In my deep dive on DEI initiatives of late (in part in preparation for last week’s Today Show Segment I came across this article which sums up what I’ve been saying for years.

๐—œ๐—ณ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ด๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—บ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜€๐—ผ. ๐—œ๐˜’๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ’๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€.

This used to bum me out. Don’t people WANT to do what’s right? After 15 years running this business I’ve come to realize that – well – it’s complicated.

In my early days as a professionalspeaker and futureofwork consultant I used to think that I could simply stand on stage or in board rooms, introduce people to new ideas, give them the research behind those new ideas, appeal to their innate goodness and they would walk away changed.

Quite naive (not to mention arrogant) of me, no?

I’m thankful that my training as a US CPA helped me understand the broader, commercial realities.

Regardless of how much people WANT to do the right things if they have shareholders, boards of directors or investors breathing down their necks they need to understand the business ramifications of doing those right things in order to change their behavior and sway those aforementioned stakeholders.

Most DEI programs don’t work, as explained in this article. Because most are based in virtue signalling and not in hard commercial realities.

But guess what…it’s actually good business (as well as the right thing) to do DEI well.

More on this from me later. In the meantime, this article is great – a bit Americentric, but can be applied elsewhere.

Also, what do you think? Those in the field…what’s worked or not worked about DEI initiatives? What are your thoughts?

BTW, Spoiler alert…I’ll be pulling on this thread on Thursday during my session at The Learning and Development Collective‘s Learning Day. That is, if the group chooses this path…I’m doing my ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ version of the “9 Keys to keep your best people from walking out the door.”