Looking Back… and Looking Ahead…
As we look back at 2022, we’re inspired by the courage we all witnessed this year, while grappling with some of the world’s most difficult challenges.
We saw courage around the globe: witnessing the people of Ukraine defend their country, women in Iran fight for their rights, citizens of Hong Kong continue to stand up for democracy, and people everywhere push back against fascist and anti-immigration rhetoric.
In the U.S., as women lost their reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ youth in Florida lost the right to speak up about their identity in school, demonstrators continued to work for freedom and justice.
Broad societal changes kept evolving in the DEI realm, too, as focus on mental health expanded and became less stigmatized, and hybrid and remote work continued to grow and become familiar for many, helping redefine and elevate work/life balance.
At IBIS, all these changes impacted our clients, and certain themes ran through IBIS’s DEI work – among the 22,500 learners in 244 Interactive Theater sessions, plus our e-learning and facilitated sessions, that took place across 18 countries and in 5 languages.
Here are the three most meaningful trends of this year:
1. Inclusive Leadership
Now that more than two years has passed since the murder of George Floyd, organizations are deepening their understanding of how to keep the momentum strong around inclusion.
In order to build awareness of DEI, it’s clear that more work is required to equip leaders for an inclusive future.
A crucial dimension of DEI is meaningful dialogue – dialogue that drives connections, understanding, and interpersonal change. People want more time to work through experiences that they’ve had, and they seek deeper conversations. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.
We saw a resurgence of interest in inclusive leadership, especially in hybrid work environments. What does it mean to lead so that a diverse group can collaborate, produce, and thrive?
2. DEI as a Strategic Priority
While trainings, events and initiatives are always important in order to build a diverse and inclusive culture, organizations that achieve lasting culture-changing success typically put DEI in their core strategic plan.
This means that the leadership team creates a holistic, far-reaching strategic DEI plan that serves the business goals of the organization and ensures accountability to upholding the plan and milestones.
The emphasis is on cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration that embeds the core principles of DEI across the organization.
At IBIS, we partnered with a global technology giant to review all their new and existing management training from an inclusive learning design lens with the goal to embed DEI in all manager and leader trainings.
As another example, Employee Resource Groups that can help champion DEI initiatives while building stronger networks.
Read more: All About ERGs and BERGs – A Resource Guide
Another example of empowering systemic change-makers: Organizations with HR teams that are meaningfully equipped to embed DEI in the policies and processes that form the employee lifecycle.
Read more: HR as a Strategic Diversity Partner
3. Robust Learner Journeys
Organizations want to develop DEI strategies that are far-reaching and sustainable…
and for that, they need a multi-tiered approach.
Clients work with us to create learner journeys that involve multiple touchpoints for each employee and engage them in a range of formats.
Read more: The 3 Goals of a DEI Learner Journey
Learner journeys typically include different learning experiences, from building self-awareness to DEI training on specific workplace scenarios.
We’ve found that learners also need innovative options that support their growth and development in DEI. Our Interactive Theater sessions prove to be a highly engaging, memorable and defining part of the learner journey.
Read more in the Harvard Business Review: The Missing Piece of Your Diversity Training
We look forward to seeing how DEI evolves with our current clients and around the world as we find new opportunities to innovate fresh DEI strategies and cultivate unique learner journeys.
If you’re ready to learn more about how IBIS can help your organization move forward in the coming year, reach out to us today.
Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season,
Shilpa and the IBIS team