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Wide Open Voices leadership development approach focusses on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) as a whole leadership approach. This is because EDI is about attitudes and behaviours, ethics and power, freedom and responsibility, relations and identity. All of which condition our ‘ways of being’ and our ‘ways of leading’.
The current business environment is complex, relational, and global, with change and uncertainty being central features. Within this setting, staff, investors, and customers are demanding a more equitable and inclusive way of doing business, which adds more change and uncertainty to the leadership context. Business success in this milieu requires leaders whose ‘ways of leading’ are rooted in authenticity, values driven, and courageous in the face of change.
Taking an EDI approach to leadership involves understanding the existential meanings, values and beliefs that condition our ‘ways of leading’ and the choices we make. It is about understanding the human condition that informs how we respond to change and uncertainty, whether these be generated by the emergent business context or demands for inclusion.
In exploring and understanding ways of being and leading, leaders become more self-aware, gain a deeper sense of their values, while developing a closer understanding of how socio-cultural drivers inform their choices. This understanding and awareness enables leaders to adapt and respond effectively to the uncertainties they face, wherever they come from.
EDI is also about the existential freedom to choose authentic and meaningful ways of being in the world, ways of being that everyone seeks. This, though, is a freedom severely restricted for many people in organisations and across society. EDI, then, is also about developing organisational cultures of equitable inclusion in which everyone can live authentic and meaningful lives without fear of censure, discrimination, or exclusion.
The Wide Open Voices approach focuses on different elements of ‘ways of being’ that have a direct relationship to leadership and EDI. These include:
Meaning and Values
Freedom and Responsibility
Authenticity and Identity
Relations and the Self
Choices and uncertainty
Learning and Awareness
To implement this approach, we use dialogic processes designed to engage individuals and teams in exploring how these aspects relate to, inhibit, and condition their ways of leading. Exploring these elements develops new ways of thinking, of relating, and of being that free leaders to experience authentic, meaningful and fulfilling ways of leading whilst creating the culture for successful, inclusive, and equitable organisations.
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