Why does leading with an equity lens matter? How do you maximize your approach to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Action (IDEA) work?
At Athena, our IDEA work is not a simple check-the-box exercise, nor can it be completed in a short amount of time. This is a long-term project, requiring commitment, empathy, optimism and endurance. But it’s one of the worthiest investments you can make with your team.
As we approach the end of 2022 and you prepare to position your colleagues for success next year, we encourage you to engage in crucial conversations on what matters most to your employees and leaders of color.
Athena’s IDEA theoretical framework is grounded in four phases:
Phase I: Data Collection Based on Self-Assessment and Crucial Conversations
Phase II: Develop Your IDEA Mission, Vision, Core Values and Strategic Plan
Phase III: Implement Work Based on Strategic and IDEA Goals
Phase IV: The Path Forward
The Harvard Business Review identified numerous assets that leaders of color bring to their organizations, including motivation, building relationships, self-awareness and, importantly, using an asset-based lens to conduct work. According to the HRB: “Recognizing the strengths of every individual, including those you’re seeking to serve or support, can come more naturally to leaders of color because of lived experience that might include episodes where racism or bias caused their strengths — either their own or their communities’ — to be underestimated or overlooked.”
When designing, developing and implementing an effective IDEA strategy, leaders should always use this asset-based lens to evaluate their team. Support and celebrate employees’ differences in behavior and thinking, demographic make-up, management effectiveness, and organizational success.
Athena believes that this is when genuine creativity and innovation happen. And by viewing this through an equity lens, you’ll foster collaboration and inclusion.