In my last blog I talked about how teams can use their inclusivity attributes and strengths to promote best practice. Building an inclusive organisation commences with committed senior leadership being open to exploring the concepts, seeing the commercial and performance benefits and actively cultivating the approach.
To remind us what is inclusivity, I chose the definition from the Collins English Dictionary, which stated that inclusivity was ‘the fact or policy of not excluding members or participants on the grounds of gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc’.
To take culture as one element of inclusivity, Australia has a diverse population with more than 50 countries of origin represented, and that’s not including the cultural and linguistic diversity within those 50 countries of origin. Also, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 25% of our population is born outside of Australia. A small snapshot of a country, which prides itself on harmony and a fair go.
Organisations that take a full policy on inclusivity need to factor it into their corporate values. Some of my more senior leadership clients pride themselves on knowing:
- What is our inclusivity advantage?
- How can we take advantage of the inclusivity in our organisation?
- How can we build an organisational culture of inclusivity?
- What are our organisational values and ethics?
- How can we celebrate diversity and build organisational awareness?
Good examples from organisations I have worked with had a policy and procedure around inclusivity and it was part of their published values. One organisation ran regular sessions that raised knowledge around concepts like cultural diversity, especially in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocol and collaboration techniques, bringing out the best across generation X, Y, Baby Boomers and the Millennials.
Others participated in events like Harmony Day and provided space for prayer rooms in buildings, acknowledged more than the Christian-based festive holidays. This took a focused effort and a commitment by the very senior levels to acknowledge the strength and the competitive advantage that creating and valuing difference brought.
What are you doing in your organisation?
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