Why Using Common Sense is a Diversity & Inclusion Mistake

A lot of organisations rely on common sense when promoting diversity.

Believe it or not, using common sense to help you on your inclusion journey is a big mistake that could be harming your progress

Get your pen and paper ready because I’m going to explain why relying on common sense is one of the most common mistakes that stop organisations like yours from becoming inclusive

In todays show we discuss several things including:

  • 3 Common sense mistakes that organisations make
  • The Inclusion opportunity that is hiding in plain sight
  • Why you should question received knowledge and anecdotes

Here’s some of what I share in the show:

Relying on common sense to guide your inclusion efforts is a big mistake

“The people responsible for making business decisions about Diversity & Inclusion often rely on received wisdom or anecdotes to influence them. They rely heavily on narratives that sound like they make sense but when you dig deeper you realise that it’s leading you astray”

You need a nuanced understanding of the issues that you’re tackling

“So the common sense solution doesn’t address the structural issues in place.  Organisations like yours are realising that fixing this requires more effort, there are structural issues at work here. Systemic challenges that need to be addressed”

Use a performance management approach to keep you honest

“Organisations use performance management cycles to manage their operations, however this is not always the case for Diversity and Inclusion. The foundation of a performance management cycle is an evidence-based approach. Plan, Do, Review. Rinse and repeat.”


2011 US Census

Barack Obama says women are paid 77 cents on the dollar

The Triple Threat that Makes Minority Groups Block Diversity & Inclusion

How Favouritism Threat Turns Diversity Advocates Like You into Diversity Opponents

The Elements of Inclusion #4

Leaders must collaborate innovatively to leverage cultural expertise and drive business performance.

  • Why inclusive outcomes are driven by innovation
  • How developing a business case for diversity and inclusion specific to your organisation is a competitive advantage
  • Why novelty is at the heart of your inclusion journey

The Elements of Inclusion #3

Leaders must establish systems to ensure that everyone shares the same advantages and benefits. These processes will create incentives for inclusive behaviours.

  • How to augment your team with the tools and insights they need to prevent structural disadvantage
  • Why reinforcing generative norms ensures everyone belongs in the organisation
  • How inclusive representations can be embedded to promote an inclusive culture

The Elements of Inclusion #2

Leaders must redefine career development relationships to support inclusive performance.
  • Why traditional mentor relationships must be revised for an inclusive workplace
  • How leaders must embrace networks of developmental relationships for individual growth
  • Why established workplace norms must evolve for inclusion in the modern workplace

The Elements of Inclusion #1

Leaders must properly socialise people and socialise inclusive ideas by providing an environment for the cultural learning needed for an active role in an inclusive organisation

  • How your socialisation processes must evolve to encourage the sustainable cultivation of inclusive competencies
  • Why Leaders must consistently negotiate the line between organisational commitment and personal authenticity to promote performance
  • How developing intersectional self awareness can help leaders to leverage individual employee experiences