B.E. Smith: Managing Leadership Diversity: Roadmap for Success

A recent B.E. Smith report finds broad-based diversity is right for today’s healthcare industry. Achieving it requires navigating a complex set of populations, attitudes, and strategies. Diverse leadership attuned to diversity management and willing to adapt to changing needs is a winning formula. In the report, B.E. Smith lays out eight key steps for managing leadership diversity: 

1. Recognize the growing importance of diversity. Organizations that are representative of their communities better understand localized patient needs and are better equipped to engage the community and establish networks necessary for optimal care.

2. Address diversity’s complex landscape. While increasing ethnic or gender representation is still important, leaders today must seek more comprehensive diversity, encompassing multiple populations.

3. Diversity should be embedded in leadership recruiting. While the supply of diverse candidates is often cited as a barrier to workforce diversity, recruiters must adopt a strategy to attract diverse candidates.

4. Leverage interim leadership. Deploying interims, especially in protracted search situations, can create “instant diversity” given the availability of experienced leaders from a range of backgrounds.

5. Rethink some traditional diversity management tools. The most effective diversity programs spark engagement, increase contact among different groups, or draw on people’s desire to look good to others.

6. Devote sustained resources. No diversity program can be effective without strong institutional commitment, and no commitment can produce results without funding and sustained attention.

7. Commit to building an inclusive culture.  It is essential for leadership to display real respect for open dialogue and diverse perspectives.

8. Measure and monitor.  Engagement surveys give leadership a real window into the depth of the workforce beliefs in the organization’s diversity and effectiveness of its programs.

To view the full report, click here


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