In our third episode of Scaling From The Edge, we address leadership blind-spots around diversity and inclusion post-Covid.
Companies that have prioritized—and continue to prioritize—D&I as a strategic business imperative will emerge from this crisis better than others and will be best positioned to flourish in the new realities of the post–COVID-19 world (J Flock: Heidrick & Struggles, 2020).
This quote highlights why D&I matters more than ever, but there is an inherent risk facing scale-up leaders as we emerge from the Covid crisis. In times of stress and uncertainty, human behaviour tends to retreat to the familiar. This often pushes D&I off the senior team agenda and increases the chances of leaders hiring and managing in their own likeness. This episode examines this issue and offers practical and achievable steps that small businesses can take to attract, nurture and manage more diverse teams.
Key insights from our discussion included:
- Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be leaders in their sector
- Companies need to shift their focus from “hiring diversity” to building a culture that is authentically inclusive and increases talent retention
- Diverse and inclusive company cultures prioritise active listening; being open to diverse perspectives; constructive conflict and creative abrasion (producing novel outcomes through the convergence of diverse thinking and conflicting ideas)
- Constructive conflict is essential for accelerating innovation
- Companies and HR functions need more transparency, right from the hiring, promotion and management of human capital by re-designing their diversity and inclusion practices and policies to minimise bias
- We’re all beginners in this field, but scale-ups can take the first step to being more diverse by implementing everyday behaviours around mindful leadership, psychological safety and working toward a culture of acceptance and shared values
Hosted by Scale Space Executive Chairman, Mark Sanders, our expert panellists are:
Our new Scaling From The Edge series explores critical issues facing the UK scaleup sector as a result of COVID-19. Expertly curated panel discussions and fireside chats will probe ways to pivot business plans, leadership and growth strategies as CEOs navigate the current pandemic.
Scaling From The Edge is tailored to support scaling companies and innovation teams from any sector, and offers valuable insights for founders, leadership teams, investors and entrepreneurs alike.