None of us really loves policies. Right? We feel no sense of ownership or affinity for them. So how do we overcome this, we ask ourselves, particularly when it comes to developing and implementing policies as challenging as Diversity and Inclusion.
These types of policies are more overwhelming than most. We know they will undergo added scrutiny and critique. Plus, with events continually impacting on thinking in this area, it can become a formidable task to isolate what is most important to include. It can mostly feel like we are dealing with a moving target.
Getting buy-in feels like the ultimate win particularly as there are difficult moral, ethical and value issues to cover. With this in mind, effectively building a framework to embed and leverage our Diversity and Inclusion demands is the leading edge in best practice adoption.
We have to get the two essential ingredients in great policy development and implementation right – process and substance.
We hate being tripped up on technicalities. So, we want to be sure our legal obligations are water tight and social responsibilities are contemporary and sound.
The need to achieve meaningful policy development and implementation with Diversity and Inclusion is even more compelling if we want to get from buy-in to embrace. A key insight in best practice adoption in this regard is that substance and process are heavily intertwined.
It will demand that we go beyond stock standard repertoires. The backbone process remains: Identify the Need> Consult> Establish the Lead> Consult> Research> Consult> Gather the information> Consult> Draft> Consult> Finalize> Consult> Approve> Consult> Add related procedures> Consult> Implement> Consult> Monitor> Consult> Review> Consult> Revise> Consult.
I trust you spotted something on this process approach to policy development and implementation that might appears a bit odd? Consult, consult, consult!! Excessive, you may challenge?
A policy development and implementation process infused with real and regular consultation will automatically breathe life into it and ensure ownership, customization and suitability within its specific context and makeup of individuals. Business leadership never abdicates its true accountability and responsibility. Consultation with stakeholders is a complementary, connecting and enriching process. It ensures fairness and purposeful contribution. In addition, with this approach consultant business partners can also enjoy a richer understanding of business needs and advise accordingly.
Consistent honest consultation, like Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace, has moved from “nice to do” to “must do”. Failure to embrace this practice throughout will worsen our shaky relationship with policies.