• The Centre for Inclusive Leadership

NEW YEAR’S REVELATION

Another New Year is upon us, and a New Year means new beginnings. At New Year we tend to be both reflective and well intentioned, determined to take things up and put things down. Committed to self-improvement, many of us make our New Year's resolutions and some of us may even keep them, although the odds are stacked against us, as it has been estimated that 88% of us don’t manage to keep up what we took up or keep down what we put down.


Broken resolutions aren’t confined to individuals of course. Organisations, even the most well-intended are not immune from the curse of unfulfilled resolutions, and no more so than around pledges made concerning their diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging efforts. As worthy (and needful) as all these New Year’s resolutions are, my hope for 2022 is that we will have a revelation this New Year and that revelation will in turn lead to a revolution and that revolution will cause an infused resilience and resolution that will bring about lasting change.


Read just about any article on what’s trending in the workplace for 2022 and you will see that three themes proliferate: employee engagement, the hybrid workplace, and the need to improve workplace inclusivity. These three themes are of course inexorably linked. That’s not revelatory. A revelation is a surprising and previously unknown fact that has been disclosed.


It is not something that is new, it is something that is new to you. It is the pulling back of the metaphorical curtain to reveal what you didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t have seen previously. If we are to make the progress that we all say we want to see around this agenda, then the revelation we really need is to understand HOW PEOPLE REALLY FEEL rather than just accepting what THEY FEEL THEY CAN SAY about these trending issues.


Jim Collins’s bestselling book Good to Great he wrote:


Yes, leadership is about vision. But leadership is equally about creating a climate where the truth is heard, and the brutal facts confronted. There’s a huge difference between the opportunity to “have your say” and the opportunity to be heard. The good-to-great leaders understood this distinction, creating a culture wherein people had a tremendous opportunity to be heard and, ultimately, for the truth to be heard.[1]


IF I WERE YOU, I WOULDN’T START FROM HERE…!


It is impossible to build a change plan (and that is after all what an inclusion journey is) without leaders confronting the realities of their organisations. As Collins rightly asserts, leadership does not begin with just a vision. It begins with getting people to confront the brutal facts and act on the implications.


There’s a well-known joke about a tourist who asked one of the locals for directions. The local replies: ‘Well sir, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here’. That is particularly good advice when planning a journey that requires peoples’ emotional buy-in. After all, if you want to get somewhere, then it’s better to start from a place where you have a good chance of reaching your goal. It is for this reason we have a boilerplate approach to helping clients navigate their inclusion maturity journeys: They need to understand, not only where do you want to go and why they want to go there, but crucially where are they starting from.


GIGO | GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT


There’s a self-evident maxim that says if you feed incorrect data into a computer, the output will be useless. However, Gallois’ Revelation, “If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow enobled, and no one dares to criticize it” all too often applies.


IF YOU CAN’T MEASURE IT, YOU CAN’T MANAGE IT


As management guru, Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying that “you can't manage what you can't measure.” Candidly this has been an Achilles heel because truth is that you can't know whether you are successful unless success is defined and tracked. However, whilst, to quote another Druckerism, "what's measured, improves," it does presuppose that we are measuring the right thing. It is one thing to know what to measure, it is another thing to be able to measure it.


Advances in Neuroscience over the last 30 years have shown that our emotions and feelings are deep seated, complex and nonconscious in origin. They are often hidden from us. Because of this traditional engagement surveys do not provide us with accurate measurement and insight into how people really feel, and the extent to which they are engaged, feel included and are brought in to your post-covid working plans, placing you at risk of designing the wrong action plans, and not addressing the actual causes.


Working with our key partner we can deploy Neurotech’s® implicit survey methodology which overcomes this problem by bypassing peoples’ consciously moderated responses and quantitatively measuring their unfiltered feelings, attitudes, and sentiments. We also measure the biased (i.e., explicit) responses, but we do so to provide you with the additional insight of seeing any dissonance between what people say and how they really feel.


This contrast enables us to be forensic in terms of the engagement and inclusion triggers and cues that identify the gaps which will need to be closed as a matter of priority. Neurotech® is the only people analytics platform on the market that can measure quantitatively without bias what people both think and feel.


If you want to get your journey off in the right direction and turn those pledges into plans, and make sure that it proves to be a Happy New Year for all your team not just some of them, then why not talk to one of our workplace inclusion practitioners… contact us or Book a discovery meeting.


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We are thrilled that V Wilkes, a friend of The Centre, was kind enough to take some time out of their busy schedule to answer some questions. Can we start at the beginning? What exactly does “non-bina