With the recent surge in DEI attention and commitments, we’ve seen a lot of really interesting headlines from other organizations in the DEI consulting and training space. One headline, in particular, has really caught our eye and this week, we are devoting special attention to reacting to it in a new blog series that we are calling TCC Reacts.
TCC Reacts will feature an emerging topic or trend and our team’s reaction to it. This is the perfect way to get to know our team and understand our collective stance on hot topics in this space. Without further ado, let’s jump right in and discuss:
What’s wrong with reaching DEI “fast”?
My reaction to “reaching DEI fast” is fast for who? And, what’s driving the urgency? Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts at their core require deep, challenging work that often results in radical change or even upheaval of current systems and ways of working. Simply put, this change is not going to be fast. When an organization prioritizes speed over the depth of change, it’s likely for the purpose of perception and not for the purpose of sustainable transformation. With our ever-evolving world, we’ll likely never ‘reach’ DEI, and as such it’s best to reframe away from how quickly we’ll get there to how acutely the change will be felt for marginalized populations.
Many would benefit from reimagining DEI as ‘agricultural’ work versus ‘political’ work. In politics, the aim is often to “be right,” whereas in agriculture the aim is often to be productive. The fundamental distinction here is that the political approach centers argumentation and the agricultural approach centers cultivation.When we seek to properly cultivate ecosystems that produce the People & Culture ideals we aspire to, we are compelled to consider Mother Nature’s patient example–growth is steady and incremental. If DEI work was simply about “proving a point,” we’d easily be able to implement change in an expedited fashion. But since it is about cultivating productive interpersonal and cross-functional relationships, it will take a more steady hand to nurture sustainable growth.
Like with anything truly sustainable, the *how* is incredibly important. Yes, there are instances where an organization needs to put out fires expeditiously, but otherwise, focusing on the process will yield more impactful (Read: BETTER) results. By moving in a mindful, paced way, an individual, group, or organization can take the time to understand the current state of affairs, create a path to sustained change, and take the necessary time to properly learn and unlearn behaviors required for success.
So, what are your thoughts on the concept of reaching DEI “fast”? Join the conversation by sharing your reaction, opinion, and experience in the comments!