Case study - Inclusive Leadership
I worked closely with Jagtar Dhanda, Macmillan Cancer Support’s head of inclusion, when he was creating the Values Based Standard, a powerful new way of shifting relationships between professionals and service users. It requires new ways of thinking about leadership. All too often, people are not included properly at work. Think about all the times when the most senior person in the room catches the eye only of other senior people and the contributions and creativity which are lost as a result.
We all have experiences of being excluded but this is much more profound for minorities and disadvantaged groups. Coaching guru, Myles Downey sets out a list of high performance characteristics for teams. I think that these are also the characteristics of inclusion. Inclusive teams are high performing teams and can be recognised by how they work together:
An apparent absence of hierarchy in the relationships
Listening and a desire to understand each other
Robust, challenging conversations
Clear feedback sought and given
An intuitive sense of where each member is and how they are doing
Requests and offers of help or support are given and made
Fun, joy, flexibility and the simple pleasure of being together
Silence and thoughtfulness before decisions and action
Mutual accountability for the achievement of goals
Inclusive leadership supports inclusive and effective teams able to work in community. I contributed this approach to the development of the Values Based Standard, delivering workshops on inclusive and enabling leadership and the principles of fairness, respect, equality, dignity, and autonomy which underpin the Values work.