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November 2020

How to Equip Leaders to Be More Inclusive: Overcoming Individual and Organizational Ghosts

By | Change Management, Learning | No Comments

Inclusion may not be rocket science, but it is human science. And, in today’s environment, it is non-negotiable. Inclusion is imperative for leaders to drive up innovation and drive out institutional racism. A Deloitte Insights article by Juliet Bourke and Bernadette Dillon, “The diversity and inclusion revolution: Eight powerful truths,” reveals that organizations with inclusive cultures are eight times as likely to achieve better business outcomes and six times more likely to be innovative and agile.

Daniel Sanchez Reina, Senior Director Analyst for Gartner, in the article Diversity and Inclusion Build High-Performance Teams, notes that diversity and innovation are correlated, “but inclusion is the key to leveraging diversity.” And, leaders are the linchpins to inclusion. In the Deloitte Insights article, Bourke and Dillon highlight what they call the “power of a leader’s shadow.” Leadership behaviors can “drive up to 70 percentage points of difference between the proportion of employees who feel highly included and the proportion of those who do not.”

Individual Ghosts
But, for many leaders, exactly how to be inclusive is elusive. In an HBR article, The Key to Inclusive Leadership, Juliet Bourke and Andrea Titus cite their research indicating “only one in three leaders holds an accurate view about their inclusive leadership capabilities.”
Every leader has the potential to be radically inclusive; creating a culture where people feel safe, valued, and a sense of belonging. Inclusive leadership is everyday actions done with eyes open and ears engaged. Inclusion happens when leaders know and treat each person like the unique and valuable human they are.

“Inclusion happens when leaders know and treat each person like the unique and valuable human they are.”

A truly inclusive culture begins with leaders with truly inclusive habits. Organizations can move the needle on inclusion by equipping leaders to act inclusively as part of their routine interactions with employees. Most people are just not aware of the biases that get in their way. It’s like being tripped up by invisible ghosts – you’re stumbling and just not sure why. This is where the human science comes into play.

Neuroscience in Action
Neuroscientist Beau Lotto in his book Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently teaches us that “Every decision you make in the future will remain grounded in history.” We draw on experiences to inform our actions and decisions today. How we treat others may be the result of perceptions formed by past events. Lotto’s research provides insight into how we can “use our brains to change our brains” by re-writing our past perceptions, so we make better decisions in the future.

The first step for leaders looking to act more inclusively is learning to surface, question, and recognize the impact of assumptions and biases on their behavior in certain situations or with particular people. Seeing the implications of assumptions and biases kick starts an intrinsic drive; motivating leaders to ask questions like “what else might be true?” to replace unproductive perceptions with possibility thinking. They have formed a “new past” to reference when faced with these situations or groups.

With potentially limiting assumptions neutralized or replaced, leaders now need to get comfortable selecting and tailoring inclusive actions to fit their situations and the unique humans in their care.
Finally, leaders need methods and practice in the formation of habits to promote daily use of these inclusive intentional actions. To ensure habits stay ingrained, organizations are wise to design requiring environments rich with accountability and recognition for inclusive leadership.

Institutional Ghosts
Which brings us to the organization itself. Just as leaders desiring to behave inclusively bump into personal ghosts, organizations are haunted by the institutional ghosts of historic and systemic racism. In her Forbes post, Four Strategies For Moving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion And Belonging Beyond Lip Service, L’Wana Harris explains, “It’s your responsibility to reimagine and redesign your organization to create an environment where all of your employees can thrive. We must go beyond simple “inclusion” work and venture into the work that reforms and disrupts. Conduct an enterprise-wide audit for bias and discrimination.”

Organizations must identify and address the myriad causes of imbalance among employee groups. The key question to go after is, what are the business practices, systems, and processes tripping up the progress, engagement, and productivity of people of color, women, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented employee groups in our organization? Organizations with an inclusive culture spearheaded by inclusive leaders unlock the power of diversity to drive innovation needed for market success and for identifying and unseating inequitable business practices.


“The Diversity and Inclusion Revolution: Eight powerful truths by Juliet Bourke and Bernadette Dillon, Deloitte Review, Issue 22
Diversity and Inclusion Build High Performance Teams, Gartner, IT Leadership, September 2019
Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently by Beau Lotto


Announcing our 2020 Q3 PURE Award Winners!

By | Announcements, PURE Award Winners | No Comments

We are pleased to announce our latest winners of the PURE Service Award: Sue Sobek, Corri Campbell, Lisa Lanier, and Terry Kozlowski.

Sue Sobek

Sue is an instructional designer who, over the past 18 months, has consulted with a longtime CARA client focusing on training analysis, design, development, and implementation. Her work involved engaging and partnering with subject matter experts and client managers, some of whom did not have a training background. Sue’s tireless commitment to understanding the client’s needs and exceeding expectations is core to what she brings to every engagement. In fact, Sue’s client manager had this to say about Sue: “ … you are the solid rock star that has made this (HUGE) project successful. … this work will pay off in large dividends. … I cannot express my gratitude enough. Without you, this project really could have failed. … You are an outstanding asset to this and any project [here].”

Corri Campbell

As an eLearning Developer and Instructional Design consultant, Corri has been focusing recently on a blended learning call center curriculum at a CARA Fortune 500 client. Corri not only led the technology and tools portion of the engagement, she took on additional work and served as a mentor to junior members of the project team, as well. A consummate professional, she demonstrated grace when confronted with challenges and accountability for her work that “exceeded expectations”. The client was very impressed stating “… [Corri] brought phenomenal value to the engagement, was easy to work with, helped us problem solve and always came with a positive attitude.”

Lisa Lanier

Lisa, a Sr. Change Management consultant, has spent the last two years leading two critical initiatives in both the Finance and Product Development areas of one of CARA’s clients, a global manufacturing company. Her ‘can do’ attitude and servant leadership approach to her work has been contagious across both global transformational initiatives. As a consultant, Lisa continues to model change management behaviors that are critical to long-term sustainability for her executive sponsors and extended client teams.

The client had this to say about Lisa: “Lisa is a true pioneer. She was one of the first ones on the ground teaching [us] what true OCM looks like and the value realization that can be achieved when you do it right. She is a confidant to many, and a thought leader respected by our senior leaders. She is the first to ensure we are always thinking about people first. Congratulations!”

Terry Kozlowski

Terry, a Sr. Change Management consultant, has spent this year leading a change team at one of CARA’s clients, a global company that manufactures parts for some of the most prominent technologies of today. As a confident and knowledgeable leader, Terry is leading a team of CARA consultants to deliver technology and supporting business processes for a newly acquired organization. Terry’s collaborative and responsive role as a consultant, has enabled her to build strong relationships with the client that are based on trust and respect. Terry is known for consistently delivering high quality work producing “excellent” results.

Terry’s client had this to say: “I cannot express my appreciation enough for Terry’s commitment and resolve to the success of the project and company. She has consistently elevated OCM from a “check the box” activity to true change leadership through many long hours and overcoming many difficult situations.”

THANK YOU, Sue, Corri, Lisa, and Terry for consistently demonstrating CARA’s PURE values, delivering the highest quality of service, and exceeding our clients’ expectations.

CARA’s PURE Service Program provides a unique way to measure success and evaluate how well our consultants’ service delivery meets our clients’ needs. CARA’s service delivery process is based on the PURE service philosophy and consultants are reviewed quarterly based on how well they demonstrate our PURE values: Professionalism, Understanding, Responsibility and Excellence. CARA’s consultants are nominated based on client feedback, PURE evaluations, and team interaction with the consultants. After careful consideration of each candidate, CARA selects the PURE award recipients. The PURE award program is the foundation of CARA’s culture, aligning us with our clients’ and consultants’ values in service excellence.