Diversity and Inclusion was the focus of the recent Credit Union Leadership Forum Edu-Leader learning event for senior leaders to increase organizational effectiveness. Stuart Levine writes that leaders face many challenges to diversity and inclusion. Often the most important one is insider/outsider dynamics within the organization.
“Insiders, who are usually in the majority, often have a shared culture of norms, values and assumptions, as well as a shared history. Outsiders are a numerical minority and often are women, people of different race, ethnic or sexual orientation. Outsiders can be self-conscious, live in fear of making a mistake, be reluctant to offer suggestions or ideas and even have a sense that they must work harder to prove themselves. These behaviors diminish creativity, innovation and productivity.”
Leaders need to become more self-aware and be more self-reflective about their level of intercultural competence (the ability to become “bridges” between different cultures within the organization.)