Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a high performing black man in the Pacific Northwest I've often found myself as the only minority in the room and subsequently a spokesman for all people of color. 

In these environments I've observed good intentioned people attempt to problem solve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion but never truly understanding or speaking to the challenges and needs of people that share my lived experience. Even more troubling in these circles has been the evolution and promotion of theoretical frameworks that attempt to combat inequities while unintentionally re-enforcing discrimination, "us vs them" and the "othering" rooted in the same ignorance that created the problem. Albert Einstein is attributed with saying "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." 

Racism, Social Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are Adaptive Leadership Challenges. "The most common leadership failure stems from trying to apply technical solutions to adaptive challenges." Ronald A. Heifetz

In addressing these Adaptive Challenges, we cannot approach them from a position of hate, anger, shame, or ignorance. Our challenge as leaders is to mobilize and lead people, teams, and organizations through the difficult work of both evaluating and shifting our identities, our values, and our priorities to improve upon the limitations of the existing status quo. This requires conserving the best of what has worked and being progressive with continuing to innovate and identify new and improved solutions.

I discuss DEI by educating about race while not over identifying with that problematic construct. I believe in a healthy respect for our differences which increases diversity and fosters improved performance. But more important than recognizing our differences, is honoring our commonalities and what interconnects all life! 

My work is informed by an understanding that we are not our bodies, our skin colors, or our neighborhoods. We are spiritual beings sharing a human experience.

Contact me to learn more.