Diverse Teams: a Reflection on Survival and Plasticity

Humans have long adapted to their environments as a matter of survival. Our entire evolutionary path has largely been a matter of successful adaptation: tribes that attuned their behaviours to changing environments survived, while those that did not modify their approach typically perished. Apply this principle to contemporary existence, where life is anything but stagnant. Our working lives are in a constant state of flux: people come and go, policies change and systems are updated. Many workplace practices are undergoing rapid change and resistance often follows. The question of adaptation and survival surely must be asked at some point along our organisational trajectory. When it comes to

D&I Indexes: You Get What You Measure

How do you know whether your culture is really inclusive? Measuring D&I initiatives is important for several reasons. Firstly, the planned initiatives need to be measured in terms of how they are specifically supported by the organisation’s culture. Secondly, the results need to be presented to senior executives and Boards in order to demonstrate progress and maintain commitment. However, this is where problems can arise, because D&I measures are typically implemented superficially. Deeper insights are more complex and difficult to extract (and track). Companies that benchmark predominantly use quantitative measures which offer very little depth in relation to culture. Not only are these met

Unconscious Bias Training: Should We or Shouldn't We?

It’s time we talked about unconscious bias training. There has been a fair bit of debate lately about the benefit or otherwise of this popular approach to addressing our biases. There are many companies who have implemented the training; Starbucks in the US is probably a well-known and widely cited example of an organisation that orchestrated a national wide closure of their stores to conduct unconscious bias training after two African American males were arrested in the store for no apparent reason. Of all the companies we know who have taken part in unconscious bias training, not one of them are able to tell us, with absolute confidence, that it has resulted in sustainable behavioural chan

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