In my experience leading and working with global and diverse teams, I have observed the critical importance of aligning everyone on the systems and norms we will apply to measure success and ‘what good looks like”.

Our team celebrates and hires for diversity, but how do we make sure diverse voices are heard? And that everyone is positioned to thrive, collaborate effectively, and deliver their best work? Research has proven that diversity alone does not lead a team to a better performance, but when their diversity is combined with cultural intelligence, it does!

David Livermore outlines a thoughtful approach to creating Culturally Intelligent and inclusive team norms in this article linked below, or you can deep dive into related research in his excellent book, “Driven by Difference”.

Here are a few highlights from Dave’s article:
“Rather than just building awareness or trying to change the cultural values of the people they lead, [culturally intelligent leaders] develop team norms that are both inclusive and unifying. “

1.    Identify current and desired norms – how is the team working now? How does the team want to be working? We are reminded to explore both explicit and implicit norms and team practises.

2.    Create behavioral indicators to demonstrate how to apply the norms in various situations – what are the acceptable and inclusive ways we can apply the norms? How can we tell?

3.    Monitor behavioral indicators – the team lead has a key role in helping the team monitor and apply an inclusive approach to team norms and may need to modify some of the norms as team diversity increases.

4.    Reinforce and maintain new norms – this is an ongoing step where the culturally intelligent team lead continues to apply influence and authority to the help the team effectively apply team norms.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *