Inclusion Agenda – Archive
The elusive inclusive workplace: What it is and why it matters
McKinsey & Company
Insightful podcast (transcript also available) on the deliberate and at times aggressive action that’s required to challenge decision making across the whole employee lifecycle to develop inclusive workplaces. The focus on diverse boards is good but Boards have a governance rather than leadership role, so organisations also need representation in the talent pipeline. Use AI to reveal deeper insights rather than for comparison against an existing population which is likely to lack diverse representation. And remember, inclusion is characterised by the relationship people have with their boss, their peers and how they experience the policies and practices of the firm in which they work. Use all three levers to create an inclusive workplace.
The people science revolution – improving diversity objectively
Financial Conduct Authority – Insight piece, October 2020
FCA thought paper that emphasises the importance of data in driving impactful D&I change but with the warning that while data provides an essential benchmark, it does not lead to change on its own. Insights need to be drawn from the data and factored into an analytical framework for an organisation to fully understand where to direct resources and leadership attention. Organisations need to capture more than diversity metrics – focusing on indicators that point to an inclusive culture is just as important.
Inclusion doesn’t happen by accident: measuring inclusion in a way that matters.
Diana Ellsworth, Drew Goldstein and Bill Schaninger
The authors make the case that increasing diversity by itself is insufficient – organisations must also enhance inclusion, which they define as “the degree to which employees are embraced and enabled to make meaningful contributions.” This brief post introduces a simple framework for measuring inclusion which takes into account both ‘enterprise perception’ i.e. views on the fairness of the organisation, alongside ‘personal experience’ – i.e. the sense of individual belonging, authenticity and being valued.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion still matter in a pandemic
Boston Consulting Group, December 2020
BCG encourages firms to continue to keep DE&I issues firmly on the agenda as rather than being a distraction, continuing to build diverse and inclusive organisations is a critical part of the solution to the challenges firms are currently facing. The main goal for companies is to continue devoting management attention on DE&I issues and to incorporate them into everything that the company does rather than run as a separate initiative.
Making the Invisible visible: What’s really preventing breakthrough progress on women in leadership?
Oliver Whyman report, January 2021
Pithy report that outlines why women get stuck in the middle rather than rise to senior levels. It covers common attitudes and obstacles, both those that are visible as well as the invisible ones, that stand in the way of greater diversity and inclusion at the highest levels of companies.
Your D&I Efforts Helping Employees Feel Like They Belong? Four ways managers can go deeper than “inclusion.”
Harvard Business Review, Michael Slepian
Introduces the concept of ‘belonging’ to the D&I agenda, something that goes deeper than ‘inclusion’. The author argues that over-emphasising individual difference can make people feel less included. For example, when tackling diversity issues, everyone should be asked to contribute rather than just minority groups the organisation is trying to recruit and retain. Instead, when it comes to the day-to-day management, inclusion efforts should be focused more on the individual than the social group they represent. “People want their social group to be included and their individual self to belong.”
Virtual Inclusion in the City
The Inclusion Initiative, LSE
A fascinating report into what firms can do to overcome the challenges and maximise the benefits of virtual working. Practical guidance is given on how to avoid virtual presenteeism, in-groups and group think as well as how to motivate team members and assess them fairly in this new remote working environment. Primarily based upon financial and professional services firms, the findings are transferable to other contexts.
Diversity Still Matters
Kevin Dolan, Vivian Hunt, Sara Prince, and Sandra Sancier-Sultan, McKinsey
McKinsey makes no bones about it – not only does inclusion still matter, but the best companies are doubling down on their efforts in the light of Covid-19. It describes the kind of systematic, disciplined, long-term approach that makes a difference. It clearly connects inclusion with having a demonstrable impact on culture and performance. If you are trying to convince leaders in your organisation to take inclusion seriously, this is great source material.
Companies: Now Is Not The Time To Put Diversity And Inclusion On The Back Burner
Janice Gassam, Forbes
Whilst acknowledging the pressure that Covid-19 is putting on the inclusion agenda – this piece argues why it is more important than ever. DEI (Diversity, Equity and inclusion) is likened to a muscle that needs to be exercised frequently for it to grow stronger, or progress will be lost.
How to survive as a business amidst an unexpected lockdown of the economy
Simon Hedaux, LSE
In this blog from the LSE, there is a 3 step plan to help businesses think about how to survive the lockdown and prepare for the new normal. At the heart of this plan is a call for organisations to deliver on their stated values – in particular by treating their teams ‘right’. Effectively including people is seen as integral both from an ethical and economic perspective.
Coronavirus Is Putting Corporate Social Responsibility to the Test
Mark R. Kramer, HBR
A challenge for businesses to step up and ‘make good’ on their stated commitments to social purpose, a set of values and ways of treating employees and stakeholders. The article makes a powerful case that this crisis is a defining moment for companies and the way they respond will be remembered for decades.
Keeping diversity and inclusion on the agenda during uncertain times
Nic Hammarling, HR Zone
A helpful commentary on the need to keep inclusion embedded into the fabric of the business, especially during times of economic uncertainty. It describes how the emotional strain of ambiguity makes us more likely to default to ‘tried and tested’ approaches – and what to do to counter that.
Strategies to remain inclusive during the Coronavirus crisisJohn M. Iino, Reed SmithA podcast from the global law firm Reed Smith, which makes the case for keeping focused on the principles of diversity, inclusion and equity during the coronavirus crisis. It shares practical insights on the need for strong communications, education and staying connected.
Why Leadership Diversity Matters in Handling Crises Like COVID-19
Robert Arvanitis, Wharton University Press
This leadership insight article from a Fortune500 CFO reminds us that, in times of pressure, it is easy to revert to traditional thinking and the impulse to be drawn to those who are like us – known as homophily or affinity bias. It outlines how vital inclusion is in looking at problems differently, considering a wider range of financial issues and meeting the diverse needs and circumstances of staff.
Prioritizing Diversity and Inclusion in Times of Crisis
This article is a very direct take on the real risks of discrimination and how a crisis can exacerbate inequalities. It looks at some of the language implications of the current crisis and identifies ways you can call out biased narratives regarding coronavirus.
The Silver Lining: Here Is How The COVID-19 Pandemic Might Lead To Greater Inclusion
Paolo Gaudiano, Forbes
A straightforward, refreshing piece that takes a look at the silver lining of the current situation and the positivity of unintended consequences. It considers how adaptions like remote working can provide greater workplace access and enable businesses to tap into a more diverse talent pool.
Minicast: Could diversity & inclusion programs become a casualty of coronavirus?
Tess Bennett, Which 50
An interesting podcast that considers the threat the coronavirus presents to diversity and inclusion programmes. Some good insights on the implications for millennial workers in particular.
Delivering through diversity
McKinsey & Company
When progress on inclusion is threatened by a crisis situation – it is vital for leaders to have a clear handle on the business case. They need to be able to articulate to themselves and others why diversity and inclusion is an advantage that they can’t afford to lose. This pre-virus piece from McKinsey is thoughtful, well-structured and explicit about the link between diverse teams and financial performance.
How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation
Rocío Lorenzo, Nicole Voigt, Miki Tsusaka, Matt Krentz, and Katie Abouzahr, BCG
This piece from Boston Consulting Group demonstrates the link between diverse leadership teams and an organisation’s ability to innovate. In a crisis situation, this capability to evolve and creatively respond to radically changed circumstances has never been more important.
D&I means growth
From EY this article shows the global services firm’s experience in connecting the business performance of their employees with the degree of inclusiveness they felt at work.
Embrace the Business Imperative of Diversity
An interesting article and videoclips which describes the business imperative of diversity for organisations operating in a decade that will be characterised by geopolitical and economic uncertainty. It outlines how inclusion enables organisations to be ‘primed for innovation and reinvention.’
Inclusive Leadership – Archive
Boards need real diversity, not tokenism
Harvard Business Review
Simran Jeet Singh argues that it’s essential to hold three forms of identity together – identities, experiences and expertise, when auditing the effectiveness of Board decision making. This will help avoid tokenism and set the Board up to effectively oversee an ever changing future context. This approach will help leverage the collective perspectives of board members and ensure longer-term success.
It’s Time to Free the Middle Manager
Evolving models of work indicate that the Middle Manager’s role is changing substantially. The good news is that they have never been more important in developing talent, activating collaboration across a group by leading inclusively and communicating a shared vision and purpose. Inclusion sits at the heart of this shift.
Leaders’ Lessons: How do we fix the fallout for women and minorities?
The FT asked four international executives for their views on how the pandemic has affected women and minorities, and the specific actions they are taking in response. Although the contexts varied – each acknowledged the disproportionate impact of the pandemic and described how they were adapting their workplaces, work patterns and working practices to be more flexible, hybrid and inclusive. The main takeaway was the need to be deliberately responsive, rather than passive in the face of significant change.
Psychological safety and the critical role of leadership development
McKinsey & Company
While the benefits of psychological safety are well established, a new survey suggests how leaders can build psychological safety by creating the right climate, mindsets, and behaviours within their teams. The survey results show that this starts at the very top of an organisation and fostering psychological safety at scale begins with companies’ most senior leaders developing and embodying the leadership behaviours they want to see across the organization.
Choose To Challenge 100
This short video puts a spotlight on Liz Grant OBE – principal at Fantail Business Development and one of the leading figures behind the Inclusion Under Pressure initiative. She talks about her early career in technology and what motivated her to focus on inclusion. There is also a practical steer on the importance of work allocation and how that can show up potential bias in an organisation.
Yes, good leaders are authentic leaders – but here’s what that actually means
The term authenticity is often linked to being an inclusive leader – but it comes with the risk of being seen as both cliched, and potentially rigid. Business is never static and the pandemic has doubled down on the pace of change. If an authentic leader is seen as someone who has a fixed sense of who they are and how they operate – could they be in trouble? In this article, Herminia Ibarra rehabilitates the term by taking it back to its original Greek meaning, ‘“authenteos” – that which you do with your own hands’ – in other words, being authentic is about learning, becoming your own person, experimenting, changing and a lifelong process. Perfect for an inclusive leader.
4 Conversations Leaders in the #MeToo Era Should Be Ready For
Harvard Business Review, Sarah Beaulieu
This article explores how leaders can equip themselves to confidently respond to sexual harassment disclosures and build an inclusive and positive working environment. Good leadership is more than responding to incidents when they occur. It’s about preventing them from happening in the first place. It explores 4 distinct areas of conversation – disclosure, intervention, creating an open and safe culture and support.
The 5 Rules Followed By Accountable Leaders
Paloma Cantero-Gomez, Forbes
Clarity about one’s role and responsibilities coupled with standards and ownership is the key to accountability. We all need this but in leaders it is critical, as they hold their teams and themselves absolutely accountable.
Leading Out of Adversity
Rich Lesser and Martin Reeves, BCG
An article from the Boston Consulting Group arguing that resilience is no longer a theoretical concern. C19 has pulled it front and centre along with a need for firms and governments to demonstrate their values and purpose. There will be no ‘return to normal’ – leaders will have to adapt to the cultural shift that C19 has generated.
Why CEOs Should Model Vulnerability
Jeffrey Cohn and U. Srinivasa Rangan, HBR
Leaders face an unforgiving environment – sometimes described using the acronym ‘VUCA’ (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.) This article talks about how future CEOs can be helped to develop the traits that will enable them to cope. It particularly focuses on the value of vulnerability and being able to tolerate discomfort.
Finding the Right Words in a Crisis
Carmine Gallo, HBR
Concise article on the importance of choosing the right words in a crisis. Outlines how using short sentences, analogies, storytelling and the Rule of 3 can help ensure people understand the message you’re trying to convey.
How to demonstrate calm and optimism in a crisis
Jacqueline Brassey and Michiel Kruyt , McKinsey & Company
What does it take to maintain calm in the face of crisis? This article describes the importance of leaders developing ‘integrative awareness’ (combining awareness of your external context with self-awareness.) It outlines the six practices leaders can follow to build this capability.
Addressing the impact of COVID-19
This helpful 2-pager from Deloitte is a digest of the traits demonstrated by inclusive leaders and how these can foster a more inclusive workplace in the face of Covid-19. The article expands on 6 specific traits: commitment, courage, cognisance of bias, curiosity, cultural intelligence and collaboration.
Marriott’s CEO Demonstrates Truly Authentic Leadership In A Remarkably Emotional Video
Carmine Gallo, Financial Times
This Forbes article, leadership communication expert Carmine Gallo analyses the video statement sent out by Marriott International CEO, Arne Sorenson in response to the coronavirus. Gallo breaks down why he views this as an effective example of authentic leadership in action – isolating the five attributes that made it work so well as an inclusive piece of communication.
Covid-19 was a Leadership Test. It Came Back Negative.
Sam Walker, The Wall Street Journal
A challenging piece from Sam Walker in the Wall Street Journal on the leadership deficit exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic. His view is that leadership should have prevented the pandemic and what we are now seeing is ‘crisis management’. Worth it for the parable of the drowning children in the water and the need for ‘upstream solutions.’ From an inclusion perspective – interesting to think about which voices get listened to and which don’t – particularly in advance of a crisis.
Are You Leading Through the Crisis … or Managing the Response?
Eric J. McNulty and Leonard Marcus, HBR
This HBR article from McNulty and Marcus identifies the leadership traps associated with crisis. Many potential pitfalls have a clear inclusion dimension, for example the risk of taking too narrow a view, over-centralising the response, failing to delegate and forgetting the ‘human factors.’
A Time to Lead with Purpose and Humanity
Hubert Joly, HBR
Hubert Joly (previously CEO at Best Buy) talks about the importance of applying the principles of ‘purposeful, human leadership’ in this time of crisis. He describes a type of leadership that puts people and customers first, with profit as an outcome not a goal in itself – and outlines what this means in practice.
Leadership in a crisis: Responding to the coronavirus outbreak and future challenges
Gemma D’Auria and Aaron De Smet, McKinsey & Co
An article from McKinsey & Co, which talks about the five leadership practices that will help senior executives to response effectively to a situation none of them will have experienced before. It is particularly good at identifying the biases that can get in the way – and the behaviours, mindsets and inclusive practices to counter them.
Decision making in uncertain times
Andrea Alexander , Aaron De Smet, and Leigh Weiss, McKinsey & Co
This McKinsey & Co piece concentrates on effective decision-making in crisis situations. It establishes a few simple principles that will set leaders up to make the bold calls that are needed. From an inclusion perspective, the authors are explicit about the value of pausing to gain broader, diverse perspectives and rejecting a hierarchical model of leadership to involve more stakeholders in big decisions.
Strong leadership for uncertain times
A series of mini-snapshot interviews with CEOs on what they are doing to exercise leadership through this crisis. Whilst there aren’t necessarily any major surprises here, there is plenty to support the importance of ‘seeking diverse sources of knowledge.’ Many interviewees also reinforce the importance of transparent, early, inclusive communications to help create some sense of stability.
Girish Menon: How to lead in a time of crisis
Girish Menon, Third Sector
A first-person piece from Girish Menon, Chief Executive of ActionAid UK, who models some of the candour and (well-judged) vulnerability that is a hallmark of inclusive leaders. He is also one of the first leaders we’ve heard talking about intersectionality and its relationship to resilience.
The inclusive leader
From Korn Ferry – this is a good primer on the business case for inclusion and the need for inclusive leadership. Written pre-pandemic, but we think it doesn’t hurt to pause and ground ourselves with a reminder on the basics of ‘why inclusion?’
The six signature traits of inclusive leadership
Bernadette Dillon and Juliet Bourk, Deloitte
Another piece written pre-pandemic, this time from Deloitte. We like it because it clearly identifies the “6 signature traits of an inclusive leader’. It could provide a useful way for leaders to do a mini-audit to see which of those traits are showing up under pressure – and which might be faltering.
Taking Action – Archive
7 Ways to Practice Active Allyship, by Poornima Luthra – HBR – read here.
How to Do Sponsorship Right – Mentorship isn’t enough. To develop productive career relationships, you’ve got to be authentic. by Herminia Ibarra – From the HBR Magazine (November–December 2022) – read here.
Guide to ethnicity pay gap reporting
Business in the Community and Hogan Lovels
Guidance on approaches to introducing Ethnicity Pay Gap Reporting, taken from an analysis of signatories to the Race at Work Charter. Designed to start a conversation about an area of policy that is in flux, it debunks legal myths, provides case studies of how different organisations are approaching the area as well as an analysis of the anatomy of a really powerful ethnicity pay gap report.
4 Lessons for Building Diverse Teams
Four key lessons here for organisations aiming to diversify their talent base. And above all it requires courage and determination to stick to your plan. Some interesting insights on being public about your objectives, ensuring hiring panels are diverse, reviewing job descriptions and as ever start at the top.
How to Set Up a Remote Employee for Success on Day One
James M. Citrin and Darleen DeRosa
The reality of onboarding new employees remotely is going to stick with us all for some time to come. Onboarding is definitely one of those ‘Moments that Matter’ in an employee’s life cycle with their new company. This article considers how you can establish the basis for success for all new remote employees. Being explicit in terms of expectations, creating a cultural buddy to support each new colleague are two suggestions that will over the way for that success. There are many more. The truth is that new employees must feel welcome and included in the company to ensure they are happy and productive as soon as possible
Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work
Gallo sees disagreement as an ‘inevitable, normal and healthy part of relating to other people”, rather than something to be avoided. She outlines the real value of getting good at disagreeing effectively – from better work outcomes and opportunities to learn, through to improved relationships and a more inclusive work environment. She then breaks down some practical ways we can become better at disagreeing constructively.
Holding up the mirror: diversity data in the investment, wealth management and savings industry
PowerPoint Presentation (lgbtgreat.com)
A how to guide setting out the drivers for collecting diversity data, how to overcome challenges and top 10 tips for communicating why this is important when designing campaigns. Although primarily focusing on the financial services sector, the issues raised are relevant to all areas.
How to call out sexism or racism at work
Felicity Menzies, FCA
Challenging offensive language and behaviours in the workplace can be daunting. We are taught to foster cohesion and to build a friendly working atmosphere. Fear of upsetting the equilibrium and of falling foul of a perpetrator often dictates a lack of tackling such behaviours. This article explains why this situation arises and offers helpful advice on how to take the offenders on
Why Reverse Mentoring Works and How to Do It Right
Jennifer Jordan and Michael Sorell
A brief but clear reminder of the value of Reverse Mentoring from retention to enhancing the understanding of difference. It also has some useful tips on getting it right.
Accountability is key to enabling diversity and inclusion in organizationsShane Crabb, Chief Learning OfficerThis article looks at the errors organisations make in executing on D&I strategies. It is the final summary statement that gives a key view: Infusing accountability at the organizational and individual level is key to building diverse organizations with inclusive cultures.
Microsoft made inclusion every employee’s responsibility. Here’s why.Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, MicrosoftEnsuring there was joint accountability for inclusion was a key strategy for Microsoft. In 2016, they tied components of executive compensation to internal diversity and inclusion goals. More recently, the company incorporated inclusion into its performance review process for every employee.
How Employees’ Expectations Have Changed Through The Pandemic: What Leaders And HR Officers Need To Know
Kathy Caprino, Forbes
A description of how employees’ expectations have been changed by the pandemic and their experience of different ways of working. It outlines the implications for leaders and HR officers who will need to respond to increased expectations around flexibility, inclusion, work-life balance and autonomy.
Employers: Imagining the New Normal
We are hearing the phrase ‘the new normal’ a lot at the moment – an acknowledgement of how much has been changed by this crisis and the potential to build better ways of working. This blog by consultant Jennifer Liston-Smith, is particularly good at suggesting how HR leaders could envisage and prepare for that new normal, with inclusion as an absolute priority.
COVID-19 Resources for Coaches
This resource list from the ICF, one of the leading coaching bodies, is a helpful collation of materials and guidance. It provides a useful reference point for coaches, as well as helpful information for HR professionals when considering how to adapt their use of coaches in the light of Covid-19.
The coronavirus crisis thrusts corporate HR chiefs into the spotlight
This article from The Economist describes the changing role of HR leaders. It tracks various milestones in corporate history and how the focus of the Chief People Officer has altered and become increasingly important to the executive suite. HR leaders are seen as vital in keeping the people agenda as a central priority during times of crisis.
Adapting workplace learning in the time of coronavirusAlok Kshirsagar, Tarek Mansour, Liz McNally, and Marc Metakis, McKinseyThis article provides a good view of the changing nature of Learning & Development and the need to adapt learning styles away from traditional classroom modes of delivery. This trend has only been accelerated by current circumstances.
Why Inclusivity Needs to be the Backbone of Performance Reviews
Aubrey Blanche, TLNT
A useful reminder that performance reviews need to be mindful of inclusion, with some good pointers on how to ensure those reviewing don’t lose sight of inclusion during the review process. Under the pressure of the current crisis, there is a greater risk that biases can creep in – so this is a good reminder about how to mitigate against that.
Weekly Wrap: Coronavirus for HR and Remote Work Resource Compilation
Lance Haun, TLNT
This website has a number of useful materials especially with regard to the impact Covid-19 is having on the workplace. It acts as a kind of portal and details information on communications, remote working, people styles etc. As one article in the portal says ‘By taking the time to understand how their people work, in their offices and at home, and how they relate to others, employers can equip their workforce with the tools required to manage stress, remain engaged, and be productive through this crisis’
How to create effective online diversity trainings
Janice Gassam, Forbes
Some interesting insights on how distance learning can be used for inclusion training and the practices that make sessions engaging for participants.
Reverse / Reciprocal Mentoring
Why Reverse Mentoring Works and How to Do It Right
HBR article, October 2019
Focuses on Millennials but also transferable to other groups. Key messages include that the right match is crucial, address participants fear of feeling vulnerable and speaking truth to power, and ensure strong commitment from mentees.
Reverse mentoring – seeing things differently
Civil Service blog, October 2019
A mentor and mentee share their thoughts on the power of reverse mentoring, including the challenges and benefits.
What is reverse mentoring?
Business in the Community Factsheet
Brief factsheet that provides a basic guide to the benefits of reverse mentoring for both mentors and mentees.
What is reverse mentoring and why do you need it?
2.5 min clip by Jacob Morgan outlining the basics of reverse mentoring. Initial focus is on Millennials but messages transferable to all groups.
NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare Trust
8 min clip capturing a mentor and mentee talking about the impact of reverse mentoring on the race agenda. Refers to concepts such as white privilege, emotional shift from theoretical understanding to wanting to use your influence to make change. Talks about creating the environment to have courageous conversations.
Ways of Working – Archive
Don’t Let Hybrid Work Set Back Your DEI Efforts
Alexandra Samuel and Tara Robertson
As organisations shift towards hybrid working, how do leaders ensure that the equity-enhancing aspects of remote working are maintained? Tracking data to assess who is working from home and who is spending more time in the office is key, along with leaders role modeling inclusive hybrid working practices. It’s also crucial to monitor the link between the path to promotion and time in the office to avoid people who spend more time in the office advancing faster. The move to hybrid working could be beneficial to everyone – let’s ensure it enhances inclusion rather than exacerbate inequity.
Designing the Hybrid Office
In response to the pandemic, the purpose of offices is being revisited as companies adapt to a new hybrid working model. This article explores how forward thinking companies are developing spaces to provide workers with an opportunity to make connections, engage in unplanned innovation, build relationships and foster a learning environment.
It’s time for leaders to get real about hybrid
McKinsey & Company
Employers are grappling with how and where people will work after fully working remotely. This article explores the reality that many people are struggling with the relationship they have with both work and their employers and many are expecting to move job. It also refers to the need for leaders to embrace fallibility, being open that they may not have all the answers and also for them to genuinely listen to their staff and hear what they want. Creating a workplace with inclusion and wellbeing at its heart will be essential as the workplace continues to evolve.
65 Predictions About the Future of Work and Life
Chris Herd, Medium
Chris Herd, CEO of Firstbase has written some fascinating blogs and tweet threads (@chris_herd) about the future of work, in particular how remote working is likely to revolutionise how we do what we do. Herd describes how Covid-19 has accelerated shifts in how employees and organisations engage with one another and the affect this will have on how we all live. This short article provides 65 top line trends he thinks we need to be watching out for.
How to manage a hybrid team
Managing a hybrid team can be challenge, especially in a context where people’s needs and expectations are constantly changing. This article outlines practical ways managers can engage with their team members, whether in the office or working remotely. Checking proximity bias, being clear about meeting schedules and applying transparent performance management and development approaches are key to managing a hybrid team in an inclusive way.
5 Questions That (Newly) Virtual Leaders Should Ask Themselves
A challenge to leaders to identify ways they need to develop to lead effectively in a virtual setting. The article acknowledges the factors that make working together virtually so challenging, and then outlines the questions leaders can ask to help themselves adapt effectively.
What Will Work-Life Balance Look Like After the Pandemic?
Bobbi Thomason and Heather Williams
A call for business leaders to take the opportunity to learn from what has worked well during the crisis and to question the efficiency of pre-C19 ways of working, with a particular emphasis on navigating a better work-life balance.
The “IBM Work From Home Pledge”
This is interesting because it moves beyond general principles into explicitly outlining what it means in practice to work well from home. The pledge gets really specific about the ‘how’ – for example when describing working flexibly, being family sensitive and checking in on one another.
Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way
Bryan Lufkin, BBC
With the coronanvirus making working from home (WFH) the ‘new normal’ – this round up from the BBC provides a good, accessible summary of what to do, and what to avoid. It offers practical advice for those getting used to WFH and is good on how to establish effective work patterns and boundaries.
7 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Teams
Jason Aten, Inc
This piece is an accessible and easy to follow guide for people managers leading remote teams. A two-minute read that distils some sensible advice into a simple 7 simple point – with a clear emphasis on the need for frequent and effective communications.
How to work from home without losing your sanity
Kathryn Vasel, CNN Business
A guide for remote workers to ensure they set themselves up for success and take advantage of the new way of working. It also has some guidance on not overworking but in maintaining a good balance of work and life.
How the best remote teams communicate
Lila MacLellan, quartz at Work
This research-based piece gets beyond general advice on the importance of communication when people are remote working to pinpoint the type of communication that is most effective. It describes how “bursts of rapid communication, followed by longer periods of silence, are tell-tale signs of successful teams.”
8 Ways to Manage Your Team While Social Distancing
Timothy R. Clark, HBR
This piece from Harvard Business Review gives some good high-level thinking for managers in terms of how they should manage their teams remotely.
A blueprint for remote working: Lessons from China
Raphael Bick, Michael Chang, Kevin Wei Wang, and Tianwen Yu , McKinsey Digital
The reliance on good technology is never more important than when operating a remote working business model. This article from McKinsey gives very useful insights into the best technology products that are available and how well suited they are for the different modes of communication we can employ when managing remote teams.
Working from home? Here are five ways to reduce procrastination and be productive
This is a simple and clear article which emphasises good self-management techniques and principles so that remote workers pay important attention to their own wellbeing.
How to take a conference call when you absolutely hate taking conference calls
Hollie Richardson, Stylist
For those of us doing a conference call for the first time this has some interesting guidance on how to make the best impact.
Tips from our Global Coach team on how to find a remote working style that suits
Executive Coaching Consultancy
This thoughtful article describes the realities of working from home and the fact that for many it will take some adjustment. It also acknowledges that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’. Psychological health, goal setting and staying connected all feature here.
A Guide to Managing Your (Newly) Remote Workers
Barbara Z. Larson , Susan R. Vroman and Erin E. Makarius, HBR
A good overview of ‘how to’ for managers leading remote teams as well as some useful steers for those working remotely.
Quartz’s guide to keeping your remote team connected in times of crisis
Dasia Moore & Clarissa Pharr, Quartz
A simple summary from Quartz on what it takes to keep colleagues productive, healthy and connected during this crisis. It spans everything from software and hardware needs to establishing a healthy routine.
Wellbeing – Archive
3 Tips to Avoid WFH Burnout
Laura M. Giurge and Vanessa K. Bohns
The pandemic stimulated a sudden and unpredicted transition to remote working for millions of people. This rapid shift left some employers concerned about drops in productivity, when instead they should be more worried about the long-term risk of employee burnout. Ambiguous boundaries between our professional and personal lives, anxious over-delivery and excessive hours all present a very real threat to employee well-being. The piece shares some pragmatic recommendations for mitigating this risk and maintaining vital boundaries.
Talk to me
McKinsey and Company
The need to include employees in plans and keep them appraised of the future working environment is a critical enabler for inclusion. The consequences of not doing so can be increased anxiety which leads to burnout and ultimately the potential loss of key talent. This piece provides compelling evidence of the need to improve staff communications to allay those concerns and to ensure people feel a part of the organisation
Beyond Burned Out.
This article describes how ‘our always-on world’ was already fuelling a burn-out crisis – and this has only been compounded by the extreme pressures of Covid-19. Working from home, health worries, grief, home-schooling, loneliness, over-working, online meeting fatigue, lack of autonomy and job insecurity all combined to turn acute stress into chronic stress. In this piece, burnout is positioned as an organisational problem that requires an organisational solution – and it’s one leaders can’t afford to ignore. It advises focusing on ‘upstream interventions’ – instead of relying on self-care or wellbeing tactics to fix a systemic problem. This includes addressing unsustainable workloads, being open about mental health and developing the empathy of managers.
How Organizations Can Support the Mental Health of Black Employees
Angela Neal-Barnett, HBR
How Organizations Can Support the Mental Health of Black Employees Angela Neal-Barnett, Harvard Business Review, 10 June 2020The unrelenting series of events Black Americans have witnessed before and after the killing of George Floyd is racial trauma and the author outlines how organisations can support the mental health and wellbeing of Black employees by providing them with a safe place to talk and bringing in a skilled expert in racial trauma to help them process what they are experiencing and feeling.
How CEOs Can Support Employee Mental Health in a Crisis
Ryan Smith, HBR
This article makes explicit the costs of failing to pay attention to the mental health of your people. It outlines the potential consequences of uncertainty and identifies some clear, specific steps that leaders and managers can take to mitigate the impacts of stress, anxiety and isolation.
10 ways COVID-19 could change Workplace Wellbeing
Written by Aon’s Head of Health Management, Charles Alberts – this informative blog outlines some of the ways in which Covid-19 could change workplace wellbeing. It makes ten predictions – including health and wellbeing becoming a C-Suite priority, more businesses talking about mental health and greater flexibility about work location.
How to Lead in a Crisis
How leaders can help to reduce stress for their teams during the coronavirus crisis. A useful description of how our brains typically respond to different levels of threat, alongside three ways that leaders can help teams to manage the stress this causes.
How to Deal with Constantly Feeling Overwhelmed
Rebecca Zucker, HBR
Rebecca Zucker’s HBR article on how and why leaders get overwhelmed by complexity was written pre Covid-19 but is more applicable than ever. She pinpoints some of the assumptions and behaviours that undermine leaders’ ability to cope and identifies ways to address them. With many of us working from home, our ability to manage boundaries is bound to be under stress, so it’s worth spending energy on developing some coping strategies.
Address Your Stress
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a social enterprise providing guidance and training to support mental health in the workplace and beyond. They have a range of good, clear, accessible materials, so we have signposted you directly to their resource page. Have a good look around and see what might work for you – we found the discussion of the “Stress Container” particularly useful.
Burnout Isn’t Just in Your Head. It’s in Your Circumstances.
Adam Grant, The New York Times
Organisational psychologist Adam Grant looks at emotional exhaustion and burnout and what it takes to prevent or cure them. He boils this down to three options – reduce the demands of the job, provide support, or increase control. He then applies this thinking to the live circumstances of the global pandemic.
Leading in truly uncertain times.
Dr Jen Frahm
Dr Jen Frahm’s short blog piece talks about the implications of working in a “VUCA’ environment – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. She points to the need for leaders to calm themselves and those around them and offers some simple clear guidance about how to do so.
Accelerating Black Inclusion in Financial Services
PowerPoint Presentation (newfinancial.org)
New Financial report that focuses on the progression of Black colleagues into leadership positions in the UK finance sector. Based on interviews with the most senior cohort of Black professionals across the industry, the report captures their experiences in response to George Floyd’s death; their involvement with the Black inclusion agenda and how it has changed since May 2020; and discuss their career trajectories, in order to both draw out any barriers they may have faced as they progressed to senior roles as well as inform organisational actions to better support Black colleagues.
How a Lack of Sponsorship Keeps Black Women Out of the C-Suite
Stephanie Bradley Smith
Harvard Business Review article that calls for 5 specific actions to encourage more impactful sponsorship of Black women: Reimagine the diversity imperative, audit succession plans annually, make sponsorship visible, reward those who sponsor and examine the barriers to career progression for Black women.
Allyship and Curiosity Drive Inclusion for People of Colour at Work
Catalyst – Sheila Brassel, Joy Ohm and Dnika J. Travis
Research was conducted by Catalyst into the factors that positively change the workplace experience for people of colour. The article describes the negative impact of bias, discrimination and the costs of being ‘on guard’ at work, whilst also showing how leaders can help to change this. Leaders who display allyship and curiosity help to reduce the need for people of colour to feel on guard, which increases inclusion and that in turn affects the intent to stay at the organisation. The research outlines what this means in practice and also cautions against ‘performative allyship’ either by individual leaders or the organisation as a whole.
What makes an effective ally?
Produced by leading law firm, Travers Smith – this guidance booklet focus on what it means in practice to be ally to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people within and beyond the workplace. It establishes 10 clear steps for allies to move from positive intent to action – as one contributor, organisational facilitator Bilal Harry Khan points out, “To me, ally is a verb, not a noun.”
Illustrated with powerful quotes from BAME contributors throughout – this is an excellent reference for those who want to step up and do more than just talk a good game. It also brings together some clear guidance on terminology and signposts to other useful resources.
Has Anything Changed for Black Women at Work?
This podcast lets us into the lived experiences of four Black women at work and how they have noticed employers respond in the last 12 months. Their engagement in workplace matters, how this is received, their reflections are captured here. After their 4 x insights there is an illuminating set of observations and recommendations for all of us from Stephanie Creary, an identity and diversity scholar at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
McKinsey – Our Black Voices
A powerful video featuring Black American McKinsey colleagues sharing their personal stories growing up and also in the workplace. Hard hitting as we reflect on the challenges they have faced outside of work but also how difficult it can be at work. McKinsey explains their rationale for developing an authentic and impactful action plan to address this inequity by commitments to amend lack of representation, enhance talent development, invest in genuine community activities etc.
Me and White Supremacy discussion
Layla F Saad in conversation with Angela Saini, 5 x 15
As a gateway to understanding what is actually meant by the terms white supremacy, white privilege and intersectionality – this conversation between Layla F Saad and Angela Saini is hard to beat. But it does so much more – including giving a powerful insight into the lived experience of women of colour who are challenge racism and the costs of doing that relentless work. There are powerful challenges around the need for white allies to step up, ‘do the work’ to understand systemic racism and not to fall into allyship fatigue.
If the interview stimulates you to want to do and learn more – then get the books to guide you https://www.meandwhitesupremacybook.com/
You’ve been called out for a micro-aggression – what do you do?
Harvard Business Review
As firms begin to have different conversations about race, calling out and responding to examples of microaggressions may become more common place. This article outlines how to apologise, how and when to make amends and the best way to incorporate the learning into future action.
So, can we talk? #talkaboutblack
Compelling essay on “what it is like to be born a black person, born a long way from the hallowed Board rooms of UK PLC.” It uses the metaphor of ‘kinks in the hosepipe’ to illustrate how black people experience multiple obstacles leading to lives of under-realised potential. The article deconstructs the excuses leaders hide behind and provides specific actions necessary to make progress.
It’s time for white people to step up for black colleagues
Nicola Rollock, Financial Times
A call for more white people to be active allies, by becoming aware of white privilege and challenging passivity and denial. It takes effort, active listening and is a constant process but is essential if we are to see meaningful and sustainable change.
Is Your Company Actually Fighting Racism, or Just Talking About It?
Kira Hudson Banks and Richard Harvey, Harvard Business Review
An article that explores how leaders can respond to Black Lives Matter and listen to Black experience inside their workplaces. Connecting corporate rhetoric with the daily, lived experience of Black colleagues is crucial if racism within organisations is to be addressed.
Race Fluency – Getting the Language Right
Delta Alpha PSI
An article that explores the complexity of language when talking about ‘race’, presents the history and implications of using some of the most familiar terms, and provides practical suggestions for future use.
4 Ways White People Can Process Their Emotions Without Hijacking the Conversation on Racial Justice
Jennifer Loubriel’s article describes the ways in which white people can typically hijack the conversation on racial justice – pulling the focus on them, rather than on the lived experiences of black people. She gives four very clear pieces of advice about how to avoid doing this.
Alice Dearing: ‘I don’t want to always be referred to as the black swimmer from Britain’
Sean Ingle, Guardian
Elite swimmer Alice Dearing on what it could mean to become the first Team GB black swimmer to make it to an Olympic Games. She talks about the necessity of challenging stereotypes and how she is using her platform – “I like to think about everything I do as influencing my younger self.”
TalkAboutBlack – Panel Discussion and Call to Action
A powerful panel discussion from Diversity Project’s #TalkAboutBlack campaign. In the wake of the Amy Cooper incident in Central Park, and the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the panel shared their personal experiences of racial injustice, their insights into structural inequality and their views on what individuals and organisations can do about it.
How to support black publishers and bookshops
The stories we hear, and who gets to tell them shapes our worldview. This article from Penguin puts a spotlight on the #InclusiveIndies campaign to support independent, inclusive publishers – as well as black-run bookshops and literary agents who represent the under-represented. With the upsurge of interest in black authors – where and how we purchase can have a direct effect on the structure of publishing.
Talk About Black – Call to Action!
A searing summary of the impact of the Amy Cooper incident in Central Park and George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis. This compelling piece to camera from Dawid Konotey-Ahulu connects current events with the horrors of the slave trade, showing “what racism gives you permission to do.” It is a call to action to stop black people living lives of ‘under-realised potential.”
Becoming Anti-Racist: Fear, Learning, Growth.
Andrew M Ibrahim
A graphic created by Andrew Ibrahim MD on become anti-racist, talking about what happens in the Fear Zone, Learning Zone and Growth Zone. Ibrahim tweeted “Learning a lot and striving to be better. Created this visual mental model as a way to help keep myself accountable.”
Don’t turn your back on Black lives when the hashtags fade
Natalie Morris, Metro
Journalist Natalie Morris consistently writes some of the most insightful articles on race in the UK. Here she talks about the real risk of short-term attention on Black Lives Matter, which could fade away with the next news cycle. Instead she calls for the real work to being to achieve long-term change.
There’s a lot more to do
Author Jeffrey Boakye shared a 15 step process for white people to become anti-racists, allies and advocates. But he describes his frustration at the impatience of those people getting stuck at Step 3 “Seek immediate answers”, without committing to the long-term work necessary to dismantle white supremacy.
Nine books to help you understand race and dismantle racism
The consistent advice for those striving to become anti-racist is to learn about how racism shows up on an individual and systemic level. There are many brilliant resources to be found – and these are just 9 relatively recently published books that can provide a starting point for that process of education.
To White People, on Racism
Hope not Hate activist Maatin Patel writes about what it means to live in a world that “penalises you for the colour of your skin.” He talks about the cost of speaking up about racism and how often his challenges are dismissed or ignored. He desribes the actions he would like to see from white people – that they learn, they give and they use their voices.
How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time
Write, activist and comedian Baratunde Thurston’s uses his wit and storytelling to expose what it means to be black in America. The raw fear of being pulled over by the police and the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans for the ‘crime’ of eating, walking or generally “living while black”. He shows us how to deconstruct headlines to see the underlying structural racism – and asks us to take action to level up.
A Letter to my White Friends
Londoner, Harvardian and Olympian Chris Lambert writes a letter ‘to my white friends.’ He calls out the avoidance, silence, inertia and unwillingness to challenge racism that makes people complict, “inequality persists because the majority permits it.”
Open Mind – Archive
How to unleash the power of purpose at work and in life
Podcast and transcript of a conversation focusing on how Covid has brought to the fore the importance of purpose and the role of organisations in building an environment where individuals can realise their purpose. Underpinning research suggests that the driver for this focus is clear – nearly seven out of ten employees are reflecting on their purpose because of the pandemic and those who say that they live their purpose at work are six times more likely to want to stay at the company.
From forgeries to Covid-denial, Tim Harford on how we fool ourselves
“There are certain things that large numbers of people believe, despite the most straightforward evidence to the contrary” – in this article, economist and journalist Tim Harford explores why we fool ourselves. He describes the power of “motivated reasoning” – the in-built incentive to be attached to wishful thinking. It leads us to think about a topic with the aim of reaching a particular conclusion – and can fuel bias in anything from hiring patterns to purchasing decisions.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Luvvie Ajayi Jones describes herself as a “professional troublemaker”, who speaks up in the hope that others will follow suit; “for a lot of dominos to fall, one has to fall first”. She is aware of the potential consequences of speaking truth to power – but sees staying quiet as an over-rated comfort, “People and systems count on our silence to keep us exactly where we are.”
Only half of young attracted exclusively to opposite sex
This article includes details about a study showing a generational shift in how young people view their sexuality. Just over 50 per cent of 18- to 23-year olds, who are known as Generation Z, say they are “only attracted to those of the opposite sex”, according to polling by the research group Ipsos Mori. What can this mean for how we include colleagues with these evolving trends in their personal lives?
When Women take up Space Not Built for them.
Emily de Wet – Anthropology News
This short article tells the story of NASA having to cancel the first all-female space walk because they didn’t have the right size suits. It uses this example to illustrate the need to be deliberately inclusive and intersectional in designing workplaces and systems. The author specifically focuses on the need to pay attention to the ways that women inhabit and experience the world – and it shows how environments are frequently configured in a way that discourages their active participation.
Although academic in tone and focus – it has some interesting potential applications to the workplace and how it “takes intentional investment in making sure the spaces we inhabit and work within are suited for all of us.”
Applying the Lessons of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter
Kira Banks, TED TALK
Kira Hudson Banks’ Tedtalk applies the lessons of #MeToo to #BlackLivesMatter. Neither are about ‘bad apples’ or isolated incidences, instead the ‘barrel is rotten’ and we need to tackle the systemic sexism and racism that leads many of us to turn a blind eye. There is a call to stop victim blaming, to humanise the people experiencing discrimination and to take action to dismantle structural racism.
Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months
Rutger Bregman, Guardian
Author Rutger Bregman uncovered a real “Lord of the Flies” story of boys stranded on an island – but they did not harm or bully each other, quite the opposite. The boys established a society that focused on co-operation, friendship and loyalty. In the light of the many stories of kindness emerging from our experiences of Covid-19, perhaps we need to challenge our views on human nature and what it is capable of.
Covid-19 is increasing the divide in life chances between rich and poor
Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin, LSE
Covid-19 is not the great leveler. It does not affect all of us equally, instead it has exposed the gulf in life chances between the poor and the privileged. This blog from the LSE proposes urgent reforms to tackle economic and education inequalities, without which we face ‘a dark age of declining opportunity.’
The Human Skills We Need in an Unpredictable World
Writer and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan’s TED talk focuses on the value of ‘messy’ human skills like imagination, humility and bravery and how invaluable these are in helping us to cope with an unpredictable future.
RSA ANIMATE: Re-Imagining Work
Part of the RSA’s award-winning Animate series – a sharp, illustrated 10-minute provocation on the nature of work and how it is no longer a physical destination. Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft challenges organisations to trust employees to work in the best place and with the right tools to produce their best work. He argues that this brings a ‘cognitive openness’ which lends itself to better quality thinking and innovation.
Is inclusion transforming the advertising sector?
Ali Hannan, Raconteur
A short piece from Ali Hannan the founder of Creative Equals on how inclusion is (and isn’t) affecting the advertising sector. We liked the spotlight being put on some of the most progressive and creative campaigns, which show what’s possible when brands get inclusion right.
Virus puts responsible capitalism to the test
An opinion piece from the FT that makes the case for a ‘redrawing of the relationship between business and society’ which the authors suggest should lead to a more responsible or caring capitalism.
The Power of Vulnerability
Brené Brown, TED Talks
An oldie but a goodie – how can we not be vulnerable amidst such uncertainty? In one of the most popular talks in TED history, Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability and how it is integral to human connection, empathy and belonging. All key concerns for leaders trying to navigate the turmoil caused by Covid 19.
Coronavirus ‘could deepen racial divides’ in the UK
Natalie Morris , Metro
Part of the Metro’s ground-breaking series of articles on “The State of Racism” – this piece by Natalie Morris considers the ways in which coronavirus could deepen racial divides in the UK. It’s a sobering look at pre-existing structural inequalities and how these could be further compounded by the response to the virus.