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ICYMI: Responding to the World Around Us: When and How to Comment on Difficult Topics

INSIGHTS

ICYMI: Responding to the World Around Us: When and How to Comment on Difficult Topics

Title slide for March 2024 DLN event

On March 21, Elizabeth Curwen, founder and managing director of Diversity Works, presented an approach for how and if organizations should respond to current events through a DEI+ lens. “Responding to the World Around Us: When and How to Comment on Difficult Topics,” part of the DEI Leader Network’s monthly event series, emphasized the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in fostering a resilient organizational culture capable of effectively responding to crises. If you missed the presentation, it is available here.

She outlined a five-step process that organizations can follow to prepare and respond to external events:

  1. Understand the Situation – It is critical to have an accurate understanding of the situation from more than one reliable source
  2. Apply Strategic Filters – Organizations should use a systematic approach to determine whether and how to respond
  3. Solicit Input and Feedback – DEI Leaders are well positioned to assemble diverse groups to help advise the organization on its response
  4. Create a Conversation – Any response should be seen as a conversation starter and organizations should expect to engage in dialog
  5. Show and Tell – Organizations should consider that actions can speak louder than words in many situations

Curwen also highlighted the significance of stakeholder engagement, recommending beginning with a stakeholder mapping process to understand which groups of people both inside and outside of the organization should be considered during a crisis. She illustrated how DEI infrastructure could be leveraged through practical examples to ensure responses are inclusive and considerate of all stakeholders. DEI professionals and allies should engage with their organization’s communications function, offering strategies for proactive and thoughtful engagement with difficult topics. Organizations can navigate complex issues with sensitivity and integrity by prioritizing informed, values-driven responses and leveraging DEI+ principles.

Diversity Works created a guide for holding a listening circle, which can be an effective way to engage internal stakeholders on difficult topics. Please subscribe for updates about future live events and join our LinkedIn group for more resources and content for the DEI practitioner.

 

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