Strategic Action Principles
Lead Diversity adheres to eight core strategic action principles.
1. Ignite top management commitment
The three keys to a successful diversity strategy are: top management commitment, top management commitment, and top management commitment. Strategic success is ultimately driven by middle managers and supervisors who are astute at discerning real priorities and sincere commitment. When they sense that top management is not committed to the diversity initiative, they duck, waiting for the initiative to subside. When top managers are knowledgeable about diversity, honestly embrace and prioritize a diversity strategy, understand their role in implementing it, set and keep clear accountabilities, and communicate these articulately and with genuine passion, those in the middle will follow, and many will lead.
2. Secure competitive advantage
If top management commitment is the ultimate driver, then securing competitive advantage is the ultimate goal of diversity. The distinctive value of diversity is that it differentiates the organization from its talent and product/service competitors. Imitative diversity strategies and copycat best practices do not differentiate. Strategies and practices that are built on an organization's competencies and unique characteristics and serve the needs and requirements of defined markets do.
3. Build on a foundation of robust values and beliefs
Values and beliefs connect daily behavior to long-term strategy. They are the sinew of organizational action. Diversity strategies should adhere to the organization's values and beliefs. Values and beliefs should, at minimum, advance a workplace that respects and values differences; is free from harassment, intolerance, discrimination, and indifference; and operates on the basis of merit.
4. Synchronize with strategic imperatives
Diversity should reinforce and integrate with business and strategic imperatives, the fundamental objectives of the organization. A successful diversity strategy requires seasoned expertise in business strategy.
5. Incorporate change management
Diversity is a process of institutional and individual change which should be carefully managed to overcome resistance and foster support, commitment, and action. The knowledgeable application of change management principles and processes is fundamental to diversity success.
6. Respect knowledge
A strong body of knowledge about diversity strategy currently exists. An effective strategy, while shaped to the organization, is based on comprehension and application of this body of knowledge; it is evidence-based. Effective utilization of knowledge evolves from a grasp of the methods and standards of research.
7. Bring the best
We want our clients to have world class resources to address their diversity challenges and initiatives. That isn't always Lead Diversity. It might be a CEO or a CDO who oversaw a highly successful diversity initiative, an expert on a particular aspect of diversity, or even another consulting firm. We assist our clients to establish requirements and identify, select, and guide the right resource for the job. When we genuinely believe we have the best solution, we unabashedly recommend ourselves.
8. Model inclusion
The process by which strategy is developed should model inclusion. Inclusion happens when employee voices are solicited and well heard and their unique organizational journeys are understood and honored. Lead Diversity models inclusion by operating with a collaborative mindset. We believe we know a considerable amount about diversity, but our clients are unique; they know their organizations and how to shape initiatives to fit their unique cultures far better than we do. We believe in empowering our clients with the know-how to carry on their diversity initiatives and assist them from the get go to wean themselves of us. We believe that we cannot give lip service to inclusion, but must reflect an inclusive mindset and methodology in everything we do. An inclusive strategic process is the keystone of a successful diversity initiative.