Strategic time frames seem to be getting shorter and shorter. Previously, setting direction on long-term overall goals seemed easier. During strategic sessions one could assume a relative degree of visibility into the future with some confidence to formulate general plans on achievement. One could simply scenario plan on various courses of action for adoption under fairly mild conditions of uncertainty.
Strategic time frames have shrunk because nowadays, while we feel as confident as ever on the “why” of strategy, the “when” has become suspect in terms of accurate prediction. For diversity and inclusion strategy this is relevant because core to strategic endeavour is focus on alignment. This has not changed and alignment is imperative to the successful implementation of any diversity and inclusion strategy.
Alignment is the one thing at least internally that we can work on improving, despite all the external factors and variables. In this context, instead of strategy cascading into tactics and operational plans in concrete time frames, it is better to focus on areas and opportunities for impact when looking at what results to pursue.
Driving diversity and inclusion progress requires systemic change that is sustainable. Efforts around alignment induce systemic change and enabling alignment is easier when there is a clear purpose that unites the forces of the organization and its people. The objective is to create a powerful combination performance in this area as well as accountability.
Doing things differently is right for the times
Assessing effectiveness and efficiency in strategic execution shifts to highlighting critical milestones, doing health checks, defining success factors and mapping pathways etc. We look at the number of initiatives and partnerships during alignment. We keep track of capacity building and diversity and inclusion training needs as they surface. We are comfortable to flex and change. Strategy with this emphasis becomes more interactive overall, with the organizations people playing a vital feedback role.
It is important to keep one’s finger on the pulse and stay connected at all levels to move forward at a pace that gives integrity to the “why”. The issue of “when” becomes less significant if we understand that with diversity and inclusion strategy harmonization is paramount. When we are fighting in the trenches, we try not to leave anyone behind.
When we look at diversity and inclusion in the workplace and related training, it is intimately connected to the business culture and climate. There is an ebb and flow as they interact that will continuously lead to new insights.
According to Robert Filek “Strategy without process is little more than a wish list.” When one looks at diversity and inclusion, concentrating on strategic alignment certainly will withstand the test of time. There simply is no stronger connecting process that will secure better justice and fairness for all.