05. How to nurture cultural intelligence within the workplace
Once a team is trained on cultural intelligence and unconscious bias and the leadership team are on board, change management techniques can be used to help shift cultural perceptions. For cultural change to happen, every change management initiative must include:
A common understanding and vision of change
Clear communication to sell the business case for change
Educating employees about how their work will be affected by the proposed change
Concrete plan to measure whether or not the change is achieving its desired results
Rewards that encourage individuals and groups to take ownership for their new roles and responsibilities
A Deloitte report identified 6 traits of leadership that are important for change management:
Awareness of Bias
And within those traits they list elements or behaviours that sit beneath each trait:
Commitment – needs personal values and belief in the business case
Highly inclusive leaders are committed to diversity and inclusion because these objectives align with their personal values and because they believe in the business case. Because time and energy are required to effect change management, having personal values around this and a strong belief in the business case for cultural intelligence (sitting within the wider Diversity and inclusion agenda) will help motivate leaders. A strong sense of fair play was a predictor of inclusive leadership within the research findings.
John Kotter, change management researcher and expert, says, while engaging the minds of individuals through rational arguments is important, people change what they do less becausethey are given analysis that shifts their thinking than because they are shown a truth that influences their feelings.”
To really inspire change within a business, the leadership teams needs to consistently share the business aspirations with the team and work on the how, otherwise it is just paying lip service to the cause.
Inclusive leaders need to call people out when non-inclusive behaviours are demonstrated. They need to be brave enough to challenge the behaviours that encourage homogeneity. Inclusive leaders are very self aware and understand that their organisations have unconscious bias and put policies and procedures in place to mitigate the bias that exists, such as training.