Understanding the Links Between DEI and Innovation

Two of the things CEOs struggle with the most are how to get employees to be more innovative, and how to build a diverse and inclusive culture. On the surface, innovation and DEI seem unrelated, but they’re not.

I recently read an article in HBR about what’s needed for a successful agile transformation in organizations. The research the authors conducted found that “many large agile initiatives not only miss their goals but also cause organizational disruption—including staff burnout, the loss of key talent, and infighting among teams.”

What’s going wrong? With the help of organizational network analysis—a methodology for mapping how people collaborate—the authors have identified where unforeseen barriers undermine agile initiatives. The main problem they found: Traditional practices for executing agile projects are ineffective.

Inclusion and Belonging at All Three Levels, Part 3: The Role of Trauma

In this part three exploring Kadabra’s Inclusion and Belonging Model, we’ll discuss the role of trauma in the model and in culture in general. You can read part one here and part two here.

“Trauma decontextualized in a person looks like personality.
Trauma decontextualized in a family looks like family traits.
Trauma in a people looks like culture [bodies of culture].”
~Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands

The reason we call our inclusion and belong model a trauma-informed model is because we recognize that trauma exists not only in individual leaders and team members, but in the culture of the organization itself.

Having the Difficult Conversations About Gender

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of instilling inclusivity and equity as core values in your organization: what that looks like and how to lead with inclusion and equity in mind.

And you’ll see it all over the internet: the benefits organizations can realize when they focus on increasing inclusion and equity in the workplace as well as programs to develop the required mindsets, skill sets, and behaviors. Many organizations pay lip service to diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values but few organizational cultures today otherwise manifest those values in a visible way.

Inclusion and Belonging at All Three Levels

PART 2: Be-Do-Know

This blog is the second of a series of articles on inclusion and belonging and our BRAVE Cultures™ model.

In part one of this series, we outlined Kadabra’s Inclusion and Belonging Model. It operates at the personal, interpersonal, and institutional levels. You can work through it one at a time, or simultaneously.

In addition to these three levels, each level uses three lenses:

  1. Who do you want to BE, as both a person and a leader,
  2. What do you want to DO to effect change, and
  3. What do you need to KNOW or learn in order to manage the changes needed
Managing Organizational Culture in a Changing World

If you had a successful business in 2019, you likely experienced some tough setbacks or in other cases, unique opportunities for growth during 2020. Fast forward to 2021, and we’re still working in a very different context than we were before. Most of us are now working either partly or entirely online. Many organizations are either launching or attempting to reinvigorate their DEI initiatives. So, how can we be effective and change-positive stewards for our organizational culture now?

Inclusion and Belonging with BRAVE Cultures™

This blog is the first of a series of articles on inclusion and belonging and our BRAVE Cultures(™) model. You can read the second post in this series here.

Maslow was wrong: physical safety isn’t at the base of the needs pyramid: belonging is. Without belonging, the animal body knows there is no hope for safety.

An existential fear arises when we try to differentiate. We betray ourselves to belong. We abandon our own selves to belong.

Too much…too loud…too emotional…all the things.

Simplify Your Decision Making with The 3T Model

We make decisions all the time—both minor (what brand of milk should I buy?) to major (which strategy will give us the biggest ROI?). If we want better outcomes from our decisions, we could use a tool to help us first narrow down our options. And we could clearly identify when there is only one viable path forward so we don’t waste time chasing dead ends.

Become an Anti-Racist Organization

We fielded a lot of inquiries in 2020 from leaders who said, “We want to become an anti-racist organization. Can you help us?”

Our first response is curiosity. What does that mean to you? Why do you want to become an anti-racist organization? What would be better at your organization if you did this work? How would you know you’d succeeded? That last one is a loaded question because the work never ends. However, there are measurable indicators of success along the way.

Your Search for Diverse Leadership Isn’t a Pipeline Problem

Developing diverse leadership: it’s not a pipeline problem. The default way talent pipelines operate is via the path of least resistance.

People tap the shoulders of people who are top of mind. Who is that? Thanks to unconscious bias, it’s usually white, cis-gendered, tall, reasonably attractive men. That’s because the vast majority of people picture someone like that when asked to “picture a leader.”

There are a number of other factors that go into this path of least resistance, beyond unconscious bias. Men tend to brag about themselves more than women do, generally speaking. People of color often have tremendous skills that aren’t traditionally considered to be leadership skills, but that are greatly in demand in these VUCA times.

Why Identity Matters

Identity matters—it’s not something to be hidden away or left at the door when you arrive at work.

It used to be (and unfortunately still is in many organizations) that when you come to work, your job description and duties were the only things that mattered. Personal business never belonged at work. You left practically all of your identity at the door—your queerness, blackness, femaleness, kids, religion, all the things besides your job skills that make you a whole person. Work and home were never to mix.

But what if we reverse that mindset as leaders and instead, welcome the mix?