IORMA Webinar: Fit for the Future: Inclusion – a radical approach for sustainable business results
Thursday 28 May 2020
We are very fortunate to have to lead our discussion, the co-authors of a recently published book, INdivisible: Radically rethinking inclusion for sustainable business results, which has been hailed by the Financial Times as “a smart read”. The book describes inclusion to be about achieving sustainable positive results by creating environments in which every person matters and the value of every person is inextricably linked to the success of the whole organisation. The FT says the authors ‘make the case’ why the Covid-19 crisis should not derail inclusion.
View the video of the webinar here
Alison Maitland is a former journalist at the Financial Times and Reuters. She is co-author of INdivisible, and has co-authored other business books including Future Work (2014) and Why Women Mean Business (2009). Alison is an international speaker and coach. She chairs the Cass Global Women’s Leadership Programme Executive Board and is Vice Chair of International Women’s Forum UK.
Rebekah Steele is a business strategist, innovator and speaker with deep expertise in Diversity and Inclusion. Building on two decades in the corporate world, including as a senior leader in Fortune 500 companies, Rebekah’s consultancy helps leaders bring progressive strategies to life via her signature D&I innovation labs and ecosystem design process. She speaks widely on next generation D&I and is a Senior Fellow with The Conference Board.
David Learmond is an experienced international non-executive Director, HR consultant, writer, broadcaster and executive coach. David spent 30 years with Unilever working in China, Australia, The Netherlands and the UK before becoming a Principal Industrial Fellow with the Institute for Manufacturing, ECS Ltd, University of Cambridge.
Susan Anderson OBE will act as Moderator. Susan was a Low Pay Commissioner and a Council Member of ACAS for 7 years. Previously she was a Director of Public Services and Skills and Director of HR Policy at the CBI.
Without inclusion, diversity remains unfulfilled potential, as we see in the continued exclusion of a broad range of talent from senior roles or in the evidence that more than 60% of people at work hide or play down part of who they are to try to fit in with the mainstream, often leaving them isolated and debilitated.
The authors found that companies often define inclusion very narrowly, or confuse it with diversity, or have difficulty connecting it with business outcomes.
In the book, they challenge that view, and take an expansive and ambitious approach, arguing for example that inclusion extends beyond the internal workforce to how organisations engage with their customers, investors, on-demand workers, suppliers and other stakeholders. They show, too, that inclusion in organisations is impacted by external economic, social, environmental, regulatory and market trends. Strong interpersonal skills are needed to address global challenges collectively, manage an increasingly fluid workforce, and differentiate our uniquely human capabilities from the smart machines alongside which we work.
They ask what structures do organisation have to ensure that no one is left out during this crisis? Does everyone have the same technological support to participate in virtual meetings? Is there a process to rotate meetings around time zones so that no colleagues routinely have to join outside their normal working hours? What needs to be put in place to ensure that everyone is included in the future?
Being inclusive is not easy. It requires intention and effort. Now is a perfect time to enhance these skills, whether your teams are dispersed, co-located or a likely combination in the future. Is everyone invited at your virtual meetings to contribute in turn? Are you giving space to colleagues coping with multiple family demands, grief, or anxiety? Have you thoughtfully avoided telling jokes and anecdotes that are specific to one culture only? Have you adapted your style of support to the fact that some people enjoy quiet virtual working while others feel isolated and out of touch?
Join us for a thought-provoking discussion.