Is DEI the foundation of how work will change in the future?

Lubna Haq | 8 May 2024

The future of work is likely to be shaped by several trends and considerations such as an organisation’s approach to succession planning, the impact of hybrid working, growing awareness of the need to integrate neuro diverse people, doing more with less, and the impact of a multi-generational workforce. Furthermore, Covid has taught us that work life balance is important to many of us, and full-time work is no longer considered to be the norm. Yes, what we do has to have purpose, but it doesn’t define who we are as people. In this latest article Lubna Haq demonstrates what these things all have in common is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion thread that runs throughout. 

Despite decades of taking two steps forward and one step back, maybe this is the time when organisations can finally stop paying lip service to issues of equality and finally recognise that, to be competitive and financially successful, it is an imperative. Every CEO we talk to tells us that innovation and collaboration are high on their agendas as well as the need to deliver excellence with finite resources for an increasingly sophisticated customer base who are more demanding and recognise that they can exercise their freedom to choose the products and services that best meet their needs. Different perspectives enrich strategy development. 

It feels that strategic leaders still battle with a reality perception gap or put another way, are still battling with hearts and minds in relation to DEI being properly costed and well-integrated into the fabric of all people processes. This goes to the heart of questions about the future of work. Never has it been more important to have a wealth of perspectives, experiences, and talents in our organisations, working at all levels in creative, challenging and thoughtful ways. 

This means ripping up the rule book and starting from scratch. Let’s forget about legacy policies and doing things the way we have always done them. Let’s start by thinking about the way our organisations need to be structured to deliver excellence. What roles do our organisations actually need to deliver the strategic ambitions and are they configured in the right way?  Do we collect and use data in meaningful and informative ways that help us to stay ahead of the curve? If AI is taking over more routine work, how do we make the most of the talents of our people? How does our recruitment happen? How relevant are job specifications and job descriptions? Are development programmes designed and structured to meet the needs of the whole workforce? Have we really thought about our future talent strategy, and do we know what we expect the leaders of the future to do – do we know what good looks like? 

It is impossible to answer the question about the future of work in a one-dimensional way. This is a multifaceted, intriguing conundrum that allows us to be creative and all-encompassing in the way we look to the future. 

Interested in finding out more? Contact us.

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