June 9th, 2022 | From our CEO
Have you restructured your organization, implemented a new operating model, or undertaken a large-scale organizational change program more than once? – Then it is you I am talking to. You are likely making things worse on inclusion every single time you take a decision.
I wish I had known what I am sharing with you now a long time ago. I would have failed less during such activities, and maybe even had made the world a bit better on the way.
Unconscious biases are present everywhere in our lives. From the neighborhood we choose to live in, the close friends we have, to the people we date. They are formed throughout our life and held at the subconscious level. We gather millions of bits of information and our brain processes that information in a certain way. Unconsciously categorizing and formatting it into familiar patterns. Gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, etc., all influence the assessments that we make of people and form the basis of our relationship with others, and the world at large. The result is exclusion.
Suddenly the next leader is answering to the name Lars, Peter or Jeffrey.
(NB! The most popular CEO names of Denmark, Netherlands, and USA. All three are more common amongst CEO’s than finding a female CEO.)
We fail to use the opportunity of change to intentionally strengthen inclusion. By not connecting the right people to each other on projects, activities, and initiatives. And when we forget, then our unconscious biases take over. Things get worse. More of the same. Exclusion.
Example: Let’s say you have a 20% bias e.g., on gender. If you are not tackling that bias upfront during an organization restructuring, implementation of a new operating model, or when you run a large-scale change, then you are making things 20% worse. (NB! I tell you most people have an unconscious bias on a lot of things that is higher than 20%.)
Personally, I think it is due time for change, If you agree, I encourage you to follow these two steps to combat unconscious biases and make a REAL difference for inclusion:
- Collect evidence on your bias before large organizational decisions – ALWAYS!
- Use evidence to inform your organizational decisions – RIGOUROUSLY!