Let’s start the discussion with a question. It is a fact that no company or organization will ever achieve greatness until all barriers for everyone to participate and contribute are broken down. So why is it so hard to get it right, and why are organizations hesitant to tackle the issue? I submit that the reason is that they don’t know where to start, and they fear what they may find.
We all know this, and the recent events have highlighted this even more. Google the term or just search the ASAE website and you will find plenty of materials about the subject and even more experts who can help you along the journey. With all the attention directed at this issue, most are still taking little action and those that are trying to tackle it are making little to no progress. There are a few organizations that are making real progress, and, without exception, they have two things in common.
First, they spend the time educating themselves on the issue and its indicators. Often this means looking to someone outside or bringing an expert on staff who can assist with real understanding and guidance. What is the difference between diversity and inclusion and how does equality play into the mix? Can your organization be good at one and not at the others? They understand that our national workforce has changed and that in order to foster a creative workplace and to stay competitive that they need to have a workplace where every voice is not only welcome but that it is heard and respected. They understand that simply paying lip service to the change in the workforce is not good enough, and in fact if that is all that is done, it has a negative impact on the organization. When management initiates D&I measures simply to protect themselves, the team members immediately recognize the motive and the entire process becomes uncomfortable, and will likely make matters worse.
"Math has no opinion. Just Count."
-Mellody Hobson, President and co-CEO of Ariel Investments
The second attribute that these successful organizations have in common is they have a way to measure their starting point, their efforts, and their progress. There is no way, let me repeat that. NO WAY that any organization will ever achieve meaningful results without measuring them. I heard the phrase this week on a CNBC interview with Mellody Hobson when discussing diversity and inclusion that “math has no opinion, just count.” When you measure your D&I efforts you are replacing opinions with facts. Opinions change with management, they change with boards and they even change with team members, but the facts and measured progress only change when there are meaningful events and actions. Dynamic Benchmarking has been fortunate enough to help some of the largest and most successful associations, and we do this with our proprietary maturity model. A simple survey does not allow for good honest measurement of D&I because, more times than not, most people do not answer an uncomfortable question honestly. Our model has overcome many of the social challenges that you will never be able to navigate with a typical survey. Now is the time and climate to move our businesses and organizations forward, I urge you to not let this moment pass by without taking action.
Are you ready to start helping your members through education and resources on diversity and inclusion? Get started quickly with a maturity model benchmarking study like below. Contact us today.