8 Comments

  1. This is one of those ‘feel good’ articles that can have little to do with reality. Inclusiveness is the new buzzword now being used in connection with diversity. Just what are the definitions of inclusiveness’ and ‘diversity’? Who is going to define the parameters of what behavior should be included as inclusive or diverse? Should we accept the behavior of murderers, rapists, pedofiles, etc. in order to be inclusive or diverse? Of course not! The reality is that the definitions of inclusiveness and diversity are continually changing based on society’s and individuals’ changing morals and principles. These terms are used in the same manner that the term ‘fair’ is used. For example, you often hear the phrase from politicians who say “Everyone should pay their ‘fair’ share of taxes.” How is ‘fair’ defined? Who is defining ‘fair?’ To those who are not ‘taxpayers’, they believe those who are taxpayers should pay more because they believe ‘fair’ is their receiving more largesse from the government. For those paying 50% or more of their income for taxes, it doesn’t seem fair that the government should exact even more of what they earn since they already pay much more than the average taxpayer.

    There are objective and measurable ways to determine an employee’s worth to an organization. It is important to have processes in place to clearly communicate how performance is measured and acceptable performance is defined. Nonperforming employees should receive the appropriate warnings and should be terminated if they do not meet minimum expectations.

    Efficiency, creativity, and productivity are measurable. Key performance ratios can be defined and used in almost every situation to objectively measure employees’ contribution to the organization. I am not going to give many points for employees simply showing up to work. It is also not my responsibility, as a private employer, to worry about social injustice (yet another non-definable term). We need to demote the importance of these terms (inclusiveness, diversity, fairness, social injustice, etc.) in the scheme of running a business. Again, there are plenty of logical, consistent, and measurable ways to determine an employee’s worth to an organization.

    • Hello —– thank you for reading, and for caring enough about this topic to write a comment. I’m
      intrigued that you view my piece as “feel good,” since I intended it as a wake-up call that points to a looming workforce problem. Forward-thinking leaders and organizations understand that diversity & inclusiveness aren’t about “feel good” fluff or “doing the right thing” or even “morals and principles.” They’ve seen the science (some of which I link to in the piece – unfortunately the hyperlinks aren’t visible) that proves human diversity gets us better results we care about – but only if there is inclusiveness (there are pages of evidence on my website). It’s not true that these terms are undefinable – it may seem this way since there can be various definitions depending on an organization’s goals, since D&I should always be clearly tied to meaningful, measurable results. In the absence of these, I define diversity as “human differences, particularly group identity-based
      or demographic differences” and inclusiveness as the ongoing process of “making sure as many different people, voices, perspectives, beliefs and values are: taken seriously, heard fully, actively involved in decision making, and exercising equal power.” Helping leaders get clear on terms and define business-related goals for D&I is one of my specialties.

      In that respect I agree that there must be clear processes and communication around expectations and accountability. However, results like “productivity,” “efficiency” and “performance” are just as “undefinable” or diverse in their definitions and calculation as “diversity” or “inclusiveness” — for the same reasons. Again, forward-thinking leaders in organizations that plan to stay relevant as Millenials and people of color become numerical majorities understand that old school definitions no longer always get results, and high performance is co-created between employee and
      organization. When done effectively, diversity and inclusiveness don’t diminish brilliance and excellence, they boost it. Truly modern organizations no longer question whether or not this is true, but how they can accomplish this, and my point in this piece is that a simple assimilation model does not. Leveraging D&I for superior results requires more intelligence, skill and creativity than “old school” leadership and approaches, and right now not all leaders or organizations are ready or
      able to meet the challenge. The notion that social justice is undefinable and has no place in private enterprise is a matter of opinion, not fact (plenty of examples of those that do), but that’s
      another blog for another day. Thanks again for reading!

      • Susana, I am both surprised and impressed that you would reply to my comments. I would have to respectfully disagree with some of your notions about being able to measure things in a very logical and scientific manner when compared to diversity and inclusiveness. I suspect one could measure inclusiveness by counting the number comments and input received by members of the workforce, but that is not necessarily tied to the success of the workforce. The same thing would be said of diversity as well. I can certainly keep tabs on the demographics of my Workforce, but that does not mean having the right combination of demographics is going to make me a successful company. There are actual ways to measure productivity based on efficiency and the use of things like motion studies and key performance ratios. I work in public accounting and it is very easy to know whether or not my staff is being productive or not. They can give me as much input as they would like, but if their billable time is less than the norm, then they are costing me too much money and I have to terminate them. When reviewing my staff’s work, I am able to determine how effective and efficient they are at documentation and analysis. Again, these performance indicators are based on measurable numbers, leaving little doubt about an emploee’s contribution to the firm. However, diversity for diversity’s sake will not make a company more successful. Also, you mentioned that social justice was easily definable. Again, I would have to beg to differ with you. Social justice is a construct created answer defined by politicians and social workers. The Winds of Change definitely affect what people would define as social justice. For example, some would indicate that social justice requires that every member of society is entitled to Health Care. While that is a lofty goal, it is likely never going to be achieved in reality. Likewise, the idea that certain things like health care or housing etcetera are entitlements to every individual that lives, irrespective of their contribution to society is ludicrous. There will never be equality of stuff for everyone until everyone contributes equally. My point isn’t that we shouldn’t help those in need (I contribute about 12% of my earnings to charity annually), but that diversity and inclusiveness is a social construct, the meaning of which differs from person to person and organization to organization.

        • Quite a rambling answer, and as someone on accounting, I can see you struggle mightily to justify such constructs as D&I or even- heavens- social justice—-created by social workers and politicians, you say?? Wha??
          In Deuteronomy, the recent reading of Shofetim, one of the Bible’s great lines, “Justice, Justice shall you pursue.” It’s a social contract, of how we live and behave, nothing to do with healthcare or housing, forchrissakes, it is ethical behaviour. This may or may not be beyond your ken, I’m not sure.

          But Susana’s point is well reasoned, logical, and on the mark. In essence (gosh, here I go again with the biblical reference, but what the heck..) is the Golden Rule. For D&I to work more effectively, don’t pre-judge, nor assume, and have a goal of ‘equitable involvement’ , as she mentions. D&I is tough, especially with fluid defintions from company to company, and her comments are well taken. Good thing you’re in accounting, we all find where we belong, no?

  2. This is one of those ‘feel good’ articles that can have little to do with reality. Inclusiveness is the new buzzword now being used in connection with diversity. Just what are the definitions of inclusiveness’ and ‘diversity’? Who is going to define the parameters of what behavior should be included as inclusive or diverse? Should we accept the behavior of murderers, rapists, pedofiles, etc. in order to be inclusive or diverse? Of course not! The reality is that the definitions of inclusiveness and diversity are continually changing based on society’s and individuals’ changing morals and principles. These terms are used in the same manner that the term ‘fair’ is used. For example, you often hear the phrase from politicians who say “Everyone should pay their ‘fair’ share of taxes.” How is ‘fair’ defined? Who is defining ‘fair?’ To those who are not ‘taxpayers’, they believe those who are taxpayers should pay more because they believe ‘fair’ is their receiving more largesse from the government. For those paying 50% or more of their income for taxes, it doesn’t seem fair that the government should exact even more of what they earn since they already pay much more than the average taxpayer.,

    There are objective and measurable ways to determine an employee’s worth to an organization. It is important to have processes in place to clearly communicate how performance is measured and acceptable performance is defined. Nonperforming employees should receive the appropriate warnings and should be terminated if they do not meet minimum expectations.

    Efficiency, creativity, and productivity are measurable. Key performance ratios can be defined and used in almost every situation to objectively measure employees’ contribution to the organization. I am not going to give many points for employees simply showing up to work. It is also not my responsibility, as a private employer, to worry about social injustice (yet another non-definable term). We need to demote the importance of these terms (inclusiveness, diversity, fairness, social injustice, etc.) in the scheme of running a business. Again, there are plenty of logical, consistent, and measurable ways to determine an employee’s worth to an organization.

    • Hello —– thank you for reading, and for caring enough about this topic to write a comment. I’m
      intrigued that you view my piece as “feel good,” since I intended it as a wake-up call that points to a looming workforce problem. Forward-thinking leaders and organizations understand that diversity & inclusiveness aren’t about “feel good” fluff or “doing the right thing” or even “morals and principles.” They’ve seen the science (some of which I link to in the piece – unfortunately the hyperlinks aren’t visible) that proves human diversity gets us better results we care about – but only if there is inclusiveness (there are pages of evidence on my website). It’s not true that these terms are undefinable – it may seem this way since there can be various definitions depending on an organization’s goals, since D&I should always be clearly tied to meaningful, measurable results. In the absence of these, I define diversity as “human differences, particularly group identity-based
      or demographic differences” and inclusiveness as the ongoing process of “making sure as many different people, voices, perspectives, beliefs and values are: taken seriously, heard fully, actively involved in decision making, and exercising equal power.” Helping leaders get clear on terms and define business-related goals for D&I is one of my specialties.

      In that respect I agree that there must be clear processes and communication around expectations and accountability. However, results like “productivity,” “efficiency” and “performance” are just as “undefinable” or diverse in their definitions and calculation as “diversity” or “inclusiveness” — for the same reasons. Again, forward-thinking leaders in organizations that plan to stay relevant as Millenials and people of color become numerical majorities understand that old school definitions no longer always get results, and high performance is co-created between employee and
      organization. When done effectively, diversity and inclusiveness don’t diminish brilliance and excellence, they boost it. Truly modern organizations no longer question whether or not this is true, but how they can accomplish this, and my point in this piece is that a simple assimilation model does not. Leveraging D&I for superior results requires more intelligence, skill and creativity than “old school” leadership and approaches, and right now not all leaders or organizations are ready or
      able to meet the challenge. The notion that social justice is undefinable and has no place in private enterprise is a matter of opinion, not fact (plenty of examples of those that do), but that’s
      another blog for another day. Thanks again for reading!

      • Susana, I am both surprised and impressed that you would reply to my comments. I would have to respectfully disagree with some of your notions about being able to measure things in a very logical and scientific manner when compared to diversity and inclusiveness. I suspect one could measure inclusiveness by counting the number comments and input received by members of the workforce, but that is not necessarily tied to the success of the workforce. The same thing would be said of diversity as well. I can certainly keep tabs on the demographics of my Workforce, but that does not mean having the right combination of demographics is going to make me a successful company. There are actual ways to measure productivity based on efficiency and the use of things like motion studies and key performance ratios. I work in public accounting and it is very easy to know whether or not my staff is being productive or not. They can give me as much input as they would like, but if their billable time is less than the norm, then they are costing me too much money and I have to terminate them. When reviewing my staff’s work, I am able to determine how effective and efficient they are at documentation and analysis. Again, these performance indicators are based on measurable numbers, leaving little doubt about an emploee’s contribution to the firm. However, diversity for diversity’s sake will not make a company more successful. Also, you mentioned that social justice was easily definable. Again, I would have to beg to differ with you. Social justice is a construct created answer defined by politicians and social workers. The Winds of Change definitely affect what people would define as social justice. For example, some would indicate that social justice requires that every member of society is entitled to Health Care. While that is a lofty goal, it is likely never going to be achieved in reality. Likewise, the idea that certain things like health care or housing etcetera are entitlements to every individual that lives, irrespective of their contribution to society is ludicrous. There will never be equality of stuff for everyone until everyone contributes equally. My point isn’t that we shouldn’t help those in need (I contribute about 12% of my earnings to charity annually), but that diversity and inclusiveness is a social construct, the meaning of which differs from person to person and organization to organization.

        • Quite a rambling answer, and as someone on accounting, I can see you struggle mightily to justify such constructs as D&I or even- heavens- social justice—-created by social workers and politicians, you say?? Wha??
          In Deuteronomy, the recent reading of Shofetim, one of the Bible’s great lines, “Justice, Justice shall you pursue.” It’s a social contract, of how we live and behave, nothing to do with healthcare or housing, forchrissakes, it is ethical behaviour. This may or may not be beyond your ken, I’m not sure.

          But Susana’s point is well reasoned, logical, and on the mark. In essence (gosh, here I go again with the biblical reference, but what the heck..) is the Golden Rule. For D&I to work more effectively, don’t pre-judge, nor assume, and have a goal of ‘equitable involvement’ , as she mentions. D&I is tough, especially with fluid defintions from company to company, and her comments are well taken. Good thing you’re in accounting, we all find where we belong, no?


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