Inclusive leadership: Will a hug do?
Human capital perspective on unlocking the business potential of diversity
In Darwinian terms, survival of the fittest is all about resilience in the face of change and the ability to adapt responsively in an effective and successful fashion. In the current economic uncertainty – of global financial issues and sweeping technology-driven change – we hear a constant refrain: companies must adapt if they are to survive, business as usual is a recipe for a slow decline.
In this context, diversity of thinking is gaining prominence as a ‘disruptive’ force to break through the status quo. The question is: How is this potential to be unlocked and accelerated?
This article by Deloitte Australia’s Human Capital practice, explores the issues for an organisation seeking to find a new edge in performance or competitive advantage through exploiting the diversity of its human resources. The central prerequisite, it is argued, is to replace workplace ‘homogeneity’ by creating the conditions in which diverse people can both operate to their full potential and work together cohesively. And this means deliberate and concrete changes for individual leaders as well as workplace cultures.
The article follows on from an earlier paper by the Human Capital team, titled Only skin deep? Re-examining the business case for diversity which examines the research supporting the link between diversity and performance. It also contains some practical examples of how diversity can be encouraged and supported.
Deloitte Human Capital Consulting, March 2012 | 20 pages