The Science of Diversity and Inclusion

Groups are diverse, people aren't.

To many people this is a new idea. In fact, diversity is created when a group carries differences among its members that are meaningful in terms of the situation or task at hand. Thinking of groups as diverse, rather than people, can lead to a radical shift in understanding about how organizations build value through diversity.

Ideas of diversity are rooted in biology, political science, organizational behavior, anthropology and many more scholarly disciplines. In business, we tend to think of diversity (variability) and inclusion (practices that realize the value of that variability) together: having diversity doesn't contribute to results unless it is expressed and integrated.

Historically, the primary concern with diversity for companies has been compliance: keeping the company in line with existing laws and regulations regarding protections for under-represented groups (e.g., women, African-Americans, people with health needs, etc.). Then companies started to see that having a diverse demographic profile (women, men of color, ableness variability, age, etc.) provided wider social reputation effects and the means to satisfy influential stakeholders.

Today, leaders in the field have moved beyond that 80s mode to see that diversity, well managed, can create vibrant teams, engaged employees, and more satisfied customers. See our Impact Seat Digests for a dive deep into scholarly research on salient studies and conclusions related to diversity and decision-making, power structures, creativity, problem-solving, and other elements of group dynamics and performance. When you understand the science underpinning team performance, you can leverage diversity better.

The Impact Seat System - We can meet your company where you are.

Great diversity and inclusion programs take time and resources to build. At The Impact Seat, we've identified 17 potential areas of engagement at the firm level - across functional areas, up and down the hierarchy from leadership to entry-level employees. Our research shows that most companies aren't working from a strategic plan as they implement D&I practices, but rather have implemented one program and then another based on idiosyncratic objectives. That's fine - you start where you are. We can partner with you to develop a tailored diversity and inclusion strategy that fits your company today while preparing it for tomorrow.

The Impact Seat .Diversity Dimensions model and Strategy Framework serve as a foundation in considering a well-grounded diversity and inclusion strategy at your company. Then tools including Diversity Diagnostics help team, executive, and organizational members see how diversity works. Our training products then allow participants to connect D&I principles with business practices in the rhythm of the business, meaning common group activities such as one-on-one meetings, team meetings, hiring committees, and important decision processes

There is a place to start.

Maybe it's teaching your leadership team the language of diversity and inclusion and the path to being effective allies and champions. Maybe it's providing foundational training in unconscious bias and action to manager and employee groups. Or you may prefer to start by considering an overall corporate strategy across functions and roles. Those efforts may be boosted by a tailored knowledge bank provided through our online Communication Hive, or other products.

Partner with The Impact Seat.

The Impact Seat is your bridge between academic research and practical solutions. Our science-based approach to diversity and inclusion means that our tools, strategies, and frameworks are grounded in research and ready for implementation.

We've read - and done - the research. Our Ph.D. trained research staff focuses on methodologies that have been tested and analyzed. We use that information in tailoring consulting and training for our clients based on our extensive knowledge bank.

We will work in partnership with your leadership team, managers, employees, and talent and HR professionals through a learning system that is strategic and modular allowing your company to:

  • Find and retain the best talent.
  • Adapt to new market realities.
  • Relate to your customers.
  • Develop the best ideas.
  • Do the right thing.
  • Achieve compliance.
  • Realize higher performance.
  • Engage everyone.

Let's talk about it.

Contact us.