Every organization wants to be sustainable. For-profit organizations work to satisfy owners, shareholders and stakeholders by increasing profit. Not for profit organizations need to ensure they have the funds and donations necessary to move forward with their mission. Small businesses may want to attract new customers so that they can grow or maintain their profit margins.
Despite the type of business you’re in, the truth is, business issues are not unique. Every company with employees has trouble with recruiting and retention at some time. They struggle to identify a talent pipeline and who is qualified for leadership positions within the organization. They want to build new and innovative solutions and attract a consumer base.
Too often, organizations look at all of these issues in a silo.
I have found that there is one thread that underlies all of these issues… and that thread is diversity and inclusion.
I've been accused of finding diversity in everything. Give me a business problem, and I can point to where diversity and inclusion (D&I) is connected to that problem. I can also tell you how D&I is probably contributing to, if not the main reason for, that problem. For instance:
From financials, to employee engagement, to product innovation - diversity and inclusion ties it all together.
We know that visible diversity on a team makes us smarter.
The list of the links between D&I and business issues is endless. And yet, it's always curious to me that business leaders don't often consider D&I to be a part of the overall problem.
I think it's because we want to believe that we are better at relating to other human beings than we actually are.
Instead, we're really good at assuming everybody else is just like us... only to find out while working on a difficult project, in the heat of a conflict - or sometimes just while having a simple discussion - that they aren't.
Until we're able to admit we're just not as good at connecting with people as we think we are, we can't even begin to think about D&I as the root of our business issues.
If you want to resolve those issues, however, I guarantee that D&I is the place to start.
If you’re interested in learning about the Top 5 Diversity Myths, as well as steps to overcome them, download our free e-book here.
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