Definitions of Inclusion & Leveraging Diversity

In 1998, we created the following definitions for Dun & Bradstreet as we worked with their teams. While the content is nearly 20 years old, the atmosphere created by inclusion and leveraging diversity remains true.

Inclusion means that you are:

  1. Fully and respectfully involved in the work activities and “life” of the organization.

  2. Listened to.

  3. Invited to meetings and informed about issues that impact you or your work.

  4. Welcomed in your work group.

  5. Treated in a way that enables you to do your best work.

  6. Encouraged to contribute all of your skills and abilities to both your team’s and organization’s success.

  7. Trusted by your colleagues and leaders.

  8. Able to “be yourself” in your workplace.

  9. Valued for bringing your perspectives, skills, and commitment to the organization and that your opinions and perspectives are sought out and valued.

  10. Experiencing a sense of “belonging” and that you have some ownership and investment in what happens.

Leveraging diversity occurs when:

  • Colleagues and leaders recognize and utilize differences as prerequisites for high performance and continuous improvement.

  • The differences people bring to the workplace, such as life experience, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, function, race, job level, range of ability, gender, style, etc., are engaged and used to enhance the effectiveness and creativity of the organization’s problem solving, decision making, strategic planning, and product development efforts.

  • People’s differences are seen as valuable assets for achieving success rather than treated as characteristics to ignore (i.e., “color blind,” “gender-blind,” or “difference blind”) or as deficits to minimize (i.e., “managing diversity”).

  • The conflicts that result from the expression of differences are supported and valued as opportunities for learning, creativity, and greater engagement, and are used to foster more effective decision making and problem solving.

  • People are encouraged to apply their unique strengths, skills, talents, and perspectives to their work; they are recognized, supported, and rewarded for contributing what the organization lacks rather than pressured to contribute in the same ways as other members of the organization.

  • Colleagues and leaders possess the skills for supporting and benefits from the range of differences of their work partners and team members.

(c) 1998. The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc.