I attended an event a few weeks ago that was chock-full of inclusion. Not in that reflexive, annoying, politically correct way. In that ‘honoring everyone and celebrating what diversity offers’ way. In every detail, effort was made for this intention to be realized.
What did it serve to do? It made us more mindful. It encouraged us to unabashedly recognize, speak about, and celebrate differences. It connected us. It sparked creativity in ways to do and see things.
Wouldn’t you love to have more mindfulness and clarity, more innovation and connection in your organization?
Of course, putting this into action in an organization is considerably more complicated than in a 4-day event. Still, I was moved by the effort and by the dramatic effect. It highlighted what is possible.
Freeing ourselves up from trying to pretend difference isn’t there, or wishing it wasn’t, takes us away from the impact we could have.
Impact, as I define it, is where your amazing self (or organization) meets the world and helps to make it a better place for all of us. Anything that takes you away from your amazing self detracts from the impact you could have.
Prejudice. Unconscious bias. Unearthing them and finding a more inclusive way is also the work of impact.
In your organization, you can open the door to an inclusive culture, or open it wider through:
Awareness of how you see the world, and how you react (your lens)
Recognizing and facing your overt prejudices and unconscious biases, so you can avoid the small and subtle aggressions that prevent people from working well together
Being curious and willing to learn from diverse people, at home and globally, without feeling superior or inferior
Talking about difference, having respect for what makes each person unique
Being bold enough to tap into the diverse ideas around you
Rising to meet resistance and obstacles by remaining resilient and committed to your impact.
Moving fast in an entrepreneurial environment, or in any environment these days, doesn’t preclude doing these things. In fact, an inclusive culture supports rapid growth, both as a person, as a leader, and as a company. I invite you to welcome diversity in a more deliberate way.
None of us has impact alone. The more ease in the process and the more support we can garner, the better it is for everyone.