For most of us our end goal is to create tangible, transformational change in our organization—to create a culture of inclusion through all levels and in every nook and cranny throughout the workplace. There’s no doubt that the key players in that change process are our leaders. They need to be out front, driving to that aspirational culture. Fortunately, we see leaders in many organizations willing to take on that role. Yet, unfortunately, that full, transformational change rarely, if ever, seems to come to full fruition, always a bit out of our reach. Why?
More often than not it’s because our leaders lack the competence necessary to create and lead to that ideal culture. That competence is the ability to see a greater level of complexity of culture and the skill to adapt and lead to that aspirational culture—skills that come with a high level of cultural competence. Regrettably, our leaders are like the rest of us, the majority them haven’t yet reached this level of competence. In fact, only 2.5% of us (including our leaders) are actually culturally competent, able to see, adjust and lead to cultural complexities. This competence allows us to be our most effective not only when it comes to D&I, but in nearly every interaction and decision we make.
What we’ve seen play out in numerous organizations is that, when leading organizational change to create a culture of inclusion, the essential first step is to start with building the cultural competence of leadership. If those who play the largest part in guiding the course of the organization don’t buy-in to the fundamental change of mindset involved, it’s unlikely any real change will take place. To lead by example, leadership needs to build their competence first.
At deepSEE we’ve had the privilege of working with countless leaders to develop their cultural competence and, in turn, transform their organizational culture. Our process uses the IDI®, a tried and tested cultural competence assessment together with our proven Filter Shift® development process to more efficiently and significantly develop our effectiveness as we interact and lead across difference.
At the upcoming Forum on Workplace Inclusion we partner with one of our clients, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, to outline that process and give examples of the impact a culturally-competent leadership team. Join us!
As measured by the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI®)