Inclusiveness is providing access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalised. When we commence work on transformation or turnaround projects with Clients one of the things that we bring into play is inclusiveness and how we can best foster and maximise it.  Why? Because it is one of the paths and capabilities that leads to an uplift in performance and successful outcomes, for both the organisation and the people who are part of it. Inclusiveness helps to foster a sense of ownership, buy-in and accountability. Today, it’s a topic of discussion for most Boards and Executive teams, along with diversity and equity.

But formalising a plan of action is not as easy as it sounds.

When we work with clients on business improvement and alignment projects, we use the realising success platform for capturing and communicating the information we need. We use models to capture information such as structures, processes, roles, technologies used etc. When you have this level of information it provides visual triggers for what happens, when, why, where and how. This means as we produce models and diagrams that define current and potential future state options. It also supports the ability for people to provide comment and feedback, to share ideas and most importantly to share knowledge. This simple act ratchets up the level of inclusiveness, people get to see, hear, learn and share. It can mean the difference between achieving a good outcome and a fantastic outcome.

The fact that a lot of people are now working from home either full time or part time as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, means that we need to think about how we manage inclusiveness. Conversations with our own clients over the last 12 months has highlighted a number of challenges that they have needed to manage, these include:

  • Starting new projects – it is more difficult than it was when everyone worked at the office or facility every day. Inclusion needs a more conscious effort.
  • New employees work from home and have never met co-workers, resulting in feelings of uncertainty, isolation and not belonging.
  • On-line meetings tend to be shorter and centred on a particular topic which is lessens the opportunity for people to listen, learn, participate, respond and act in the best possible way for them.
  • There is less ad-hoc conversation, reducing the opportunity to share problems, build relationships, ask questions or ask for guidance and advice.

It has been my experience that when everyone within the organisation has a strong sense of self and belonging, the organisation as a whole benefits.