Challenging the Inclusion Philosophy – Food for Thought
The impact of diversity and inclusion were further challenged during a provocative session by Dr Shaheena Janjuha-Jivraj.
Shaheena, Associate Professor in Leadership at Henley, and founder of its Centre for Entrepreneurship, said: "Whilst most of us accept the general correlation that points to diversity & inclusivity leading to improved performance, we need to understand the process better. Gender and colour alone don’t necessarily create diversity."
She insisted: "We really need cognitive diversity – a wider range of insights, experiences, and approaches to challenging problems. But people will only share their views if they feel comfortable in the team.
"We have to allow the differences to re-shape and influence the prevailing culture. Inclusion isn’t enough, and perhaps we need to use the word pluralism instead. Like adding an ingredient to a salad, it changes the mix, without any one element being dominant."
Shaheena referred to the explosion in new book titles being published, "We are not short of innovative ideas, but how do we translate that into change?
"It’s not about who has the insights, it’s about how open the organisation is to implementing them. It’s about how willing they are to engage with the diversity. That’s the real innovation we have to embrace if we are to thrive."