Everyone wants an inclusive organization, and rightly so.
Inclusive organization. Who wouldn’t want that these days? Well Named. After all, in such an inclusive organization, all (future) employees take their place, regardless of age, position, gender, origin, lifestyle and beliefs, etc. People feel at home, everyone has their place. Feeling safe is not only good for employees, it also contributes to better decision-making and therefore better performance.
In short, many organizations have inclusive organizing on their agenda. Working groups have been set up, committees have been set up. Some organizations even opt for a digital approach with quotas and goals so that they can be a measurable reflection of society.
The hassle on the way
And then the hassle begins. Because of course there will be hassle. And that’s not the point. Inclusive organization is a very inspiring prospect. Work can become a space in which everyone can grow and flourish. In this, we feel secure to take space for ourselves, for our ideas and our feelings. And at the same time, we create this security by giving this space to others as well. It is a very attractive prospect, which also yields better business results.
But the path to this ideal situation is in fact the delicate path to emancipation. The group, which had less space, has the opportunity to grab it. But of course still notice a lot of resistance from the group that previously had a lot of space. The latter often feels threatened. A dead end can arise, in which the first group sees the confirmation of the resistance of the other; that it won’t work after all. And in which the second group begins to see the first as disruptors of order and openly (or worse: secretly) begins to doubt the accuracy of the goal.
- Because everyone’s safety seems to decrease in this process, people visit each other in groups to get as much support as possible. Talking badly about the other is often the way to cope with the new uncertain situation. The polarization of the situation is hidden.
- Some organizations also face the fact that their public service means they are under a magnifying glass, such as the police or the prosecution. Media coverage is rarely nuanced and often exacerbates this process of polarization.
In short: Sensitive cords get more and more sensitive and shorter fuses get shorter.
Inclusive leadership sees the opportunity
Yet it is precisely the process that offers opportunities for good leadership to emerge. After all, this leadership realizes, precisely in the heat of the moment, what it is: an inclusive organization, where everyone is heard and has the right to have and share their opinion, perspective, feelings and his ideas.
Such inclusive leadership perceives this higher purpose and realizes that what is happening is part of the change. People are realizing that “hassle” means breaking unwanted patterns. Raising emotions is a form of fiery involvement. In fact, this is a positive intermediate result and a performance indicator on the right track. In other words: long live the hassle!
It is precisely in the midst of hassle that the goal becomes visible
By choosing this perspective, management can now create the desired inclusive organization. By understanding that all of everyone’s emotions and beliefs are good in this process. Let everyone, regardless of color, position, etc., have space for these emotions and views. And that there are no bad feelings and beliefs. Because everyone has to get used to it and therefore can have space. Also for resistance, irritation or uncertainty.
Inclusive leadership is the model
For example, management can show that it is also a pretty exciting process for them. And that it is sometimes difficult for guides to remain an objective observer. The management itself doesn’t suffer from not being seen or heard, right? By naming and discussing this, the leadership shows the combination of courage and vulnerability, to “stick out the neck”, which is needed in this situation.
To know what it’s like to be an organization, where there is room for every opinion. Where he is sure to be himself.
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