Building an Inclusive Organization Book Summary By Stephen Frost and Raafi-Karim Alidina

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Building an Inclusive Organization is a comprehensive, yet concise book that provides valuable insights into how organizations can create a truly inclusive environment.

In it, the authors take aim at unconscious bias in the workplace and offer strategies to overcome it through divergent team formation and psychologically safe policies.

With this book, leaders are given a roadmap on how to build a diverse and accepting office culture, making their organization one that celebrates different ideas and backgrounds.

This guidebook provides business owners of all sizes with actionable tips on building their team synergies centered around acceptance and inclusion, enabling them to foster a productive working environment that respects all individuals regardless of background.

The authors share best practices for organizations looking to create an inclusive workplace, while emphasizing the importance of overcoming biases associated with race, gender identity, age or any other trait or characteristic.

Building an Inclusive Organization

Book Name: Building an Inclusive Organization (Leveraging the Power of a Diverse Workforce)

Author(s): Stephen Frost and Raafi-Karim Alidina

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 24 Minutes

Categories: Corporate Culture

Author Bio

Written by Stephen Frost, CEO of the consultancy firm Frost Included and author the book The Inclusion Imperative: How Real Inclusion Creates Better Business and Builds Better Societies, this is a book that focuses on building an inclusive organization.

Stephen has been teaching inclusive leadership at the Harvard Business School for many years, and he also works as a consultant for organizations all around the world.

He brings his experience as both a teacher and consultant to this work, which gives him unique insight into how to create an organizational culture that values inclusivity.

It’S Time To Stop Paying Lip Service To Diversity And Inclusion: Create Structural Changes, Promote Gender Equality, And Enjoy The Benefits Of An Inclusive Workplace

Gender Equality,

Organizations that strive to create a workplace that is more diverse, accepting, and innovative can reap a variety of rewards.

To achieve this goal, however, leaders must be willing to take tangible steps towards building an organization built on inclusion.

Discrimination and bias are deeply entrenched in many companies but these can be addressed through the adoption of practices such as embracing diversity training and creating policies that promote inclusivity throughout the organization’s different levels.

Additionally, organizations should work to become aware of unconscious biases so they can address them head-on.

These measures aim to reduce discrimination at all levels, from recruitment to decision-making processes.

By creating a working environment where individuals are led to feel safe and accepted regardless of gender, race, or class; companies will become more creative, innovate more effectively and even make more money in the long run.


and inclusion is not just a buzzword but rather a critical component to the success of any organization; so it’s important that companies take meaningful action today towards promoting an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance.

Companies Must Confront Unconscious Bias And Create Inclusive Workplaces To Combat Our Increasingly Polarised World

Now more than ever, building an inclusive organizational culture is essential to the success of any business.

With increasing political polarization, encouraging open and honest conversations between different groups of people has never been more important.

Companies need to work on creating a diverse, welcoming workplace where all employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions.

By engaging with different perspectives, companies can reduce risks posed by groupthink and cronyism which often occur in homogenous workplaces.

Also, having workers from a wide range of identity and background can result in greater innovation and creativity among team members.

Additionally, today’s technology has made it possible for people to exist in echo chambers only surrounded by those that think like them.

This creates an environment around individuals where opposing views remain unnoticed, leaving these ideas unchallenged.

To counteract this trend, companies should strive to create environments which actively seek out diversity and embrace new perspectives instead of ignoring them.

Confronting Unconscious Bias To Create An Inclusive Workplace


Unconscious bias exists in all areas of our lives, yet is particularly disruptive in the workplace.

This is because it leads to decisions being made based on superficial, ingrained judgments rather than facts or merit.

Princeton University researchers studied this effect, and found that people’s choices on who they viewed as competent were actually quite predictive of the way those candidates performed in a US congressional election.

These studies should serve as an alarm bell that it’s time to take steps towards confronting unconscious bias in the workplace.

In order for companies to be truly inclusive and thrive, it’s important to recognize the existence of unconscious bias and work hard at addressing it through creating anti-bias awareness and better organizational practices; such as creating a diverse hiring committee or anonymizing selection processes.

It can feel like a challenging task if you are starting out from an “unconsciously incompetent” stage but with dedication and changes in behavior, you can actively tackle your own internalized attitudes and beliefs that shape how we think and interpret information.

Working towards becoming “unconsciously competent” will then become second nature, so together we can transform our workplaces into more equitable environments.

Men Need To Take Gender Pay Gap Seriously And Embrace Transparency To Effect Real Change

It’s time that men begin to worry about the gender pay gap.

The BBC director Tony Hall received a letter full of women performers complaining about the lack of equal pay in 2017, and markedly not one male performer signed it, thereby seeming to make it a “female” issue.

This kind of apathy has to stop if we want real change.

The gender pay gap is not just an issue for those directly affected by unequal salaries: it touches on every nook and cranny of a company’s culture – from transparency over how people are paid, who is promoted and whether there is room for innovation or nepotism at play.

Unfortunately, according to a study done on the Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women in 2017, only 6 percent of them had excellent records when it came to equal pay.

This goes to show that many companies are more focused on presenting themselves as forward-thinking than actually doing something practical to improve their employees’ lives.

However, in order to help bring true change, policies need to be adopted which encourage transparency among all staff members.

Some organisations have even taken the step of publishing everyone’s salaries; this encourages staff members to negotiate better deals or promotions with greater confidence as they can now check what they’re currently earning in relation to colleagues in similar roles throughout the company.

Valuing Diversity For Its Business Benefits Rather Than For Representation Alone

Business Benefits

Homogenous workplaces stifle creativity and reduce productivity.

This is because when everyone in an organization has the same background, mindset and perspectives, it can lead to a lack of diverse ideas, too much groupthink, and missed opportunities.

Companies may end up losing out on market share and profits as a result.

The Tour de France example highlights this perfectly; both the winner (yellow jersey) and loser (red lantern) have equally valuable qualities to bring to the team.

While it is easy to recognize the abilities of excellence in the first-place cyclist, it’s no less important to note that the last-place competitor demonstrates perseverance, stamina, endurance – all valuable attributes needed for success.

A diversity of backgrounds, genders and skillsets makes for stronger teams that think in different ways and generate creative solutions to new challenges.

Valuing difference means recognizing that different voices need to be heard at all levels within a company culture so that everyone can feel empowered to bring their full selves to work.

Studies by McKinsey & Company show that companies with the top 25% most diverse teams are 15-30% more likely to earn above average profits than those without strong representation across genders or ethnicities.

Inclusive Leadership: Understanding Minority Stress And Gathering The Right Data For True Diversity

It is vital for business leaders to understand the culture of their companies when striving for inclusivity.

That’s why effective inclusive leadership begins with gathering data from their employees and identifying areas where changes can be made.

By surveying their staff, they can gain an understanding of how they feel valued and respected in the workplace, and how decisions regarding promotions or salaries may need to be adjusted.

Moreover, organizations must review which demographic groups are represented in their staff and analyze where minority perspectives are missing.

Analyzing this information is critical for creating meaningful and impactful solutions that will allow a meaningful shift towards building a more inclusive organization.

Leaders who seek to cultivate an inclusive workplace must commit to actionable steps – such as offering accommodations to disabled staff, or implementing resources specifically tailored for LGBTQ+ employees.

When properly implemented, these initiatives will have a positive effect on helping members of minority groups feel seen and heard.

Put succinctly: inclusive leadership starts with gathering data.

It Takes More Than Awareness To Change Unconscious Bias In The Workplace – Actions Matter

Creating an inclusive company culture is more than just making employees aware of their biases.

Although knowing the biases they possess can be a great starting point, it won’t get them too far without action.

That’s why it’s essential to focus on enacting concrete measures that ensure everyone feels welcomed, safe, and respected in their work environment.

At Natures Nutrition, we’ve seen firsthand how powerful transformation through action can be.

To start with, you have to review your hiring practices and make sure that you’re advertising job postings on LGBTQ+ sites and universities where diverse candidates will see them.

Additionally, structured interview questions must be used for every candidate to ensure interviews are conducted fairly and consistently regardless of applicant background.

Once diverse employees have been hired, it has to stay that way!

This means creating a workplace where psychological safety is promoted so there is genuine freedom to express views and perspectives without fear or judgement.

You can do this by setting expectations for language use in meetings and rotating the chairperson so less heard voices can participate at an equal volume as other members of the team.

Appointing a rotating “devil’s advocate” to ask difficult questions will keep meetings productive and speedy as well as challenging any false assumptions made in group conversations.

Furthermore, implementing mentorship programs and flexible working options (such as work-from-home) underlines that minority groups are no less capable than others but are sometimes presented with different opportunities which hold them back from feeling confident within their roles.

Most importantly though, these interventions need buy-in from a company’s important stakeholders like leaders, boards, managers and staff alike if they wish to shift their cultural dynamics towards an overall more positive outlook that optimises inclusion efforts from all sides within the office space..

Transformation through actions is tedious but necessary if companies aim to contribute meaningfully towards longterm success; success which bridges gaps between social iniquity through cultural acceptance rather than ignorance or avoidance.

Tailoring Diversity And Inclusion Policies To Specific Industries And Institutions Is Essential For Lasting Change

Tailoring Diversity

The importance of tailoring diversity and inclusion policies to specific industries cannot be overstated.

Different industries face different obstacles when it comes to becoming diverse and inclusive, and it’s important to take these into account during the policy-making process.

For example, cultural industries often rely on freelancers that are hired chaotically and in haste, making it hard to standardize recruitment processes.

Additionally, patronage is prevalent in these industries since people tend to hire their friends or those with whom they’ve previously worked.

In the creative industries – a sector historically averse to censorship and oversight – reaching TV executives and industry leaders can be difficult.

Here, it’s important to create programs that make them feel like diversity is enabling creativity rather than impeding it.

The authors demonstrate this approach by discussing ways to uncover why there isn’t enough Black representation in writing rooms and on screen, helping executives realize how homogenous teams actually hamper programming innovation.

The Tech Industry Must Take Unconscious Bias Head On To Promote Diversity And Inclusion

The tech industry has long been seen as a white, male dominated space.

But this is slowly changing as companies commit to making their workplaces more inclusive and diverse.

One way they are doing this is by recognizing the power they have to lead the way on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Big tech companies such as Facebook and Microsoft have invested heavily in scholarships and educational opportunities that prepare women and minorities for tech jobs.

These initiatives, such as Women Who Code, not only prepare workers for skilled positions but also help to humanize the field and make it more welcoming.

Statistics show that while there are many minorities with degrees in computer science, there is still a gap between those who graduated from those programs compared to how many actually secured jobs in the field.

To resolve this issue, tech industry leaders must identify unconscious bias within their hiring processes and work towards eliminating it.

Wrap Up

The books Building an Inclusive Organisation provides a great overview of why diverse organizations are so important – they think more creatively, are more engaged and even make more money.

It also offers very actionable advice on how to achieve inclusivity in the workplace.

For example, to really get buy-in from your organisation, make diversity and inclusion a personal matter by asking team members about their experiences with feeling excluded or not belonging.

It’s important to tap into these vulnerable feelings to help those in the majority empathize with what minorities feel in the workplace.

Overall, this book is an informative guide for creating an inclusive organisation and making sure that everyone is taken care of no matter their background!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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