Aug 201724

Navigating The Shift From Diversity Training to an Organizational Development Initiative (Part 3)

by Jon Grannis, 7 years ago

Navigating The Shift From Diversity Training to an Organizational Development Initiative (Part 3)

Sollah Contributor and Subject Matter Expert - Kari Heistad

For an organization making the shift from diversity program to diversity Organizational Development initiative, thoughtful and strategic decisions must be made in order for that initiative to be successful and achieve business results. In our experience, organizations go through a seven-step process to move forward from programmatic training to Organizational Development continuous education. We have put these seven steps into a model that provides a practical framework to guide organizations through this transition.

The seven steps of the model help to guide an organization through the different decisions, considerations, goals, resources and time frames that need to be considered when setting up diversity as a continuous learning Organizational Development initiative. While each step of the model has additional considerations than what are listed here, this is the basic framework. The emphasis behind this model is that when you begin to run diversity as an Organizational Development initiative, there are many decisions and considerations that must be made.

While leveraging the knowledge from past Organizational Development initiatives will be helpful, here are some additional success strategies to keep in mind when creating an Organizational Development initiative for diversity and inclusion work:

  • Seek and gain senior leadership sup- port and active engagement through-out the entire process. Have them model their own personal engagement with the initiative.
  • Ensure that the D&I work is closely aligned with organizational goals.
  • Focus on augmenting training with ongoing education. Design a comprehensive strategy that layers D&I training, learning tools, themes/topics and programs year after year to reinforce and support your diversity education.
  • Provide regular communication to employees about the diversity work, its alignment to organizational goals, and why it is important to them.
  • Allow sufficient time to implement programs. Diversity is a highly personal and emotional topic for employees. As such, it will require longer implementation than some other Organizational Development initiatives. Employees need time to integrate inclusion into their interactions and this can take longer than expected.
  • Engage and support managers in the work. Provide them with the training and resources to become advocates for diversity and inclusion within their teams. Help them to use educational tools such as manager-led team discussions to reduce friction and solve team issues.
  • Engage employees from all levels of the organization in this process to drive success and employee engagement.
  • Use diversity champions throughout the organization to gain insights into implementation challenges and success stories.

Want to learn more, please contact Sollah Interactive at