By Rosalie Chamberlain, Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching
Now, more than ever, the need to do something different, to take action is a MUST. This requires behaviors that are more than saying “hello” to someone you have never paid attention to before. It requires looking inside to see where you are complicit with racist ideas, policies, procedures; where sexism is operating full-on; where homophobia lurks in inward thoughts and outward behaviors; where xenophobia is a byproduct of the religious norm; where differently-abled are marginalized?
Both the individuals and the company must go through this investigative process.
We start with getting into the weeds to understand “what is it your organization wants.” I mean really wants. Is it to look, good on paper? Or do you really want to change? If we really intend to transform the organization into one that walks the talk, we delve deep into policies, procedures, and practices that maintain the status quo and we find the holes.
From there, we build a strategy of actions and changes that will shift the environment, that will create change. However, it takes the individuals (you) to implement the changes in behaviors necessitated by the policies. New practices rely on individual responsibility and accountability.
Ibram X. Kendi states in his essay: “Is this the Beginning of the End of American Racism” (The Atlantic, September 2020) that “A nation is what it does, not what it originally claimed it would be.”
Try replacing the word “nation” with “organization” and then with “person” and the challenge is personal. An organization is what it does, not what it originally claimed it would be. A person is what he or she does, not what he/she originally claimed they would be.
If you think it is a challenge for us to unpack racism and dismantle the old ways of doing things, my question is, “Why is it a challenge?” What are we afraid of losing? One’s position, self-esteem, idealized self-image? Does it feel chaotic?
Chaos can be a call to reorder things.
Isn’t it time to dig into the weeds to discover and create a new structure and way of being that is supported by honesty, integrity, courage, intention, commitment, and accountability?
Are you up for the challenge?
Rosalie Chamberlain is a leadership and executive coach, specializing in leadership assessment, development and effectiveness. She is a speaker on Unconscious Bias: Multicultural Competencies; and Leadership Effectiveness. Rosalie is the author of Conscious Leadership in the Workplace: A Guidebook to Making a Difference One Person at a Time. Rosalie has unique experience with respect to organizational culture, having worked with multicultural organizations with diverse workforces and complex diversity and inclusion challenges to develop and implement strategies, behaviors and best practices for building inclusive organizations.