6 questions talent management must get right to build diversity at the executive level

“None of us are expert at this. It is not easy to work through it. And one of the things that I know is that the answers or the actions you should take really need to be bespoke to your organization.” 

Building Diversity: Part 1 of 3 

To achieve more diversity at the executive level, companies need to provide diversity of opportunity and development among their potential leaders.

Abundant data shows that companies building diversity outperform homogeneous ones. Companies that fail to achieve a diverse and inclusive organization ultimately stifle innovation and underperform.

Many organizations recognize they need to become more diverse and inclusive, yet most believe they have not been effective at increasing diverse representation, particularly at the executive level, which is typically 85% White.

Dr. Linda Hill, founding partner at Paradox Strategies and head of the Leadership Initiative at Harvard Business School, has spent much of her career researching innovation and helping companies unleash their potential. Building diversity, she says, starts with taking a strategic approach to nurturing individual differences.

Here are 6 questions Dr. Hill says leaders in talent management must get right if their organization wants to grow a more diverse field of “stars” fit for promotion:

  1. What are the key “fit” criteria?  Are they changing?  What evidence do you rely on to determine if someone “fits?”
  2. What mindsets/competencies/behaviors are required?  Are they changing?
  3. What evidence do you rely on to determine if someone has potential?
  4. What stretch assignments do people need?
  5. What developmental relationships do people need?
  6. What are you doing to develop the next generation of talent?  How robust is your pipeline?  How diverse is your pipeline?

At the core of minority advancement are transparent talent management systems to ensure that minority populations understand the criteria for advancement, Dr. Hill says.

Listen in as Dr. Hill talks about the challenges of building diversity, equity, and inclusion during a recent workshop session of Stars Are Made Not Born: The Meritocracy Myth.

Introduction: The positive effects and challenges of building diversity  (audio: 02:44)

Finding the perfect fit – a matter of YES and NO (audio: 01:25)

Building diversity, equity, and inclusion with Paradox Strategies

Contact us for details.

Dr. Hill is a founding partner at Paradox Strategies and a professor at Harvard Business School, where she chairs the Leadership Initiative. She advises organizations and Fortune 500 companies on how to take a strategic approach to nurturing individual differences to unleash an organization’s full potential.

Dr. Linda Hill
Dr. Linda HIll

“Now we all know that all are not fit to be leaders; all are not fit to be stars. I will never be a professional basketball player. Having said that, what we also know from lots of research is that more people have more potential than we realize.”