“Toto, I have a feeling we're not in disk drives anymore.” – Frank Rose
The image and quote above comes from a 2016 article entitled Disruption … Disrupted by Frank Rose regarding Clayton Christensen’s work on Disruptive Technologies. I often reflect on Clayton’s work and this article when I become complacent in my Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) thinking. These works are also two of my inspirations for The Winters Group’s Leading Inclusively: Leading with the Hands Master Class Part III.
Today, current national and international events that point to escalating tensions and polarization may lead one to feel as if it is becoming too risky to bring up matters of diversity. We are living in an age when many people have a video camera or unfiltered online platform from which to reach a vast audience. A badly articulated point or unintentional slight may blow up into a full-fledged scandal if someone takes offense.
The desire to keep our heads down and avoid controversy is understandable. Most of us dislike conflict and change. For many, the transitory period from a monocultural society with established norms and hierarchies to an intercultural society that has to expand to embrace a multitude of beliefs and experiences may be a particularly uncomfortable experience.
However, avoidance of critical realities of the 21st-century marketplace is impractical if not impossible. Cultural shifts are already underway. There is no way to stop the demographic, generational and technological changes that are currently impacting the way we live and do business.
As Charles Darwin noted more than 150 years ago, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” From agricultural to industrial to technological eras, each evolution of our core business models has brought significant opportunities to prove that theory.
Each shift in the evolution of business practices has made it necessary to adjust the kind of work done and the skills and knowledge used to handle these new demands. Fortunately, in an age where there are reportedly more jobs than qualified workers to fill them, evolving social mores has availed us with an ever-expanding workforce to help meet these challenges.
The industries and entities that flourish will be those that can recognize and adapt to current market demands and shape strategies to anticipate and embrace the demands of the future.
Gaining the understanding and skills required to model the attributes of cultural awareness, engagement, empowerment, and achievement to relate to a new, more diverse world is the only way to thrive in the 21st-century marketplace.
For this reason, rather than shying away from addressing differences, it is more effective to embrace them. The concept of Disruptive Inclusion - the conscious and deliberate effort to inject and foster gender, ethnic, racial, cultural, and other difference into a teamwork environment for business results – represents a natural evolution of 20th-century diversity initiatives designed to address 21st-century D&I goals.
Where to start?
The Master Class Series: Leading with the Heart, Head and Hands was designed to provide a multi-tiered approach to reaching this goal. During The Masterclass Part I: Leading with the Heart, Susan McCuistion demonstrated the important role conscious understanding and empathy play when contemplating how to address matters of D&I. She calls it Compassionate Diversity. In The Masterclass Part II: Leading with the Head, Travis Jones offered practical and actionable techniques for acting on these good intentions. He calls it a New Transformational Leadership.
The third course in this series is designed to provide actionable, pragmatic techniques to help you Lead Inclusively. When you attend The Master Class Part III - Leading with the Hands, a free workshop being held Wednesday, August 22, 2018, from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDT, you will gain access to targeted, measurable and practical tools and techniques to increase your:
Awareness of the impact you have on others via the Own Your Brand (OYB) Exercise
Engagement with people from diverse backgrounds via The Adapted 4E Model (pictured above) for authentic human interactions.
Empowerment from conscious awareness of your ability to relate to people from differing backgrounds, inherent preferences when dealing with others, and personal sphere of influencers via Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI®), LIFO ® (Life Orientations), and The Network Influence model
Achievement of business-aligned goals via the Business-Aligned Diversity Planning Model
In preparation for The Master Class Part III - Leading with the Hands workshop, be sure to complete the Leading Inclusively assessment, designed to help you objectively determine your current cultural competency in four attributes essential for high performing teams and organizations: Awareness, Engagement, Empowerment, and Achievement.
@KevinACarter #LeadingInclusively @TheWinterGroup