Creating Clear DEI Strategy Goals for your Business

A red bulls eye with a dart in the centre target is surrounded by words in a triangle shape: DEI strategy, goals and plans.
The Role of Goals in Recruiting the Best DEI Strategy Consultant for You 

You’ve used a diversity calendar to fill in your social media calendar. You’ve added a non-discrimination commitment statement to your job postings. And you’ve even taken the next step and proposed a budget for making diversity management and respectful workplace training a priority. But there’s something that just isn’t bringing it all together in your organization. 

It is common to employ the services of a DEI consultant in order to achieve your organization’s goals related to inclusion and diversity. This can come with challenges, and can take a significant amount of time and resources to do, if you want to do it right. It will help you in your search for the best consultant to help you, if you already have an idea of what your goals are! 

Often, we see orgs get caught up in the wave of options they can choose from when it comes to finding a consulting team , because they have no idea what they want to accomplish! In this post, we will go over some ways to prepare your DEI goals to help you, and help your future consultant get off on the right foot. 

An exercise that can help you get started is to SOAR: identifying your Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and desired Results will start you off with a concrete starting point for developing your leadership training and inclusive workplace practices. SOAR Analysis is one of our favourite models for leadership teams to use when determining where their priorities for DEI strategy work. 

Soar Above Your Status Quo

First, we start by identifying strengths. Strengths are anything you already know that you are doing well, or practices that are producing the results you want for your company. Consider how you can leverage these strengths for the work ahead! Maybe you already have a system in place for providing personal development to your employees at work. Or perhaps you exceed the minimum requirements for sick time or pay in your industry or locale. If your company has a thriving social organizing committee to support employee morale, that could be a strength, too! 

Think about what those strengths are, and how they contribute to your organization’s inclusion and diversity as it currently stands. There is always room for improvement, but it’s just as important to recognize what is already working. 

  • What are we already doing well? Why does it work for us/our teams?
  • What makes us unique as an organization? What do we offer that our competitors cannot or do not?

Opportunities can be just about anything! For this part of this exercise, consider any of the gaps you might see in your industry as a whole. Is there a service or program that doesn’t exist, but could serve you or your clients better? Are there any ideas that have never gotten off the ground, but which you want to prioritize going forward? Maybe you have some natural culture leaders you know you can get onside with new initiatives to ease the adoption and change process right away. 

The “O” in the SOAR Analysis also gives you a chance to reframe any obstacles you may have recognized in your work, into possible goals to overcome. You can also look for these opportunities in anything you or your organization has received feedback about, especially from your clients or employees. If we are thinking about inclusion or accessibility, maybe it’s something obvious and tangible, like making entrances to your building more physically accessible. It could also be something more complex, like increasing the diversity of your leadership or c-suite employees. 

  • Where have we struggled to improve?
  • Whose voices are underrepresented in our organization? Where should we strive to include them?
  • What would need to change to add to our list of strengths? 

What are your organizational Aspirations? An aspiration is a dream, a north star. It is specific, but not binding; it should be motivating, and capture the spirit of your hopes for the company or organization. Identify your aspirations as the values you hold the highest, or the vision you have for the world as a result of the work your organization is doing. It can be helpful to use the Strengths and Opportunities that you already listed, and use them for inspiration as well. 

  • Which of our Strengths and Opportunities feel the most important, or motivating to our work? 
  • If you could travel to the future, what would you want your company to be known for? 
  • What is the reputation of the organization now, and what would you change about it if you could?
  • What are we already doing now that supports these aspirations? What are programs or initiatives that do not align with those values? 

Finally, think of the Results as a step backward from your aspirations. If your Aspirations are like your North Star, then Results are the pathway and the memories you gained along the hike. They would be the trail map you used to navigate, the supplies you packed into your backpack, and the gear you chose to support yourself on the way to the summit. Each of your Results will help you create the framework for the way your organization will need to change in order to support your Aspirations, and make the most of your Opportunities and Strengths.  

  • If your organization was known for X, what programs or practices would be in place to support it?
  • What needs to be changed in order to shape this future version of our company?
  • What does it look like to be doing X? 

Doing this kind of reflecting activity with your team prior to choosing a DEI consultant can help you find the one who will fit your needs best. At this stage, you are not trying to set your detailed targets or training yet: your DEI consultants can help you with that! 

If you are having trouble getting through this exercise as a team, it could also be beneficial to make that the outcome you want from a DEI consultant — and that’s okay, too! Whether you’ve done this exercise already and want to take the next step, or you need some helpful group facilitation to get you started, MT Consulting Group can meet you there. Visit our website for more information on a free initial consultation, or to find out more about our training cohort programs

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *