by Glenn Llopis
Originally published: March 21, 2017
Most diversity and inclusion initiatives look and sound great. They are usually well-meaning, too. But a vast number of these initiatives prove ineffective or fail within a year or two. Why? Start talking to the people who put them together – whether they are diverse or non-diverse, male or female, young or old – and more often than not, you realize that the details and depth of strategic thinking behind them is as thin as the paper they are printed on.
This is not surprising when you consider that most diversity and inclusion initiatives are developed to comply. Whether in a small business or large corporation, these initiatives are usually poorly-funded, tactical inclusion crusade that is disconnected from broader, more substantial, and well-funded general training programs. They may be well-meaning, but most approaches are simply misguided.
They are also often outdated in their ideas, catering to the status quo. They assume existing and potential employees targeted by these programs must change to fit into the current workplace culture. They ask and answer one question: How can we acquire, train, and change diverse employees for them to succeed and thrive in our culture? If we keep asking that question – or any question – over and over again, why should we expect a different result?