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Obstacles in Organizations
Blog / Business Culture / Oct 23, 2022 / Posted by Timothy Clark / 22

Obstacles in Organizations

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Inclusivity and Innovation in an Organization

There are two big obstacles in organizations, and they’re quite related to each other. One of the struggles is that we aren’t creating organizations that are truly inclusive. The other struggle is that we are not being innovative enough.

Innovation and Inclusivity

Inclusion means that we are not making arbitrary decisions about others. It means clearing the deck of assumptions. Saying that all it takes to be included is to be human. You don’t get to regard others with a thread of harm. We throw an enormous amount of attention and resources at the inclusivity problem in organizations, but many companies still struggle with being inclusive. There are four stages of psychological safety, which run from inclusion safety, where someone feels as if they fit in, up to challenger safety, which is where the person can challenge the status quo. Innovation is the other challenge that we keep repeatedly running into, and much of that is related to culture.

Barriers to Inclusivity and Culture

If you sampled a variety of different leaders on how inclusive their organizations are, they’d probably say, “yes! Of course, we are inclusive!” But if you talked to the employees and the rest of the people working in the organization, you’d probably find that there are a lot of people who can’t engage fully. This perception gap is called by the people at the top speaking for the rest of the organization.  When they really don’t truly understand how non-inclusive their organization can be. Unaware leadership is the first barrier to inclusivity. Another barrier is that inclusivity and psychological safety are measured to a degree. It is not about if you have it or don’t, but rather at what point and how much.

Building an Inclusive Culture

In order to build an inclusive culture, you must lay the foundation. This foundation is inclusion safety, where everyone feels as if they can fit into the group or the organization at large. To make this happen, you have to go back and look at the values and prevailing norms of the organization. Inclusion safety stays that worth precedes worthiness. In essence, this means that inclusion safety, or the right to inclusion, is a basic human need. It’s not earned, it’s owed. The first step to an inclusive culture is identifying any areas where this isn’t the case, doing a comprehensive audit of the organization, finding out what is getting in the way of inclusion, and removing them.

About Author

Tim is founder and CEO of LeaderFactor a global authority in the fields of senior executive development, strategy acceleration, and organizational change. Tim has written more than 150 articles on leadership, change, strategy, human capital, culture, and employee engagement. He is a highly sought-after advisor, coach, and facilitator to CEOs and senior leadership teams. He has worked with leading organizations around the world.

Author's Publications on Amazon

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This book is the first practical, hands-on guide that shows how leaders can build psychological safety in their organizations, creating an environment where employees feel included, fully engaged, and encouraged to contribute their best efforts and ideas.
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