During the summer, we talked about The Inclusion Dividend: Why Investing in Diversity & Inclusion Pays Off by Mark Kaplan and Mason Donovan, intending to relate the book’s concepts to supplier diversity and how we SDMWVBE (Small, Disadvantaged, Minority, Women, or Veteran Business Enterprise) businesses might be able to incorporate this information in our organizations. Earlier, we covered key inclusion concepts; the business case for inclusion and diversity; and, defined inclusion dividends.

Chapter four moves into a conversation about whether an “ultimate end point for diversity and inclusion” exists and concludes that “… strategic change initiative requires …” on-going efforts and change management. The authors suggest that a good model for diversity and inclusion might be similar to a business’s safety program. We can start by turning a critical eye to our own organization. We can get a current snapshot by evaluating our formal and informal diversity practices; determining if there are rewards or penalties associated with diversity and inclusion; or, reviewing current patterns of inclusion. Then, we can begin to lay the foundation for our own inclusion initiatives.

The authors suggest that ” … sustainable inclusion requires:

  • A clear organization rationale and strategy
  • A concrete connection to the company’s business
  • Reward systems that incent new behaviors and
  • Developed leaders and staff who can ‘live’ the change on a day-to-day basis.”

The book goes on to discuss levels of change: individual; group/team; organizational and marketplace and makes suggestions about how organizations can achieve sustainable inclusion.

We’re making the assumption for sustainable inclusion … “change that is both lasting and resilient”.  As SDMWVBE businesses, we want to take advantage of diversity and inclusion initiatives with our existing and potential client base. Golden rule time — as we expect to benefit, we should be interested in making similar commitments in our own environments toward sustainable diversity and inclusion.  We can take a page, or several, out of chapter four to plan an effective inclusion strategy for our own organizations.