and behavior directly impact diversity and inclusion.

Collectively and individually, you will take a deep dive ‘Outside the Box!’ of those conscious and unconscious biases that keep us from appreciating others for their intrinsic value, and genuinely interact with them ‘Inside the Connection!’ to work in collaborative, productive, inclusive, and safe environments where everyone participates equally.  In humantasiK environments!