How do you advance the critical leadership skills for managers operating in increasingly diverse environments? Often, managers have not become comfortable leading people whose backgrounds and styles are unlike their own. At the same time, young, diverse recruits can feel isolated and disconnected from corporate culture. They need to learn the unwritten rules that exist in every organizational culture.
The Corporate Inclusion Institute (CII) is the first, citywide program expanding organizational capacity for inclusion through the development and retention of critical talent. CII develops the cross-cultural competency and leadership skills of mid-to senior-level managers while empowering young, diverse professionals to navigate the unwritten rules and expectations of their corporate culture. Over a period of nine-months, mid-level managers (Corporate Guides) and young, racially or ethnically diverse professionals (Fellows) participate in a comprehensive and carefully chosen set of learning opportunities that put them on the path toward breakthrough experiences with long-lasting results.
These opportunities include Assessments of participants’ strengths, improvement areas, preferences, and biases; Academic Sessions which focus on bolstering the cultural fluency and inclusive leadership skills of Corporate Guides while enabling Fellows to better navigate corporate culture; Networking opportunities which allow participants to make valuable connections; Workshops featuring experts in talent development and cultural competency; and Coaching, in which Corporate Guides meet with their assigned Fellows on a monthly basis. These meetings build leaderships skills of Corporate Guides while Fellows benefit from gaining insight into corporate culture. And finally, the CII Mobile App, serves as a digital resource while keeping participants connected.
In just short of a year, CII has made a positive impact in advancing cultural fluency and diverse leadership practices. Among cohort I participants, cross-cultural competency and self-awareness increased, and satisfaction levels with the learning curriculum and coaching component were high.