Minority Business Entrepreneur

March/April 2014

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March/April 2014 MBE Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is crucial to build- ing global profits, developing top talent, and responding effectively to changing customer requirements. However, D&I execution often falls short of intended targets. Despite intense competition to reach new markets and attract global talent, D&I has a long way to go before it becomes embedded in the regular operations of companies. Making a compelling business case is a critical step that sometimes is overlooked. An understanding of D&I has evolved over time, from an early focus on compliance to today's understanding that D&I is a critical part of how we must do business going forward. With changing demographics, more demanding customers, and mobilit y across borders, organizations must shift how they attract, re- tain, and de- ve l o p t a l e n t , creating a more inclusive environment that leverages diversity effectively. However, we must make the business case explicit so that D&I isn't seen as a practice focused solely on being "politically correct," or as window dressing. In a time of aging Baby Boomers, more minorities enter- ing the workforce, veterans returning to the workplace, and nearly one in five people having some kind of disability, we must find talent from new sources and create a more inclusive environment. Failure to do so means losing talent to your competitors. Here are five steps to building your D&I business case: • Define external drivers that set the context in which your organization needs to operate to be successful. Conduct research about where growth is occurring and where existing and emerging competition is focusing. Collect data about how your organization's customers and requirements are shifting, and what the implications are from a D&I perspective. • Define internal drivers that show how increased competi- tion for talent requires organizations to find the best people in new ways, and—once they successfully recruit them—foster an inclusive environment in which talent capabilities and contributions are encouraged and captured. Consider where some of the pain points in your organization exist—relating to turnover, diverse talent in leadership roles, effectively mir- roring your customer base, and so forth. • Conduct key stakehold- er analysis to u n d e r s t a n d how var ious internal func- tions (such as IT, marketing, HR, operations, procurement, supply chain and legal) need to adapt to changing demographics. Next, examine external stakeholders (such as customers, suppliers, Diversity&InclusionEvolutionintheU.S. PERIOD 60s 70sͲ80s 90s TodayŹForward EqualEmployment Affirmative Promote Diversity& Opportunity Action Diversity Inclusion FOCUS Eliminatediscrimination forprotectedclasses/ reducelegalriskthrough compliance Activelypromote equalopportunity Broaderdefinitionto includereligion,cultural backgrounds,LGBT, differentwaysof thinking Makeexplicitlinkage betweenworkplaceand marketplacetoenhance innovation,teamwork andobtainthebest talent 1)DEFINE EXTERNAL DRIVERS 2)DEFINE INTERNAL DRIVERS 3)CONDUCT KEY STAKEHOLDER ANALYSIS 4)IDENTIFY D&IGAPS 5)CAPTURE& DISSEMINATE SUCCESS STORIES Understand howD&I driversaffect Î Assessthe dynamicsof D&Ionthe Î Understand whatD&I meansto Î Assesswhere thegreatest improvement Î Share examplesof D&I

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