The traditional model of business is broken
In today’s rapidly changing and diverse world, traditional models of business are showing cracks. Organisations are grappling with challenges such as attracting and retaining top talent, fostering a thriving work environment, and driving engagement, agility, and impact.
It’s clear that a new approach is needed – one that places humans at the center, embraces purpose-driven values, and prioritises diversity, equity, inclusion, and collaboration.
We need to move on from the myths that all that matters is making money and keeping shareholders happy, and that the best talent will rise to the top. Businesses need to start being accountable for their impact and taking responsibility to create equity. It isn’t just the right thing to do, it is good for business.
The High Cost of a Broken System
Despite claims that people are a company’s greatest asset, many organisations struggle with disengaged workforces. Studies have shown a direct correlation between employee engagement and financial performance, yet a significant portion of the workforce remains disengaged, resulting in substantial productivity losses. Lost productivity in the US alone is estimated at $370 Billion, annually.
It’s evident that a singular focus on profit is no longer sufficient. Responsible businesses recognise the need to balance people, planet, and profit, driven not only by ethical considerations but also by the demands of employees, customers, and investors.
In a survey commissioned by Amazon Ads to understand the values that matter most to consumers, they found 83% of U.S. respondents think more brands should do their part to help the world, especially when there is heightened difficulty or challenge.
Another study by escape the city study found that 89% of respondents now “wanted a career with a strong sense of purpose”. That compares with 71% in the pre Covid-19 world.
You don’t need to choose between a great culture and great business results. Employee satisfaction leads to customer satisfaction. A great culture that nurtures and supports talent drives profitability, innovation, retention and productivity. Culture isn’t about nice snacks and ping pong, it’s about shared values, community and purpose.
Embracing Inclusive Leadership and Equity
Command and control leadership styles are no longer effective in today’s diverse and complex world. To create an inclusive future, leaders must embed inclusive thinking into the core of their leadership approach.
This requires leaders who use human connection to drive team success and business performance. This requires leaders who are willing to embark on a journey of self-awareness, empathy, and humility. It’s not easy for leaders to admit that they don’t have all the answers, but true growth comes from acknowledging our limitations and being open to learning from others.
Building a team of diverse perspectives and expertise creates a collective intelligence that can find the best solutions and drive success. It’s about fostering a culture where everyone’s voice is valued, and ideas are welcomed, regardless of hierarchy or status.
Leaders who embrace this mindset are not only paving the way for their own growth but also creating an environment where their team members can flourish and contribute their unique talents. It’s a transformational approach that requires courage, vulnerability, and a genuine desire to build a team that can find the answers together.
Tone is set from the top. An organisation’s diversity, inclusion efforts will fall short without inclusive leadership.
Additionally, organisations must address systemic biases and power dynamics that hinder equal opportunities for success. By embracing equity, businesses can provide individuals with the unique support they need to thrive. This isn’t about ticking boxes, but embedding inclusivity in all you do.
Harnessing the Power of Diversity and Inclusion
Inclusive leaders understand that leveraging diverse perspectives and creating a sense of belonging for all team members is crucial. Those who exclude and cater only to the majority will fall behind in talent attraction, retention, and the ability to meet the needs of diverse customers. By harnessing the differences among people, organisations can develop better solutions that benefit everyone and gain a competitive edge.
The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion
There is a lot of research that highlights the business case for diversity and inclusion. Benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce include:
- Increased Retention → Reduced Recruitment Costs
- Increased Engagement → Greater Productivity
- Fewer Knowledge Gaps → Better Decision Making
- More Customer Value → Bottom Line Revenue
- Improved Brand → Competitive Edge
If you are still building your internal business case for change here are some useful data point that show the compelling case for embedding diversity, equity and inclusion into the heart of all you do.
- 10 things to know about gender equality and the $12 trillion opportunity (McKinsey research).
- The likelihood of above-average financial returns due to ethnicity / gender diversity is 36% / 25% (McKinsey research).
- Leadership commitment to diversity and inclusion nearly doubles employee’s sense of inclusion and engagement (Bain Research).
- High levels of engagement increase profitability and productivity by 20% (Bain Research).
- All the data you need to put together the “business case” (Awaken).
Redefining Success: Purpose, Collaboration, and Collective Brilliance
It’s time to rethink what truly drives business success.
Purpose motivates teams. Organisations who unite their teams around a meaningful purpose, inspire and guide their workforces actions. They go beyond maximising profit to creating a positive social and environmental impact.
Embracing diversity and inclusion enables organisations to tap into the collective brilliance of their workforce, fostering a culture where collaboration and support are the norm and innovative, better solutions are uncovered.
Shifting from individual excellence to collective brilliance, from command and control to empowerment and trust, and from meritocracy to equity are key steps towards creating an inclusive and thriving business.
Accelerate Your Progress with Diversily
At Diversily, we understand the importance of aligning leaders, strategies, and cultures to drive meaningful change.
We help organisations unlock collective brilliance by taking a more human centred, purpose led, collaborative approach to business by transforming leadership, strategy and culture – all with an inclusive lens.
By working with us, you can accelerate progress, unlock the full potential of your people and partnerships, and create an environment where the right behaviours and actions thrive.
Join us on this transformative journey and let’s build a better, more inclusive future together.