Deliberate Diversity™ is a management discipline with a purpose, a process and a payoff. It is where diversity and management skills intersect and is designed to produce better business results. For companies looking to take the next logical step in their diversity Journey, this management discipline allows for continued growth and ensures that organizations get the best out of their people.
In Part 1 of this series, we covered the first three steps to Deliberate Diversity™, which focus on identifying a clear purpose for implementing diversity management, selecting the appropriate parties to participate, and strategically positioning a Deliberate Diversity™ project, and positioning . In the next four steps we will learn how Deliberate Diversity™ can be activated through a few simple processes and practical skills:
In addition to the team leaders alluded to above, the teams that get assembled for a Deliberate Diversity™ project need to have skilled facilitators on hand throughout the process. Facilitators are not content experts or project leaders. They are process experts. It is their role to make sure, for instance, that every voice at the table is given equal value and that all points of view get heard. Their job is to make sure everyone is engaged, while at the same time, ensuring the work of the group moves forward and does not get mired too long in the expected conflict and confusion.
Now it’s time to learn how to leverage your employee’s differences to generate organizational growth and positive business results.
At the end of the planning process, it becomes the facilitators job to gather together all of the different points of view into a “pool of knowledge.” The facilitator then uses a systematic process to distill that data into something that everyone can agree on. Reaching consensus in this way means that everyone in the group agrees to support the outcome. It’s the facilitator’s job to ensure that everyone feels as though they had a direct influence on the project and will walk away excited about what the group produced collectively.
After a consensus has been reached about what should be done, its time for the group to go out and put that plan into action. It only makes sense for those that have been involved in the planning stages to be part of the implementation process because they bring the necessary enthusiasm to achieve results. When a person feels connected to an idea because they had a hand in coming up with it, then it is more likely that they will put in that extra bit of energy to make sure its carried out. Meanwhile, the manager or team leader associated with the project has to be at the service of the people putting the plan into action. Its their job to provide encouragement, support and the necessary tools to get the job done.
Throughout the process, its important to measure its efficacy. The purpose of this is to move Deliberate Diversity™ toward becoming a discipline in your company. Measuring and comparing its efficacy allows us to say “We did it without Deliberate Diversity™ last quarter and we got 2.5% increase. We used the Deliberate Diversity™ Discipline and we got 10%.” It is important to document the results and talk about the results. We want to encourage other people to use the Discipline.