Turning Intentions Into Outcomes for a More Inclusive Workplace

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Without a blueprint to guide our inclusion and belonging journeys, how do we accomplish what we set out to do?

My colleague Phil Willburn, head of people analytics and insights at Workday, shared an insight from an Olympic coach who believes that a secret of world-class athletes is shifting their energy beyond goal setting to goal getting. While they have an aspirational goal—for example, winning gold at the Olympics—the vast majority of their effort is intentionally focused on the assessment and actions required to get that goal. 

To be an Olympic-level inclusive organization, we might consider a similar approach. Goal setting is necessary, but not sufficient, to move the needle, and it requires us to assess and apply actions that will help us achieve the desired outcomes. We all start with an overarching aspiration, such as wanting to be a great place to work or retaining our diverse representation. But from there, it’s difficult to know which path to take to lead us to our desired outcomes—whether it’s more effective leadership development, more effective recruiting, or better sponsorship programs.

We explored this in depth with a group of chief human resource officers who are change makers, subject matter experts, and

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