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Diversity & Inclusion: how to create meaningful change

Updated: May 29, 2021

Do you feel compelled to act on Diversity and Inclusion, because it is not about talking about the right thing; it is about doing the right thing. 

Diversity and inclusion through behavioural change

A values-led Diversity & Inclusion programme delivers impact because it improves productivity, wellbeing, innovation, retention, collaboration. Ultimately, organisations who do the right thing for D&I see a tangible return on their values through measurable gains across a range of social, intellectual and human capital performance indicators.


Simply, D&I drives value through Cultural Intelligence (CI). 

At a base level, CI is about collective behaviours that are a function of people and the way they operate in your organisation.

CI creates value by taking individual BASKETs (beliefs, attitudes, skills, knowledge, experience and talent) and combining them to exceed the sum of their parts

CI creates measurable influence and impact that can be observed through positive gains in areas of safety, time, innovation, quality, cost and experiences.

Diversity and Inclusion Cultural Intelligence

Diversity & Inclusion delivers measurable value!

In a study by the Boston Consulting Group, companies with more diverse management teams were found to have 19% higher revenues due to innovation. In a separate survey (D&I Pulse), Russell Reynolds Associated found that more than 80% of global executives believe that working for leaders committed to diversity and inclusion brings out their most innovative ideas. Millennials, who will comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025, believe strongly that organizations with inclusive cultures are move innovative.
Just focusing on the gender gap, a PIIE Report found that increasing the presence of women in corporate leadership teams by 30% would lead to a 15% increase in profitability, while a Credit Suisse study revealed that companies with women in leadership positions report 19% higher return on equity (ROE) and 9% higher dividend payments.


Diversity & Inclusion needs purposeful action

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Diversity and Inclusion initiatives require purposeful action because it can unleash the power of our human advantage; it is about purposefully swarming a variety of beliefs, attitudes, skills, knowledge, experience and talent, where the outputs and influence exceed the sum of the parts. 

You cannot, and should not have to, impose a Diversity and Inclusion programme in your organisation. D&I should speak through your core values, and people should not be questioning what D&I is or why you are doing it.

However, if you find yourself meeting resistance to D&I initiatives, then use the power of self-determination and applied influence to understand the cause and influence meaningful change.


Practice applied influence to create sustained behavioural change

Applied influence means moving away from brute-force change programmes to bring people with you. Resistance generally comes from one of three places, linked to motivation:

  1. Autonomy: the individual feels that the D&I initiative is imposed upon them, where they do not see it as being their choice; for example, the organisation failed to engage or involve them in the development of the initiative.

  2. Competence: individuals do not feel as though they have the knowledge, skills or experience to take action.

  3. Relatedness: the D&I initiative doesn't align with the values, attitude, beliefs or standards of the individual - see our BASKET post for more on this.

We work with D&I programmes to identify the root of resistance to D&I change programmes to bring about powerful and sustained behavioural change. 

The journey to sustained behavioural change starts with active listening, which needs a coaching-led approach that elicits insights using powerful questions. Active listening brings you to develop empathy and rapport, which get you the permissions for influence and impact, being measurable behavioural change.


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What will opportunities will you discover through improved Diversity and Inclusion? If you are interested in our approaches to sustained behavioural change through applied influence, drop us a line and start a conversation (

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