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Diversity and Inclusion
There is an ancient allegory of three wise people on a journey who happened upon a large object while walking on a dark moonless night. Seeking to describe the object in their path, each began to share with the others their perspective: the first stated that this certainly must be a mighty snake, with its fluid and agile movements. The second disagreed saying that the object was sturdy and ponderous with a texture that was rough to the touch, quite similar to bark on a tree. The third shared that neither were correct, that the object was, in fact a thin swaying vine. The morning sun revealed to the three that they had each been describing different aspects of the same object— a sleeping elephant with a ponderous trunk, sturdy legs, and a swaying tail.

Similarly, diversity and inclusion efforts that lack a cohesive plan, purpose, and articulated business outcome can become mired in situational politics, lack overall clarity or focus and can gain the unwanted reputation of being "flavor of the month." Such initiatives can risk being defined by the immediate popularity of events and activities rather than their contribution toward the larger business need being addressed.

While there are varied strategies to effectively foster diversity in order to create an inclusive workplace, our consulting team is well aware of the fact that one static approach will not suffice for the varied needs in the marketplace today. Consistent with our overall approach to partnering with clients, we focus on the following types of outcomes for any diversity and inclusion initiative:
• Promoting overall employee engagement, productivity, skill development;
•  Increasing employee retention and engagement rates among specific under-represented groups;
• Expanding market presence, scope, or partnerships with previously under-represented constituencies;
• Informing the perspective of leaders to the experiences, needs, and expectations of employees, customers, and communities from backgrounds different than their own.
3370 N. Hayden Road | Suite 123-275 | Scottsdale, AZ 65251 | 480.945.2629 | OptimalDP.com