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Why most D&I programs don’t work

I’ve been taking a deeper dive into Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion this year, and still just learning. Getting people to learn new ways of thinking, and having that result in changed behavior? Well, that’s just hard.

I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite management books:

People don’t change that much.
Don’t waste time trying to put in what was left out.
Try to draw out what was left in.
That is hard enough.
First, Break All the Rules, p. 57.

Almost by definition, EDI work seeks to put in what was left out, something largely not there in the first place.

To accomplish that kind of change, we need to go deeper than seeking changed behavior. We have to change mindset. We’ll be more successful in achieving EDI if we first focus on understanding and changing the underlying mindset.

Mindset –> Behavior –> Results