Our collective would not exist without Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Five to Flow was built on the the value of a diverse team who authentically engages to create a healthy and inclusive environment for all employees.
My passion for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion began early in my career when I was a school teacher in a low-performing, inner-city school followed by a low-income, rural school district in Ohio. Working with these underprivileged kids every day, many of them felt like there was no way to rise above their circumstances and realize their full potential. It took considerable effort and reinforcement with parents, administration, and fellow students to change their vision of what they believed was possible. This experience helped me develop the compassion and understanding necessary to consult organizations across the globe experiencing these same challenges.
Once I began consulting, I realized that all things in life are capable of being changed. All you have to do is prepare for it, manage it, and reinforce it. This includes matters of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In 2011, this became more formalized when I began running a Change Management Practice where I spoke to employees across global organizations every day and felt their pain.
As I helped people feel more included and engaged at work, I saw the need for a set of customized solutions that foster incremental change and launched the use of a framework called ADKAR® created by Prosci. ADKAR® stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. It can be used for any type of change initiative to identify barriers and key activities that need to be completed to drive individual, team and organizational change.
My experience across the globe gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in hundreds of organizations that claim to have strong core values with a focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This experience has framed my point of view and strategic advice on this topic. Unfortunately, many leaders are unaware of the overt racism, sexism, ageism, other forms of discrimination, and bullying that exist within their business while publicly declaring the exact opposite. Over the years, I have offered many "polite recommendations" for positive changes to further enable the inclusion for all employees. Now, as a CEO myself, these recommendations are how I lead our business at Five to Flow. We follow our own guidelines to work with customers who need some thoughtful yet actionable feedback and effective solutions to create a warm culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion and consequently a positive movement toward organizational wellness. We want all of you to join us.
At Five to Flow, we have a zero tolerance policy for acts of racism, discrimination, violence, and infringements on human rights. We believe that matters of human rights and equality should a part of our core, living from that positive energy and place of compassion. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are a fundamental component of our DNA.
Unfortunately, in the workplace we do not all experience a diverse, equal, and inclusive environment. What we seek to achieve with our customers is a world where companies focus authentically on DEI and as part of their core values. We want to help create environments where the leadership team is diverse and fosters a sense of upward mobility for all employees. We help define actionable goals to combat social injustice with a strategy, timeline, and execution plan that celebrates progress and evolution. We support the creation of programs around DEI-focused volunteer hours, public facing positions on social injustice issues, related mental health programs, and inclusion initiatives that increase awareness promoting advancement for underrepresented employees.
We express our gratitude to our DEI Leaders and Advisory members for enabling us as a team to stay committed to our values and contributing every day to the depth and breadth of ideas and perspectives we gain from being a diverse team ourselves.
First, let's break the ice. Talking about DEI issues is not easy, but it must be done. Reviewing your business performance around diversity, equity and inclusion can be a very disappointing but eye opening experience for many executive leaders.
Ask yourself these questions to start educating yourself about DEI, and we can help you begin the communications process to take your first steps forward:
Creating a path others can follow is critical. Gaining a deep understanding of your employees, their diverse opinions, and offering a safe space for them to express themselves will equip you with what you need to start moving toward a more inclusive environment.
Ask yourself these questions to start creating motivation and desire around DEI, and we can help you refine your responses to ensure they resonate with your unique teams and customers:
Being able to get everyone onboard and navigate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce takes focus and setting explicit expectations. Ask yourself these questions to start creating collaborative, informative and compelling content that clarifies how you want to lead and operate around DEI. Our collective can engage your employees in a safe environment to help set expectations as a team:
Providing the right training and resources promote the sustainable growth of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce challenges the assumption that all employees are able to create this environment on their own. Ask yourself these questions in order to enable your employees and continuously improve DEI within your business culture.
The behaviors of your leadership team must mirror the organization's commitment to DEI as a core value. To ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion are engrained in your culture, all employees must be accountable to creating this environment and reinforcing it. Ask yourself these questions to start thinking about accountability plans for DEI. We can help you with adoption metrics, assessments and reinforcement programs.
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