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Think about your purpose

Diversity and purpose fit together.

But what is the purpose of your business? And what is the purpose of diversity?

Here, award-winning consultant Richard Shakespeare, of Workplace Diversity Solutions, looks at how to define your purpose, from a diversity and inclusion perspective.

It all starts with purpose

Philip Kotler is perhaps one of the most famous marketing experts of our time, he is an accomplished author, and the man that some people say is behind modern marketing.

In a recent podcast interview, for Marketing Week, he spoke about the importance of companies having a purpose and taking responsibility for improving the standard of living and quality of people’s lives.

He said: “Businesses should be contributing to and advancing the common good”.

If you take a strategic approach to diversity and inclusion, this is going to be far more powerful and effective than simply being busy with diversity.
Being busy ‘doing something about diversity’ does not automatically mean you are doing the right things.

In our previous article (link this back to article one, once published), we spoke about the importance of having a diversity and inclusion strategy, and the need for this to be supported at the leadership level within an organisation.

We have also spoken about the business case for diversity, but how do we link our efforts in terms of diversity and inclusion to our overall purpose?

And how do we add value to the lives of those connected to our business?

What is your purpose?

What is the purpose of your organisation?

When you think about your purpose, do you subscribe to the idea put forward by Milton Friedman that the goal of a company should be to maximise the profits for the sake of their shareholders?

Is it a balancing act between the needs of the shareholders and the wider community?

Or, is there a higher purpose to your business?
Whatever your standpoint on this, we cannot overlook the importance of embedding inclusive thinking into our decisions.

Much research has been carried in terms of the benefits that can be had from more diverse teams. Diverse teams have been shown to outperform individual decisionmakers by around 87% and have been able to make faster and more informed decisions.

If everyone on your board, or the decisionmakers within your business, come from a similar background, have similar life experiences and share similar views, are you going to be able to make dynamic decisions?

Will you miss opportunities or disregard information because it simply does not fit with your experiences?

Having greater diversity within your teams and within your organisation means you are better able to understand the needs of a diverse range of consumers, utilise different perspectives and life experiences and increase productivity within a business.

If you would like to explore the power of diverse thinking further, check out Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking, by Matthew Syed.

Whatever the purpose of your business you should take the time to understand the needs and wants of your customers, the dynamics of the communities you serve and create an environment in which your staff feel valued and respected. Staff who feel valued and who can see that you recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion will stay with you for longer.

Diversity and Purpose

Once you have defined your purpose and ensured that you have considered diversity and inclusion in terms of how your organisation thinks, feels and behaves, you are in a truly powerful position.

When you are defining your purpose and looking to drive the business forward, make sure that you are involving a diverse range of people in decisions, you are attracting people from different backgrounds to be part of your organisation, and you are making decisions that will engage diverse consumer groups and communities.

To find out more about Workplace Diversity Solutions and the services it provides, visit its Love Business News profile page.

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