The evidence is clear – there’s value in diversity.

Research pretty clearly shows that businesses with greater overall diversity are more innovative and have higher profitability when compared with the averages. But to tap into the ideas and perspectives of people with diverse physical characteristics and backgrounds, you have to build trust. That means tapping into our tribal nature and making your workplace a modern tribe.

But here’s the thing about ‘trust’…

making your diverse workplace into a tribe

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  • How do you get more value from your diversity and inclusion initiatives?
  • How do you ensure that your diversity activities don’t alienate employees when you want to make them feel more included?
  • How do you turn your organisation’s investment in greater demographic diversity into the innovation and revenue returns that the research says we should be getting?

These are questions that I’m asked by clients and event participants when I talk about valuing diversity.

In this short video, I answer the next question that often comes once we start discussing it…where do I start?

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Random acts of gratitude - Ben Waites

A couple of weeks back, my friend Mykel Dixon issued an invitation…well, it wasn’t so much an invitation as a dare. A dare to extend random acts of gratitude to people that bring light and beauty into the world.

Not the usual suspects. No agenda. No tit-for-tat reciprocity. Just do it because it’s the RIGHT thing to do.

Right because it’s appreciation they deserve. Right because it’s good for your soul. Right because it’s what the world could desperately use more of.

I thought long and hard on who I could appreciate and knew that it had to be Ben Waites.

Who’s Ben? Check it out…I dare you!

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In my work with business and team leaders, the question of ‘culture’ invariably comes up…

“Jeff, it sounds like what you’re really talking about is creating a specific culture.”

To that I often respond that culture isn’t something that a leader creates – culture belongs to your people. Your role as a leader is to be a gardener. You shape the environment where a certain type of culture might grow.

A member of my Akimbo community, Mary Ellen Bratu, recently shared a watercolour she’d painted and the gardening story that inspired it.

Reprinted by permission of Mary Ellen Bratu


Mary Ellen’s story inspired me to expand on this idea of ‘cultural gardening’.

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You know what I love most about engaging the diversity of thought, expertise and experience in your organisation?

It not only makes your business nimbler and more adaptive, but it also creates a bridge that meaningfully connects a business to its people.

And it’s not just any bridge because valuing that diversity creates a ‘two-way bridge’.

A bridge that connects strategic intent with operational action and activity, but also uses operational insights to inform strategic thought. It’s a bridge that builds shared purpose where your people’s daily work is an expression of your business purpose and your people are motivated by the knowledge that they’re making a meaningful contribution to that purpose.

And it’s a bridge that links performance benefits for the company with the psychological benefits that create a fully engaged workplace. Read more

The discussion on ‘diversity’ among senior managers is increasingly expanding beyond social justice to include business performance. The number of executives who cite diversity as a top priority has risen by 32% since 2014 according to a 2017 Deloitte study.  This study also found that increasing the diversity in the business, more fairly compensating that diversity and addressing the under-representation of women and minorities at senior levels in the organisation was viewed as a competitive advantage by 78% of the respondents. Yet, much of the diversity discussion centres around what the statistics tell us about the historical and current ‘state of play’ in the workforce – the demographics.

To move beyond the present and shape a future where the workplace is engaging for all employees and create businesses that are nimble and dynamic, we need to be intentional about ‘valuing’ diversity. Not just pursue demographic diversity but tap into the full range of diverse skills, experiences and perspectives that already exist within your company – the psychographics of your organisation. Read more

After nine months of blood, sweat and tears, my book project PROJECTIFY – How to use projects to engage your people in strategy that evolves your business is finally released into the world.

This is no big Bestseller Launch…no Grand Opening (thanks Seth)…there are no Adword campaigns …no free giveaways for the first 100 people that click the link below.

This is the beginning of a journey. A consistent and persistent journey to share my ideas with those people who believe the relationship that a business and its people have with their workplace is changing. People that believe that creating businesses that are more focused on evolution than growth will be required to thrive in the highly dynamic business environment of the future. That the adaptation necessary to drive this evolution can only come by tapping into the depth and breadth of an organisation’s capability – by fully leveraging the skills, experience and thinking of its people.

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I had the pleasure of spending Friday at my colleague Mykel Dixon’s Business Romantic 2017 event in Melbourne. This event was conceived as a contrast to the archetypical business conference with its jam-packed agenda of speakers, carefully curated to serve a central theme. The event title was drawn from the work of its featured speaker, Tim Leberecht. Its design was far from the careful curation of a singular message. The other facilitators (a better term than speaker in this context) were as diverse in message, style and delivery as they could possibility be – from poet to performance artist to entrepreneur. The progression of the day was more an exploration than an agenda. However, the shared purpose of the event was clear – the radical humanisation of the workplace. Read more