Embedding Diversity & Inclusion Principles into a Global Organization
Please note that we have a strict confidentiality policy regarding our clients and projects. We keep both the personal and organizational identity of our clients private. For that reason, the information provided below is a general description of a specific project. We will disclose details to interested parties only on a case by case basis and only with explicit permission.
1. The Challenge
The Global Diversity & Inclusion Director at a leading manufacturer of construction equipment, commercial trucks, buses, and drive systems headquartered in Europe asked us to partner with them to:
- Broaden the organizational understanding of diversity beyond their traditional focus on the representation, development and promotion of women.
- Develop a culture of inclusive leadership that leverages diversity for competitive market advantage, innovation, and global organization alignment.
- Establish a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) learning and development platform for the company that enables successful globalization while remaining locally relevant.
- Support the development of a system to measure and track D&I related progress that helps in planning at team and business unit levels.
- Enable the culture of inclusive leadership to become self-sustaining.
2. Our Solution
We provided core content and support throughout various project phases. Culture Design: We began with a Design Session where we:
(a) employed ethnographic tools to assess the formal and informal current state of the D&I in the organization(b) created a vision for success(c) mapped key organizational enablers an disablers to success,
(d) developed a specific moving forward plan with formal and informal markers of success. Together with the D&I Director, we engaged the executive management team and obtained their support and commitment to the plan.
3. Capability Building
Based on the Culture Design, we developed and launched an organization-specific internal practitioner certification. The internal practitioner is a champion of Inclusive Leadership and associated cultural change. Practitioners facilitate awareness-building sessions globally, while also acting as role models and peer coaches for Inclusive Leadership in their day-to-day activities.
The Practitioner Community grew from an initial group of ten individuals (senior to mid-level managers) to become a group of more than 120 practitioners based in several European countries, China, Korea, Japan, India, Brazil, South Africa, the USA, and Mexico. The diversity of the organization is now represented in the Practitioner Community itself, including members from the highest organizational levels of leadership to managers, first-line supervisors and administrative support professionals. The Community continues to grow and develop today, delivering global results and transformations across the organization.
To measure organizational impact and progress, we co-designed a system to measure, track and implement development planning at the Business Unit (BU) level. This system operationalizes the core understanding of “diversity” and “inclusiveness” as distinct areas of action. Each BU is assessed according to globally consistent indicators and then mapped to show relative progress. The relative position of the BU points to specific priorities required to progress in their journey towards a culture of inclusive leadership. The global tracking and assessment system continues to evolve, responding to the changing needs of the organization and incorporating lessons learned.
5. Results Achieved:
- A broad perspective on D&I with credibility and commitment has been successfully spread throughout the organization worldwide.
- Across geographies, business units and organizational levels, diversity is consistently measured and leveraged by leadership to ensure competitive market advantage, innovation and global alignment.
- The adoption of a shared D&I learning and development platform, engaging internal practitioners and employees at various levels of the organization, has enabled the organization to successfully grow globally while remaining locally relevant.
- The organization has internalized a fundamental D&I capability and a meaningful and differentiated process for tracking and prioritization at the Business Unit level.
- Employees function as a critical network of change catalysts, maintaining focus on both formal and informal D&I enablers/disablers and ensuring a self-sustaining culture of inclusive leadership.