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Inclusive Leadership – Part 1 of 4

The topic of inclusion is intensifying globally. More and more organizations are striving to create inclusive cultures that will dramatically improve productivity. So what does inclusive leadership mean? An inclusive leader is someone who seeks out others perspectives to ensure that insights are innovative and decisions made are robust. Organizations that proactively create and foster inclusive leadership into their workplace will produce high performing teams.

Establishing the Business Case for Inclusive Leadership

Today’s U.S. and Global markets have become increasingly diverse and businesses are adapting to remain competitive, reach new markets and hold on to top talent.

When companies create a culture of inclusion, they should consider the importance of that strategy aligning to the business agenda. Too often, organizations fail in their attempts to implement equal opportunity and promote fairness because those efforts aren’t directly connected to the business or to each person’s job responsibility.

Case studies and research shows five ways a well managed multicultural and diverse workforce contributes to the long-term business success.

1)     Diversity enhances the quality of problem solving and innovation

2)    Workplace diversity enhances productivity

3)    Customers are demanding more diverse workplaces

4)    Workforces are multigenerational

5)    Cultural diversity saves costs

Social biases must be acknowledged and resolved in order to successfully establish and execute a truly inclusive environment.  In order for people to feel included, valued and appreciated, they must first know that their views and thoughts are accepted. When organizations recognize and include diverse views, individuals and teams work together more effectively using their differences as an asset. New interpersonal behaviors and leadership skills will be established and must become part of the norm.

Inclusive leadership is not a moral or social obligation; however, it is a strong business case for enhanced organizational performance.

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