The Challenge of Inclusion

The establishment of an inclusive organizational environment is a challenge that requires real change. The challenge is balancing one dominant viewpoint against less understood or recognized points of view. The suppression of other perspectives denies collective contribution that leads to organizational innovation and creativity. However, despite organizational structures that are flatter and more democratic, organizations still define leaders as the “thinkers” and employees as the “executing objects.”

It’s challenging to create an inclusive environment when such definitions of reality exist in organizations. In order to create inclusive environments, organizations must change their view of reality. It means increasing the awareness that people of other backgrounds, experiences, and cultures might perceive reality differently. Understanding and respecting these points of view encourage reflection which helps create a culture of inclusion. 

A clear organizational vision is a starting point for creating an inclusive organizational culture. It clarifies the organization’s direction, creates commonality in mindsets, and illustrates where the organization wants to be in the future.  Within this inclusive environment, “leadership becomes a question of coordinated social processes in which a leader is one voice among many (Pless & Makk).

Reference:  Pless, N., & Makk, T. (2004). Building an Inclusive Diversity Culture: Principles, Processes and Practice. Journal of Business Ethics, 54(2),129-147.