Black lives matter. Diversity matters. Leadership matters.
In light of recent global events, our leadership associate tutor, David Smith-Collins shares with us his views towards diversity in leadership, how our programmes are designed to really shine a light on the importance of diversity with specific reference to leadership and management and what you can do to improve diversity within your organisation.
Read what he has to say below…
The increase in Anti-Racism protests following the avoidable death of George Floyd in the US, once again brings into focus the need for us all to take our responsibilities seriously and calls to each and every one of us to ensure improvements in diversity leadership at every level in our Government, Government institutions, communities, businesses and organisations.
Posting on social media is simply not enough. Free and peaceful demonstrations are an important expression of dissatisfaction, but we need to be able to translate all of this passion and anger into positive and constructive actions.
Diversity should not be a topic that emerges when tragedy occurs and then wanes with importance, depending upon the next news focus or point of interest.
Lives should not be lost to prove a point.
This is, always has been and always will be, a strategic ethically driven priority for us.
I have worked with In Professional Development for over 18 months now and it’s clear to me that diversity is a golden thread through the way we operate as a company. The importance of diversity is embedded in all of our training and development programmes, in particular our Leadership development programmes.
People are at the heart of everything we strive to achieve. Our programmes approach diversity with the aim of educating leaders, improving management and operations within organisation and for the development and management of thriving, confident, safe, and risk-free plural communities.
Our leadership development programmes have a primary focus upon customers, service receivers, stakeholders and employees.We champion and develop champions for the advancement of fair and equitable workplace practice.
Our approach for coaching and leading diverse workforce’s goes far beyond the colour of a person’s skin and is predicated upon building trust and confidence in all people; empowerment with accountability and active and meaningful engagement through inclusive consultation and engagement.
So, what are the strategic priorities?
First, we all need to understand our own values, beliefs, prejudice and potential for conscious and unconscious bias, and then we need to deal with these. Sometimes we can be blind to these hence the need to sometimes ask for help and support from say a community group, a specialist consultancy, or a maybe a cross culture coach or mentor. We may need to audit and understand our own personal and social networks and extend these. A start may be to review one’s own perspective and privilege. We can help with this in our safe learning environment.
Second, can we be sure, through accurate monitoring processes, that our internal and external service delivery is fair, equitable and accessible to all? Are we complying with all employment codes of practice in terms of opportunities for selection, development and promotion? We need to watch for dis-proportionality.
Are we assured that our external products and services are without bias? Our personal and organisational reputation may depend upon it. This is not just a PR or marketing issue. The community will assess the worth of our organisation in the way we treat our staff!
When things go wrong, can we allow ourselves and our organisations a degree of vulnerability? To listen, hear and understand grievances and the perspectives of others, without becoming defensive and resistant to change.
As the leader you:
- Need to use appropriate language with the ability to listen and hear.
- Must be ethical, consistent, and authentically able to walk the talk.
- Must be genuinely motivated to passionately drive forward with clear values and goals whilst motivating others to engage, contribute, align and authentically participate in their movement.
- Need to be humble, just, and emotionally intelligent, with a high level of empathy.
- Should demonstrate personal and professional resilience and be able and willing to challenge, when the need arises, to take a stand, even when this may appear to be politically career threatening.
Are Leaders born to do all of this?
Maybe. But it is more likely that we are who we are because of our upbringing, early years environment and education and life learning. Unfortunately, we can’t help with the first two, but we are definitely here to support you with education and life learning..
It’s time to Learn. It’s time to Lead!
If you would like to chat with one of our team about the points highlighted in this blog then please contact [email protected].
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