Updated: May 6, 2020
Inclusive leadership is a necessity for modern day progressive organisations. It supports and enhances working environments, effective branding and marketing and increased productivity and growth.
What are the benefits of diversity and inclusion and how can they be used to manage 'group think' across leadership?
Diverse leadership is the sustenance of inclusion and inclusive leadership is key to building a diverse and inclusive organisation. Without it, there is little hope that any business will develop to a culture that promotes growth and delivers sustainable change, to keep up with a rapidly changing environment.
An organisation that does not seek to embed diversity and inclusion, has already, in some form or another, accepted the maintenance of the status quo as the organisational norm. Such organisations have failed to understand the sustainable business benefits of a diverse leadership.
The problem with this, is that these businesses, are at risk of submitting to declining levels of output and reduced employee and customer engagement, resulting in reduced quality outcomes.
Unmasking Homogeneous Leadership.
Homogeneous leadership propagates group think and group think is bad for business. It negatively impacts on productivity and impedes the ability to solve problems creatively.
An homogeneous group, by its very nature, is tied together by the similarity of its characteristics. This means that the scope for creativity and innovative thinking is limited by lack of diversity.
Where leadership is constricted by homogeneity, it suggests that there is a level of exclusion of other characteristics, which is either implied or applied.
Leadership should not be an exclusive entity within an organisation. It is an integral part of the business and should naturally replicate the diversity of its clients, customers and employee base, both current and potential.
When leadership is homogeneous, it tends to attract others of its own liking, which only serves to reduce quality of outcomes, limiting both business growth and impact.
Exclusion lowers Engagement and Earnings.
Lack of leadership diversity is tantamount to loss of productivity, staff engagement and creativity. Ultimately, this shrinks business earnings. Diverse and inclusive leadership enhances the quality of decision making, creativity and innovation, helping to drive brand image and customer engagements.
A diverse and inclusive leadership team helps to foster the engagement with a wide spectrum of people and ideas, thus enabling the increase in engagement with employees and other stakeholders.
The resulting benefit is that continuous, incremental improvements in employee productivity, creativity and innovation are realised. This, in turn, leads to an increase in business earnings.
The ability to interpret the development of goods and services, through a diverse and inclusive approach, leads to goods and services that become highly marketable. It helps to engage a wide range of prospective customers and clients.
The incorporation of diverse ideas, gained from a wide scope of cultural perspectives helps to engage employees and develop innovative teams. It helps to develop innovative thinking, helping to elevate the quality of leadership.
Diversity of ideas within leadership, systematically encourages input from a wide range of diverse stakeholders, both internally and externally.
Forward thinking, proactive leadership seeks to enhance outcomes by developing diverse approaches and frames of reference, across all business functions. Hence, diversity at all levels within the business is linked to a progressive working environment and a favourable business outlook.