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Amplifying diverse voices at work

A recipe with one ingredient is just…well, one ingredient. It will never be anything greater than that. It’s when you mix in additional flavours that the magic happens.

A banana can become banana bread, or a banana split, or even an exotic curry. Its potential becomes endless. Applying the same logic to your workforce, diversity can be a force to amplify the potential of your organisation. But there’s no point in having a diverse mix of people in the office, if their voices aren’t being heard. True diversity and inclusion means not just having diverse voices in an organisation, but giving them a platform in which to achieve diversity of ideas.

Once upon a time in business...

Superhero Complex – The risk of group thinking

It wasn’t all that long ago that corporations were almost exclusively owned and run by a very slim profile of society.

There are a few problems with this:

  1. The decision makers within the company were not reflective of their customer base
  2. The companies were missing out on talent pools because they felt that they didn’t fit into the ‘company culture’
  3. They were missing out on ideas or perspectives from different backgrounds and influences
  4. They failed to retain talent from diverse backgrounds without representation in senior roles

All of these point to the risk of ‘groupthink’ – where the desire for harmony and conformity in decision making can lead to irrational or dysfunctional decision-making.

Superhero Complex – The risk of group thinking

The most common trappings or symptoms of groupthink are much like having a ‘superhero complex’ and include:

  • Being overly optimistic about the group’s abilities, leading to excessive risk-taking.
  • Ignoring warnings and not (re)considering their assumptions.
  • Believing the group is inherently moral, which can lead members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
  • Viewing those who oppose the group’s decisions as outsiders, enemies, or even as being ethically evil.
  • Members withholding their dissenting views and counter-arguments, (Well, Robin would never argue with Batman, would he?!)
  • Believing that everyone agrees, especially in the absence of vocal dissent.
  • Pressurising those who express alternative views to align with the majority.

What we believe

Ginger believes that if businesses build inclusive and diverse organisations, where diverse voices are given space to be heard, the likelihood of groupthink reduces and the organisations, and those they serve, will benefit. That’s why we work with organisations to give the skills, training and confidence to amplify the unheard diverse voices.

Learn more about Amplify

How inclusion benefits your organisation

Empathy,
Lived Experience,
Creativity,
Analytical Thought,
Collaboration

Various studies have found a direct and conclusive link between diversity and financial impact.

McKinsey’s 2015 Diversity Matters report examined proprietary data sets for 366 public companies across a range of industries in Canada, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They found that:

“Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians.” This rises to 35% for those in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity.

What’s more, those lagging behind in the bottom quartile for both are statistically less likely to achieve above average financial returns.

Looking at financial benefits alone, you can easily create the argument for building more inclusion in the workplace.  But the benefits extend far beyond the financial.

Empathy,
Lived Experience,
Creativity,
Analytical Thought,
Collaboration

Improved creativity

With a broader experience base, businesses that encourage diverse voices are able to tap into a wider spectrum of creativity, through collaboration and analytical thought, expanding the possibilities and potential for innovation in all areas of the business.

A broader world view

Companies with a diverse organisation are able to put into practice a wider world view, incorporating more lived experience. This additional range of empathy helps them to open up and better serve a wider range of markets, as opposed to providing a limited and closed perspective.

Gen Z and the importance of ethics

Gen Z is a culturally progressive generation, and their behaviours (including voting and buying), are rooted in their ethics. According to a 2022 Merkle study 83% of Gen Zers and 76% of millennials feel that brands should take a stance on social issues, compared to just 59% of consumers 41 years old or older. In further research conducted in the US and UK, Stanford University professor, Roberta Katz found that:

“In summary, a typical Gen Zer is a self-driver who deeply cares about others, strives for a diverse community, is highly collaborative and social, values flexibility, relevance, authenticity and non-hierarchical leadership.”

The next generation cares about diverse voices, and so should you.

Improved employee satisfaction

When looking into the role of women leaders following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Potential Project (as published in the Harvard Business Review) identified that job satisfaction is 86% higher for an employee who works for a ‘wise and compassionate leader’ than an employee who does not. In their study of 5,000 businesses in 100 countries, they found that 55% of the women were ranked by their followers as being wise and compassionate, compared to only 27% of the men.

An incubator for public speaking skills

Our A-team of trainers include award-winning authors, psychologists, coaches, journalists and TEDx organisers. Their combined skills create an exceptional incubator for public speaking talent to develop. Amplify leverages the deep experience and talent of our trainers to nourish your abilities and help you grow into the thought leader you should be.

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The Ginger Method

Our signature Amplify course seeks to boost impact and visibility through a transformational TED-style speaking journey.

Our fully-interactive course is not your standard ‘sit and learn’ experience. Participants in Amplify are actively engaged in activities that might challenge them. Being taken out of your comfort zone to take your place in the spotlight puts you into your power zone, breaking through your confidence barriers to unleash a new sense of capability and worth. We believe that providing a safe environment and tactics to take ownership of your discomfort provides the ability to hold space in any room.

In the rich tapestry of inclusion and diversity, the act of storytelling itself is a transformative experience, one that can fundamentally change the way we perceive and interact with the world around us. Drawing inspiration from the insights of philosopher L.A. Paul (2014), we recognise the profound impact that such an experience can have in shaping inclusive leadership.

Make an IMPACT – Amplify TED-style speaking course builds confident, influential leaders

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The Power of Personal Narratives in Inclusion:

Embarking on a Transformative Journey: Our storytelling training isn’t just a skill enhancement program; it’s a transformative experience in itself. As participants delve into the world of narratives, they undergo a personal evolution, gaining new perspectives and embracing inclusivity on a deeper level.

Narratives Beyond the Known: By opening up to stories from varied backgrounds, organisations venture into uncharted terrains, expanding their horizons and fostering an authentically inclusive culture.

Championing Firsthand Experiences: In the realm of diversity, firsthand accounts of challenges, triumphs, and life-altering moments resonate most. There is a deep power and impact in sharing these authentic stories.

Shaping Identity Through Stories: Aiming for leadership that celebrates diversity means understanding and articulating evolving identities. Through transformative storytelling, leaders and team members can better grasp their own stories and those of others.

Amplify teaches business leaders how to source, structure and sell the story that will have the power to shift hearts and minds.

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I would highly recommend the Ginger team if you are looking to elevate your own impact.

Cindy Hoots
Unilever

My work with Ginger gave me the structure and focus to achieve a dramatic improvement in my public speaking ability. This has resulted in greater impact with my clients – and has opened up a whole new set of opportunities in my professional life. The return-on-investment has completly exceeded my expectations.

Sinead Ni Mhuircheartaigh
Accenture

Before I worked with Ginger, I was reasonably relaxed about sales pitches, but anything motivating felt alien. I went from being a ‘wooden’ speaker to one who could get up in front of a large audience and speak from the heart.

Martin Dixon
AJM Healthcare

As part of the experience we  encourage participants to do the work to draw out their ‘ideas worth spreading’. We truly believe that everybody has one fantastic idea.

They might feel their idea is too ‘out there’, too ‘eccentric’ or too ‘risky’, or it might be just the one thing that makes complete sense, but no-one has said it. Whatever it is, it has the ability to make a difference. That’s why central to this course is teaching and honing the skills of communication – because there’s no point in having an idea, if it’s not being communicated. In this way Amplify works to bring to the fore a new wave of creative thinkers, helping them to drive change and push forward their ambitions.

In committing to Amplify, both the organisation and the individual are committing to valuing and raising the unheard voices. If you’d like to know more, get in touch.

Learn more about Amplify

3 STEPS TOWARDS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Step 1

Assess the current situation

If you’re keen to jump in with both feet to amplify diversity voices, great! But taking a deep and honest look at how your business is providing space for diverse voices to be heard will help you to understand the problem first.  Holding open forums, closed surveys, honesty boxes, or any number of research tactics will help to provide a true picture of the problem and how to address it best in your organisation.

Step 2

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Allowing diverse voices to thrive in an organisation may involve challenging the status quo. For example, it could require encouraging participation from all members of the team, not just senior management. Opinions from the unheard, are often unheard opinions, which might make for uncomfortable listening. It’s important to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, to be open to hearing new thoughts and ideas and to acknowledge and value their validity.

Step 3

Empower through training

Training is an investment in people that pays dividends. By sharpening and broadening skills, individuals better their capabilities, feel valued, invested and can move towards leadership roles fully prepared. Consider looking outside the box at training that builds confidence as well as technical skills, to prepare candidates for the next stage in their career, like our Amplify programme, which is carefully crafted to bring leaders out of their shells to let their personality shine

Learn more about Amplify

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_representation_on_corporate_boards_of_directors

https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/research-centres/gender-leadership-and-inclusion-centre/female-ftse-board-report

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/why-diversity-matters

https://hbr.org/2022/03/when-women-leaders-leave-the-losses-multiply

https://www.maersk.com/insights/growth/gen-z-buyers-the-future-is-ethical-consumption

What to know about Gen Z

https://www.linkedin.com/business/talent/blog/talent-acquisition/50-plus-ideas-for-cultivating-diversity-and-inclusion