Consider these stats:
- Although women comprise 45 percent of the American workforce, they represent less than 5 percent of CEOs and less than 20 percent of board members.
- Corporate boards are still 70 to 75 percent white males.
Multiple factors contribute to the current state of inequity in the workplace. Hidden bias can affect even seemingly open-minded employees. Additionally, organizational constraints such as underfunding of the D&I function, silos, and lack of rewards or recognition for D&I can impede progress. Many organizations view D&I as a series of one-off initiatives and not part of an overall change management strategy.
Change Management: A Systematic ApproachBecause the challenges facing D&I progress are multifaceted, so too will be the required solutions. A methodology should frame D&I efforts using the lens of change management. Here are three of the most widely used models for organizational change:
This model is an eight-step process:
- Establish a sense of urgency.
- Create a guiding coalition.
- Develop a change vision.
- Communicate the vision for buy-in.
- Empower employees to take broad action.
- Generate short-term wins.
- Never let up.
- Incorporate changes into the culture.
ADKAR is an acronym that “represents the five milestones an individual must achieve for change to be successful”: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement.
The Accelerating Change & Transformation (ACT) Model
Developed by Emergent, this model has been used at both Fortune 500 and midmarket companies. Steps include:
- Plan the change.
- Create urgency
- Lead the change.
- Engage the people.
- Align systems.
- Sustain the change.
Change management processes offer D&I a plan for implementing change; looking at factors including communication, training, rewards, and recognition; and identifying change agents and sponsors. The change management process should also assess where people are with respect to D&I in various levels, functions, and locations. Are they:
- active change agents, willing and able to get involved
- active supporters
- ·on the fence and want to learn more
- active resisters
It is necessary to have a full picture of the current state to plan the actions required to move to the desired state. D&I needs change management methodology that incorporates systems, processes, people, and a long-term investment for sustainable results.
How has your organization used change management approaches to drive D&I progress?