Setting a strategy for a specific time stretches us; it focuses our performance and our commitment to deliver what is promised within a strategic framework.
Strategy and endeavour in a particular area, however, are likely to be a continuum in development, growth and ongoing transformation.
Diversity and inclusion strategy, in particular, is never a one-off.
There is the necessity to adopt an iterative process approach; this means building, refining and improving on prior projects, programs and initiatives.
When we honestly review our achievements against prior time-frame linked strategic goals, we become realistic about our inclusions within the next strategic period.
The best strategy formulation always involves the right level of stakeholder consultation. This helps establish not only perspectives on progress and gaps, but also takes a new angle on what is important to them, given what has transpired in the interim.
Many things are likely to remain constant—levels of respect, increasingly valuing opinions, providing equal opportunities, collaborating and ensuring the culture and climate of the organisation is strongly aligned with diversity and inclusion in the workplace principles.
Beyond consultation, the strategic formulation also requires us to look at competitor performance in this area and well-researched models with robust validity.
For example, the Diversity Council Australia (DCA), has an inclusive leadership model that incorporates a hierarchy of five mindsets to shine as inclusive leaders.
Looking at one’s own models and ideas in relation to others often illuminate aspects of one’s organisational knowledge, skills, competencies and behaviours, that may need to be addressed as a priority.
Taking the time to understand why other benchmark organisations, such as the Australian Government Human Services Department, have adopted various models will ensure that our strategies are comprehensive and aligned with front runners.
The strategic formulation can pose questions on dealing with the items included in the DCA mindsets model covering where a leader needs to be identity-aware, relational, open, flexible, and growth-focused.
When we review diversity and inclusion eLearning as a strategic component, by looking externally for what other organisations do well, we can also ensure that our key plans are well-matched to our evolution.
Strategy is adaptive and inherently geared towards a winning aspiration.
Leaders and learning service providers are stewards of diversity and inclusion; a thought-out diversity and inclusion strategy, using the best advice available, will demonstrate an organisation’s commitment to the upliftment of its people.
Diversity and inclusion strategies must have very detailed plans in key focus areas; measurable targets are essential to track progress.
If we are focused on the recruitment of more diverse talent, we need to delve into the why, what, how and when. This builds action towards strategic implementation on a rigorous project timeline with accountability and responsibility together with focus area specialists and champions.
Achieving continuous improvement in diversity and inclusion in the workplace demands that we say, in our detailed strategic plan timeframe, what we will do with clarity. This clarity lights the path forward allowing all employees to contribute and be part of the journey.