- Inclusive mindset extends beyond hiring practices and dives deep into encouraging diverse opinions and perspectives.
- “Inclusion that multiplies” signifies the collective intelligence of teams.
- Adopting an inclusive mindset involves self-reflection, creating inclusive environments, relinquishing control, and extending inclusivity beyond the organization.
The Power and Potential of an Inclusive Mindset
As the world grapples with increasing complexity and the prominence of social and human justice issues, the role of leaders is intensifying. Success isn’t just about recruiting a diverse team anymore. It’s about fostering an environment where diverse perspectives not only exist but influence decisions and outcomes.
Defining “Inclusion That Multiplies”
While many interpret inclusion as simply hiring from a varied pool or inviting more people to meetings, the true essence of “inclusion that multiplies” runs deeper. It’s about genuinely hearing, understanding, and implementing diverse perspectives. It embodies collaboration, connection, and collectivity – ensuring decisions are reached with the insights of all, and not just a select few.
Leaders like Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet and Google, are prime examples of this mindset. Pichai’s belief in the strength of diverse voices in generating optimal discussions, decisions, and outcomes underscores the essence of the “inclusion that multiplies” approach.
Harnessing the Strength of Diverse Teams
Inclusion in the workplace is the catalyst that ignites the collective intelligence of diverse teams. History and intuition have shown us the merits of decision-making by groups over individuals. Anita Williams Woolley’s studies demonstrate that collective intelligence doesn’t hinge solely on individual intelligence. Instead, it’s closely tied to diverse group participation, gender balance, and the average social sensitivity of members.
To truly benefit from collective intelligence, leaders must cultivate a socially sensitive, inclusive environment. This means appreciating the unique expertise each person brings while also valuing the emotional intelligence that facilitates mutual learning.
Steps to Adopting an Inclusive Mindset
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1. Self-Reflection on Team Dynamics
Begin with introspection. Assess how your organization is currently leveraging collective intelligence. Reflect on team meetings:
- What were the objectives?
- Who was present and who dominated the conversation?
- Whose potential insights might have been overlooked?
- What is the collective outcome of the team?
If you find that you’re only benefitting incrementally from individual inputs, it may indicate that the powerful multiplying effect of inclusion is missing.
2. Crafting Inclusive Environments
Having diverse members in a team is the first step. The next is ensuring they all have an equal say. Avoiding biases, such as the “similar to me” bias, is essential. It’s crucial to prevent assumptions about others’ perspectives and continuously seek varied inputs. As noted by Ellevest CEO Sallie Krawcheck, hiring should prioritize a good fit for the entire team over just the role to prevent unconscious biases.
3. Relinquishing Control and Redefining Leadership
The contemporary view of leadership is shifting. A true leader isn’t just an expert pouring out ingenious ideas but someone who creates an environment of appreciation, openness, and collaboration. This means sometimes relinquishing control and trusting the team. By doing so, you not only empower them but also amplify their collective influence.
4. Extending Inclusion Beyond the Organization’s Boundaries
Lastly, don’t limit the inclusive approach to just your organization. Naomi Sutherland emphasizes the importance of gaining insights from outside the organization and even from competitors. By extending collaboration and understanding broader industry trends, leaders can optimize their decision-making.
Embracing an inclusive mindset is more than just a leadership strategy; it’s a revolutionary approach to problem-solving, decision-making, and achieving optimal outcomes. It’s about understanding that our collective intelligence is significantly more potent than individual intellects working in isolation. By fostering an environment where all voices are genuinely heard and valued, leaders can pave the way for unprecedented success, both within and beyond their organization’s walls.