Creating a strategic plan.
At this point, you have your top leadership’s blessing to work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the necessary insights into your organization’s “as is” situation. It is time to use your knowledge to create a strategic DEI plan.
The need for strategy
THE NEED FOR STRATEGY
Working on DEI in a structured way, with a short- and long-term plan, will help you avoid three pitfalls:
Strategic plan elements.
STRATEGIC PLAN ELEMENTS
A strategic plan is a written document in which you explain the changes you want to initiate regarding DEI, why those changes are necessary, what you want to achieve and how you aim to achieve them.
It contains five elements that you need to reflect on, work out and write down as clearly as possible:
After defining why DEI is essential, reflect on how it can contribute to your mission and vision.
A mission drives the organization. It describes what kind of business the organization does or what it is. What is the core of your business? What does your organization do? Whom do you serve? How do you help them?
A vision sets out what the organization wishes to be like in the future. It is a description of its ambition for itself.
Purpose is motivational. It is not about where the organization is heading or what it does but why it does it. A purpose is an enduring motivation that does not have an obvious endpoint.
Define your “why” or purpose. That will help you keep your focus throughout the strategy process. Whenever you feel lost or going too much into detail, reread your purpose to get back on track.
After you are familiar with your organization’s DEI red flags and growth areas from the quantitative and qualitative scan, you can start dreaming!
Brainstorm with your team and leadership:
Starting from your bold ambition and the priorities that came out of the quantitative and qualitative scan, define and structure your goals and objectives.
Goals refer to the overarching aspirations you have.
Objectives are more specific realizations that will help you accomplish your goal.
Make your goals and objectives SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely).
Validate your strategy. Prioritize goals and define the period during which you will work to accomplish each goal. You can work on multiple goals simultaneously. If your goals are long-term, establish how and when you will measure intermediate progress.
There are endless possible actions that you can undertake to reach your DEI goals, from awareness sessions and training to starting communities and setting up campaigns.
Visit the ‘CEO ACT!ON For Diversity & Inclusion’ website to discover possible actions. It allows you to browse activities per company, industry, or topic.
If you want to turn your objectives into impactful actions, try approaching them in a structured way.
Ask yourself plenty of reflective questions to avoid pitfalls and prepare for challenges in advance.
You probably will come up with more questions while reflecting. That is great! Try answering them, so you are fully prepared.
Finalize & validate
FINALIZE & VALIDATE
Once you have captured all elements you need to build your strategy, the last thing to do is write everything down in a plan.
Keep in mind who will read the text. Keep language accessible and be mindful of terminology. Explain concepts where necessary, using the glossary. Do not hesitate to have someone with no DEI knowledge read the text and indicate any unclarities before you finalize.
The last step is to create an executive summary or slide deck to present your Strategic Plan to your senior leadership and get their validation to execute the strategy.
Become a DEI expert.
This is a collection of articles that allows you to take a deep dive.