Unlocking Competitive Edge with Andrea Notarnicola | Mind The Gap

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In today’s rapidly evolving corporate landscape, fostering an environment of global inclusion has become not just a moral imperative but a strategic necessity for companies aiming to thrive in a diverse world. As Andrea Notarnicola, an esteemed author and management consultant at Newton, underscores, true leadership is marked by a steadfast dedication to weaving diversity and inclusion into the very fabric of a company’s identity. However, this commitment goes beyond mere rhetoric; it necessitates the integration of diversity and inclusion goals into the fundamental pillars of a company’s mission, vision, and values. In this discourse, we delve into the essence of global inclusion, exploring what it means and how it can be effectively realized in modern organizational settings.

"Leadership must demonstrate a genuine commitment to global inclusion by incorporating diversity and inclusion goals into the company's mission, vision, and values. A globally inclusive company understands that diversity leads to greater innovation, creativity, and problem-solving capabilities."

In companies, it’s more likely that the prevailing culture will persist even with new hires similar to management. That’s why it’s important to practice inclusion, which doesn’t only refer to women but should also apply to individuals over 50, the new generations, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, or ethnic minorities. What does global inclusion mean, and how can it be practiced?

The strategy of global inclusion aims to attain a sustainable competitive advantage in the market. Companies need to attract and retain the most talented professionals. Global inclusion in a company refers to creating a workplace environment where individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives feel valued, respected, and included. It involves actively promoting and embracing diversity across all levels of the organization. Leadership must demonstrate a genuine commitment to global inclusion by incorporating diversity and inclusion goals into the company’s mission, vision, and values. A globally inclusive company understands that diversity leads to greater innovation, creativity, and problem-solving capabilities. Research shows that diversity of thinking is a wellspring of creativity, enhancing innovation by about 20%. It also enables groups to spot risks, reducing these by up to 30%. And it smooths the implementation of decisions by creating buy-in and trust.

Why is the interview considered the most significant barrier during the hiring process, especially for individuals belonging to the LGBTQ+ community?

Individuals may seek organizations where they feel comfortable being open about their identities and where they perceive a supportive and inclusive environment. During the interview, candidates assess the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. LGBTQ+ people have the chance to scrutinize how they are treated during interviews if they come out, including whether they feel respected and included. It’s respectful to ask candidates for their pronouns at the beginning of the interview or during introductions. This communicates that their identities are valued. 

If interviewers make assumptions based on stereotypes or biases, they risk not evaluating the candidates based on their skills and fit for the role. 

The interview process provides a platform for candidates to disclose any specific needs or accommodations related to their LGBTQ+ identity, their families or gender transition, etc. If these needs are not recognized or met, the candidates don’t consider the organization a good employer. 

Post-interview feedback sessions allow hiring teams to reflect on their practices and identify opportunities for improvement in their DEI efforts.

Can you name a case study that has successfully made LGBTQ+ individuals authentically experience themselves in their workplace?

“Parks – Liberi e Uguali” is a non-profit making organization, whose members are exclusively employers, created to help partner companies understand and attain maximum business opportunities deriving from the development of strategies and good practices that respect diversity. At Parks, more than 100 companies believe that inclusion and respect can only really make a difference when they encompass everybody. That is why these companies adopted as their mission a precise and prevalent focus on that area of diversity management which is culturally most demanding, that is to say, the part related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Parks have introduced in Italy the concrete possibility of measuring progress in this activity area. With the creation of the LGBT+ Diversity Index, Parks has introduced into the Italian market an element of good competition between employers. The Index measures the commitment of company management to the LGBTQ+ community in Italy and allows single companies to monitor the details of their progress and their position relative to competitors.

In conclusion, the journey towards global inclusion demands more than just lip service – it requires concerted action, unwavering commitment, and an acknowledgment of the transformative power of diversity. As exemplified by initiatives such as Parks – Liberi e Uguali, companies can chart a course toward genuine inclusivity by not only embracing diversity but also actively measuring and monitoring their progress. By fostering environments where individuals of all backgrounds, identities, and perspectives feel valued and respected, organizations can unlock the full spectrum of human potential, driving innovation, creativity, and sustainable growth in an interconnected world. In embracing global inclusion, companies not only stand to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace but also contribute to a more equitable and harmonious society for generations to come.

Meet Andrea Notarnicola

Andrea Notarnicola, management consultant at Newton, deals with cultural evolution programs, training, and engagement of leadership and communities in stakeholder companies. He combines his profession as a business consultant with university teaching and support for ecosystem initiatives of inclusion and democratic sustainability. He heads the Global Inclusion Art Committee. 3. he is the author of 15 managerial essays. Among the most read: “Inclusive Leadership” (Il Sole 24 Ore), “Global Inclusion” (Franco Angeli), “The Broken Enterprise” (Franco Angeli), and “Zzzoot electrocuted in the company” (Il Sole 24 Ore).

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This article is part of "Mind The Gap" a Newsletter we have recently launched, dedicated to DEIB & those who actively work towards making the workplace a more inclusive space.

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