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Practicing Organization Development: Leading Transformation and Change, 4th Edition by Roland L. Sullivan, Jacqueline M. Stavros, William J. Rothwell

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Chapter Twenty-Six

Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion for Performance

Judith H. Katz and Frederick A. Miller

The opportunity inherent in global diversity and inclusion comes with the challenge of eliminating miscommunication and misunderstandings—in short, the waste in interactions—that often comes with interacting across differences (Legas and Sims 2012; Mor Barak and Travis 2010). This speaks to the need for a set of common mindsets and behaviors to enhance interactions, expressed in a common language that everyone readily understands and uses. Diversity can be defined as “The collective mixture of differences and similarities that includes…individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences, and behaviors” (Society for Human Resource Management, n.d.). We have defined inclusion as a feeling of belonging and respect as each person is seen for whom he or she is, an individual in a collective group where the work can best be done (Katz and Miller 2012).

In this chapter, we discuss two foundational elements for leveraging diversity: a mindset of joining rather than judging others; and, the use of the 4 Keys to create a common language that people can readily use and understand. The language of the 4 Keys—lean into discomfort, listen as an ally, state your intent and intensity, and share your street corner—founded on the basic choice to join rather than judge, paves the way for faster, more inclusive collaboration, better decision ...

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