The Dave Daniels Consulting (DDC) Approach to Diversity and Inclusion implementation has been focused on broadening the Chief Executive Officer’s foundation and depth in this critical strategic area. While any CEO can benefit from this series of articles, my clear intent is to focus on small to mid-sized businesses and non-profits. Why?
Having been privileged to work with many CEO’s and their leadership teams, I have found the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) members eager to support D & I in their organizations. They want to do the Right Thing. Having walked in their shoes in my career path, building trust with the ELT is paramount for success. By establishing this relationship, I can draw out honest and candid input on the current state of D & I in their organization. Most articulate a common theme: their knowledge and experience are minimal when it comes to D & I training, exposure, and experience on this topic. Often, there is a strong desire to include D & I strategy in their annual plan. Costs and lack of confidence in proceeding forward are often cited as the main barriers to implementation.
Often, there is a strong desire to include D & I strategy in the annual plan but costs and lack of confidence in proceeding forward are often cited as the main barrier to getting it done.
My intention with this series of articles is to provide a viable path forward that overcomes the two major obstacles noted above. Hopefully, the content of the series provides the ELT members with specific ideas on how to go about selecting the company’s D & I leader by providing a blue print on how to strategically approach D & I in the organization. Every organization is different requiring the DDC template to be tailored to each company. But, the approach should always start with the CEO and her ELT. No exceptions.
Understanding that Business Continuity is paramount for every CEO, accentuated by the pandemic of 2020, the DDC Approach offers a strategic and results based avenue for D & I to thrive in smaller businesses who often lack expertise and resources to optimize their efforts. It starts by achieving ELT alignment on a strategic approach that integrates D & I into every aspect of the business, including every Business Unit (BU). Most companies take a very tactical approach centered around training the employees on various D & I related topics. While many efforts are well done and well-intended, it is the wrong place to start. Development should initially focus on the ELT utilizing the Individual Development Inventory (IDI).
Once completed, the organization should focus on several other key components of the strategy establishing and/or revisiting their Succession Planning (SP) process. When done through a D & I lens, the ELT can identify gaps while establishing a diverse group of high potentials of future leaders. This step lays a very strong foundation for establishing a robust Diversity Council (DC) that will play several key functions that support and expand on the ELT’s strategic plans. Additionally, this group should serve as a key sounding board for the CEO while laying a foundation for possible Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s) and “Listening” sessions in each business unit.
Finally, establishing effective measurement, endorsed, and supported by the ELT, will provide the focus and accountability required of any strategy. A key outcome of the ELT alignment phase is ensuring that outcomes are clearly defined while not forgetting to identify key impact measurement. There are some significant dynamics around measurement, so I suggest keeping my article on measurement close by, as I dig into these challenges.
The largest barrier to implementing D & I in smaller to mid-sized organizations often are resources. Cost is real, especially in today’s Covid-19 world. The irony is that these businesses often have a much easier road to D & I success than larger companies. The DDC Approach provides real solutions to this very real concern.
For more information on my philosophy, approach, and costs, feel free to reach out to my cell: 1.972.269.3400 or email [email protected]. I look forward to guiding you and your team down this very beneficial journey.