Inclusive leaders attract and leverage the talents of all kinds of people to achieve strategic goals. They do this by creating a supportive work climate that encourages full engagement, continuous learning, and collaboration across social boundaries. The result: more effective problem-solving and decision-making, greater customer insight, improved quality and increased innovation.
The Challenge: Often, the practical benefits of a diverse team are not realized or well-understood. Despite decades of trying, research shows that typical diversity and unconscious bias training have done little to cultivate essential skills.
These trends pose significant risks to staff and customers, as well as costly implications for organizations and society. Consequently, we must do things differently to jump start inclusive leadership!
Building upon more than a decade of research, teaching and practice, Dr. Myers created the Science + Art of Inclusive Leadership in response to surprising findings from her team's study of the Work Climate and Diversity Management in Michigan Hospitals. Dr. Myers developed and delivers the Inclusive Leadership curriculum for the University of Michigan Ross School of Business's MBA program, as well as other graduate, executive and corporate programs.
Dr. Myers teaching Diversity Leadership to International and U.S. MBA students at the University of Michigan.
"Teaching some of the brightest U.S. and international MBA students inspires me to continually refine my content and methods, based upon the latest social science research. The highly multi-cultural nature of this group challenges me to identify and teach frameworks that are applicable across cultures and professions."
Goal & Methods
The Science + Art of Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) training provides tools that help you identify and overcome common impediments to diversity and inclusion. Rather than focus heavily on social identity issues, we directly address the underlying mechanisms of exclusion and how to correct them. Then, we examine the science of how different perspectives add value. Our primary focus however, is on building skills that enable you to explore different perspectives, expand individual and collective capabilities, and include everyone to optimize performance.
Beyond Unconscious Bias...
Given the breadth of humanity, it is impossible to know exactly which human characteristics will evoke positive and negative biases (although some are certainly learned from cultural conditioning). Therefore, SAIL does not focus heavily or exclusively on social identity biases that are notoriously resistant and slow to change. Instead, we target general skills related to appraisal, intrapersonal awareness, self-motivated behaviors that enable you to be inclusive and promote social learning. Consequently, SAIL provides a distinct, learning experience that complements and reinforces other leadership, diversity and talent development efforts.
Executives and Senior Leaders of any functional area (e.g., HR, R&D, Finance etc.)
Leaders and team members at every level.
1. Dobbin & Kalev (2016). Why Diversity Programs Fail. Harvard Business Review, July-August, 52-60.
2.. Lai, Skinner, Cooley et al (2016). Reducing Implicit Racial Preferences: II. Intervention Effectiveness Across Time. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 145(8): 1001–1016.
3. Gallup Poll
5. Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Health Disparities Report 2016
INCLUSIVE LEADER TRAINING
To create a foundation for change, you will...
INCLUSIVE TEAM TRAINING
To strengthen the capacity to co-create and perform, Leaders and team members learn:
1. Factors of a psychologically safe and status-neutral context for authentic communication.
2. Enhance critical thinking and relationship dynamics in real time;
3. Practice, observe and reflect upon relevant +/- behaviors.
4. Tactics to engage different people and perspectives.
5. Establish personal plans and new group practices.
SCHOLARLY RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS
Southeast Michigan Hospital Study
Our study examined the diversity management practices and work climate of 24 hospitals, including major health systems. It was comprised of three phases. 1) Surveys and interviews of diversity and HR executives about policies, leader demographics and management practices; 2) online surveys to assess the work climate in four clinical units: Emergency, Critical Care, Surgery and Labor & Delivery; and 3) site visits and focus groups at exemplary hospitals.
Key Findings from Work Climate Survey
Over 1100 employees responded to the online survey to help us identify factors that influence the work climate and essential next steps to improve it.
In sum, if our goals are to improve the work climate, safety/quality and collaboration across social boundaries, we must begin by cultivating inclusive leaders. The Science + Art of Inclusive Leadership can help you and your leaders improve multiple dimensions of human performance.
Myers, V.L., Griffith, J.R.,Banaszak-Holl, J., Raghunathan, T., Wooten, L.P., Zhu, J. (2016). Organizational Climate and Diversity Management in Southeast Michigan Hospitals. Research Report. Funded by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.
Myers, V.L. (2015). Diversity Ideologies in Action: Energizing Renewal and Excellence in Healthcare. A chapter in KD Elsbach, A.B. Kayes and D.C. Kayes, eds., Contemporary Organizational Behavior: From Ideas to Action, Prentice Hall.
Myers, V.L. & Wooten, L.P (2011). Generative Change in Health Care Organizations: Co-Creating Health To Reduce Health Disparities, in J. Dutton and K. Golden-Biddle eds., Exploring Positive Social Change and Organizations, Routledge-Taylor Francis Press.
Myers, V.L. & Wooten, L.P (2009). The Transformational Power of a Mission Driven Strategy: Extraordinary Diversity Practices & Quality of Care in a Multi-State Healthcare System. Organization Dynamics, 38 (4):297-304.
**Myers, V.L. (2009). Pilot of a Diversity Leadership Competency Course for graduate students in healthcare administration. Journal of Health Administration Education, 24 ( 4):273-300.
Myers, V.L. and Dreachslin, J.L. (2007). Recruitment and Retention of a Diverse Workforce: Challenge and Opportunity Journal of Healthcare Management, 52(5), 290.
Dreachslin, J.L. and Myers, V.L. (2007). A Systems Approach to Culturally Competent and Linguistically Appropriate Care. Journal of Healthcare Management, 52(4), 220.