ATD Blog

Obtaining Star Results from Diversity & Inclusion

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Best-in-class organizations recognize that diversity & inclusion (D&I) is a source of competitive advantage, helping to attract, retain, and develop top talent and build marketplace advantage through a deep understanding of changing customer needs.

Too often, D&I is a siloed function within organizations, which results in less traction. Instead, organizations need to embed D&I throughout the organizational strategy, structure, and processes, so that it is not a “stand alone” initiative. To that end, consider Jay Galbraith’s famous STAR Model, as shown below, as a lens to examine the degree to which D&I is integrated throughout organizational processes and culture.

Consider each of these components of the STAR model:

Strategy. Does your organization emphasize changing demographics and market demands when establishing strategic direction? To what extent do you have diverse senior leaders helping to shape strategy?

Structure. Does your organizational structure promote power and authority that leverages diversity and inclusion? Is the work managed by only one type of person or by diverse leaders?


Processes. Are decisions made only by individuals in the dominant demographic population? Are there mechanisms established to promote diversity of thought and include multiple perspectives to encourage innovative thinking?

Rewards. What behavior and outputs currently are being measured and rewarded? Is progress in D&I being reinforced? The adage that “what gets measured, gets done,” applies to D&I; assess what measures, if any, are in place to advance D&I.


People. Is D&I emphasized throughout the employee lifecycle, including how

  • the organization recruits and hires
  • new employees are onboarded
  • performance management is implemented
  • training and development investments are made
  • succession planning is implemented
  • exit interviews are conducted?

D&I always will be a work in progress as the world around us continues to change. All organizations will be at different stages with respect to implementing D&I in a systematic way. The Galbraith Model provides us with a useful framework to take stock of the current state, and to then determine what is needed to move to the next level.
What steps have you taken in your organization to make D&I a STAR?

Check back for more posts this month on D&I, and plan to attend the ASTD webcast, Best Practices in Diversity and Inclusion: A Panel Discussion on July 10, 2013 at 1 p.m. ET. You’ll hear more about this topic from a panel of chief diversity officers, combined with an external consulting perspective. You also will obtain a list of D&I resources and an action planner to help assess your organization’s current practices.

For more on diversity and inclusion (D&I), check out the full blog series here.

About the Author

Marjorie Derven, a director at HUDSON Research & Consulting, has worked with many leading organizations to design change management strategies and initiatives that integrate organizational effectiveness, DEI, and learning to create solutions that drive meaningful change.

She formerly served as chair for TD Editorial Board and as a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board in the human capital practice. With 20+ years of consulting experience with top-tier companies across multiple industries, her areas of expertise include emotional intelligence, diversity and inclusion, global leadership development, talent management, and organizational research. Marjorie has published dozens of articles and is a frequent presenter at global conferences. For more information, contact [email protected].

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