Niken Ardiyanti and AF Amru : Leave No One Behind : Inclusive Leadership & The Culture of The future

Niken Ardiyanti and AF Amru : Leave No One Behind : Inclusive Leadership & The Culture of The future


Niken Ardiyanti — Industrial & Organizational Psychologist at LM FEB UI / 

AF Amru — Strategic Management Consultant at LM FEB UI

While the companies around the globe battling the pandemic, another man African-American was killed by the police in Minneapolis. The tragedy sparked days of riot across the US for the outraged driven by the unjust and inhumane treatment toward one ethnic group. It was emotional and humanity is about emotions –To feel is to be human. The old wounds have already reopened and it felt worse since the World has struggled over decades for equality, diversity, and inclusivity in and out of the workplace. For the organizations nowadays had already focused on the struggle organizational value of creation, with competency-based on human resources management practices’ as an operational vehicle to make it happen. This was very shocked not just about the Covid-19 globe pandemic since the early outbreak in Wuhan, that making an impact in the world outside the workplace is an impossible task, we do need to remember once more why we are here. Large companies have done very well in making a social impact and conducting its Social Responsibility. There are standards in which the company complies to be environmentally responsible. Environmental (use of plastic bags) and health issues (coronavirus pandemic) are the two most discussed issues recently while the issue of diversity has been around for a hundred years and more. We are all responsible for our environment and it is agreeable that we are all responsible for the culture we inherit to the next generation. The culture within our organization is each member’s responsibility, any injustice and intolerance toward diversity should be fought together. If the problem is never considered being one, then no one will try to fix it.


Exhibit — 1 Cultural Diversity Management from 1991–2019 source: Cox (1991), Tapia (2019), & Liswood (2019)

Diversity is the full spectrum of human differences. Diversity represents the full spectrum of human demographic differences — race, religion, gender age, socio-economic status, or physical disability. Many companies consider lifestyles, personality characteristics, perspectives, opinions, family composition, education level, or tenure elements of diversity as well. Inclusivity is a cultural and environmental feeling of belonging. It can be assessed as the extent to which employees are valued, respected, and accepted to fully participate in the organization (Gallup, 2018). Within the context of the workplace, diversity equals representation. Inclusion determines the crucial connections that attract diverse talent with the best competency — either soft skills and also technical skills, encourage their participation, foster innovation, and lead to business growth won’t happen (Sherbin, 2017). The concept of Diversity and Inclusion are different by definition but the two must be paired for the desired positive impact on the organizational culture and productivity (Liswood, 2019). The topic (D&I) has been discussed for decades across disciplines; philosophy, social, and also science. Diversity and inclusivity have been studied thoroughly for –at least– the last two decades alone. Issues of Cultural Diversity in Businesses from multiple sources shown in Exhibit-1 categorized into eight different concerns toward the career involvement of women, HR management systems, Heterogeneity, Mindsets, Organizational culture, Cultural differences, Risks involved in organizational homogeneity, and Diversity and Inclusivity journey for organization cultural evolution. The summary suggests the fundamental aspects of the organization’s social impact and interaction. The organization’s stance and action on diversity and inclusivity will determine the relationship in (the employees) and out (clients/customers, vendors/suppliers, regulators, etc.) the organization. This relationship will ultimately set course to the organization’s future, whether it a smooth or rough, and the experience that follows can be a sweet or a bitter one.


What does it mean to have an inclusive leadership within the organization? When the leader is actively encouraging the diversity practice both in the equality of opportunity and benefit within the organization, the organization culture can grow to be more inclusive. An organization that is built upon a fair and inclusive culture should reflect the workplace’s atmosphere of cooperative, collaborative, open, fair, accountable, tolerant, and other positive features.

There are at least three impactful ways for the leader to start taking action to introduce, promote, and empower the better values of inclusivity to the current company’s culture.

  1. Tearing down the wall

The goal is to reconnect the organization elements and dissolve organizational silos. Silos and siloed-thinking within the organization will destroy the organization unity, isolate knowledge and information, impede tolerance in diversity, hinder inclusivity, and what is worse– allow nepotism, favoritism, and partiality-mindset to grow. The solution is to create a collaborative working environment and support the process of collaboration wholeheartedly.

  1. Making everyone count

The key to this success is to count everyone in. Leaders and managers should take a moment to proactively ask what others think in a meeting. Employee’s sense of belonging can emerge from knowing that their voice matters and this sense of belonging can directly affect their effort to make a positive impact on the company.

  1. Show how it’s done

Leaders should lead by example and it only means that every leader should always walk the talk. Being inclusive is a form of action and any intention in creating an inclusive organization starts from the leader which is (and must be) consistent with the spirit of unity. This consistency can only be observed through the implementation of reward and punishment toward tolerance and intolerance to the practice of equality, diversity, and inclusivity.