Key Point: We have a long way to go before achieving ubiquitous diversity/inclusion in organizations, and our everyday experiences provides an opportunity to advance this agenda. We just need to be awake enough to understand this. Boards of Directors can lead the way! So can you and I as we go about our daily routine. We just have to want to look, really see, and constructively act.
I’m taking a course put on by the Institute of Corporate Directors through the University of Alberta and University of Toronto. It’s an awesome program, and a tremendous privilege to be a student. One of the areas of focus for board members is to help management crystallize an organization’s strategic intent. This includes a full exploration of the institution’s approach to diversity and inclusion.
As if on cue to underscore this point, I recently attended a powerful play called The Children of God, at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre. The play is a snapshot of Canada’s ugly and misguided attempt to erase the indigenous culture by sending First Nations people to Residential Schools. The impact has been one of lasting intergenerational trauma. The story on stage is very honest and difficult, and the theater has even made support counselors available for patrons. I’m still thinking about the production.
Personal Leadership Moves:
- We have to open our eyes and become more aware. Preconceived notions, biases, and judgment does not advance ALL of us.
- Those of us in leadership positions must provide for more insight and inspire action. In the case of indigenous communities, we need to intentionally hire and promote more of them to allow their narrative to complete a richer story for us ALL.
- All Canadians (and the rest of our readers) would benefit from reading
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Findings.
Humbled in personal leadership,
One Millennial View: I’m happy to note that I’ve always worked in organizations that hire people from all walks of life, every crayon in the box, and I’m willing to bet that many Millennials have similar experiences in their office spaces. It’s great that productions like “Children of God” exist to help raise awareness today. Little known disturbing fact: Writer of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” L. Frank Baum, was once a reporter in South Dakota and wrote an article advocating for the “Extermination of Native Americans” in the 1890s. Those days were incomprehensibly hideous in comparison to today’s, but of course, work still needs to be done. Thankfully, present day yellow brick roads tend to lead more towards inclusivity, not genocide.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis