All the research done in the area of Diversity and Inclusion shows that having a mix of people in an organisation is not enough to create better outcomes, you have to have an inclusive culture too. If you don’t have an inclusive culture, you’re better off with an homogenous team and mantaining the status quo, but you’re less likely to be resilient and less likely to grow as effectively.

However, when you have a diverse team with an inclusive culture some of the statistics include: Inclusive leaders make employees feel 84% more motivated (BITC, 2014); Organisations with inclusive cultures are 8-times more likely to have overall better business outcomes (Bersin by Deloitte, 2017); Organisations with inclusive cultures are 6-times more likely to be innovative (ibid); Organisations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets (ibid); Organisations with inclusive cultures are 3-times more likely to be high performing (ibid), etc.

If you would like a piece of that pie, then how do you get comfortable with employing a diverse team and how to you create an inclusive culture?

The Inclusive Culture Pyramid© is a paradigm of my own design which brings overlays four different ideas: Cultural Intelligence (CQ®), The McKinsey Model of Change, the levels at which inclusion needs to be implemented, and the four areas of an organisation, as I have identified them.

The purpose of the Inclusive Culture Pyramid© is to describe the strategic process required to embed inclusion in any organisation.

Cultural Intelligence CQ® is the foundational principle and framework of behaviours required to be inclusive. CQ® is the capability to work and relate effectively with people who are different from you; it’s a measurement – quotient, hence the ‘Q’ – as well as an improvable skill.

CQ® is broken down into four key capabilities which in turn are broken down into 13 sub-catergories in total, each identified in order to help people pin point the areas they need to improve.

Cultural Intelligence begins with CQ Drive—the curiosity and motivation needed to work well with others. Next is CQ Knowledge—understanding the kinds of differences that describe one group as they differ from another, without resorting to stereotyping specific cultures. Third is CQ Strategy—learning how to plan effectively in light of cultural differences. And finally, is CQ Action—being able to adapt behaviour when the situation requires it.

The next component of the Inclusive Culture Pyramid© is the McKinsey Influence Model of Change.

In both research and practice, McKinsey found that transformations stand the best chance of success when they focus on four key actions to change mind-sets and behaviour: fostering understanding and conviction, reinforcing changes through formal mechanisms, developing talent and skills, and role modelling. Collectively labelled the “influence model,” these ideas were introduced more than a dozen years ago in a McKinsey Quarterly article, “The psychology of change management.” They were based on academic research and practical experience—what they saw worked and what didn’t.

In a recent McKinsey Global Survey, they examined successful transformations and found that they were nearly eight times more likely to use all four actions as opposed to just one.

The McKinsey Influence Model–of-change#

The third component of the Inclusive Culture Pyramid© is the layers at which the two overlaid principles need to be adopted. Firstly, at individual level, then as a team, then as a department, finally as an organisation. This paradigm only works if every individual in an organisation takes responsibility for inclusive change, which they can do when they have the CQ framework to work with and they’re supported with the change model. The immediate team around you needs to be rowing in the same direction, with the same principles guiding the change, the departments form and implement inclusive policy and procedure, and every department does this across the organisation.

The final component Inclusive Culture Pyramid© is identifying the four areas of the organisation and ensuring each is robust in the way it delivers inclusion. The four areas are:

Attraction & Recruitment – how you get people into the organisation/sector; Staff Engagement, Management & Progression – how you treat your people in the organisation/sector; Products & Services – how you create the output of your organisation/ sector; Users, Clients & Customers – how you attract and treat the people who use the output of your organisation/ sector.

4 Levels, 4 Sides, 4 CQ® Cornerstones, 4 Areas.

The Inclusive Culture Pyramid©

When you bring all of these elements together, you can address any agenda in the Diversity & Inclusion space in order to bring about Equity, but it starts with every individual knowing and understanding their CQ®.

One side of the Inclusion Culture Pyramid©
The other side of the Inclusion Culture Pyramid©

It is fairly straightforward to describe, but much harder to do. This is a granular, detailed piece of work that requires time, effort and resource, and certainly discomfort at times. If that investment is made, however, from that comes growth, learning and ultimately better environments, increased productivity and enhanced business.

Copyright © Marsha Ramroop 2018

Marsha Ramroop asserts the moral right to be identified as the creator of the Inclusive Culture Pyramid© paradigm.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retreival system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photcopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from Marsha Ramroop.