Intentional Inclusive Leadership

Fiona Daniel is a diversity and inclusion consultant and an experienced HR professional with a range of experience in blue-chip financial services companies. Fiona came in to talk to me about her take on inclusive leadership as both an opportunity for developing everyone in the workforce and for self-improvement too.
Photo of Fiona Daniel

S?: Welcome to The Inclusive Growth Show with Toby Mildon, future-proofing your business by creating a diverse workplace.

Toby Mildon: Hello there. Thank you ever so much for tuning into this episode of The Inclusive Growth Show. I’m Toby Mildon, and today I’m joined by Fiona Daniel. Now, I’ve known Fiona for quite a while now, and what I really like about Fiona is that she’s got experience of implementing diversity and inclusion within large organisations. So she’s spent a large part of her career working at HSBC. She’s also a non-executive director for several organisations.

Toby Mildon: And I think one of the reasons why I wanted to get Fiona on this show was because when you partner with a diversity consultant like Fiona or myself, I think one of the things that it’s really important that the consultant understands how to operate within businesses, particularly large organisations, where there can be a lot of bureaucracy or internal politics, knowing how to really have that internal influence and bring about change within an organisation. And Fiona has got stacks of that experience, so that’s one of the reasons why I got her on the show today. So Fiona, thank you ever so much for joining me. It’s great to see you.

Fiona Daniel: Well, likewise, Toby, likewise, and thank you for asking me, so.

Toby Mildon: So could you just let us know a bit more about your background, ’cause obviously, I mentioned that you worked at HSBC and you’ve got non-executive director positions, but can you let us know a bit more about your professional experience?

Fiona Daniel: Yeah. So, there’s not much to really add on, Toby, to that lovely introduction that you gave me. So yes, I spent quite a number of years at HSBC doing a number of roles, from front-line retail bank, going into the commercial bank, then moving into HR, specifically into learning and development, and then moving again into the broader world of diversity and inclusion in the global space to start off with for a few years, and then supporting and heading up our employee networks, actually, as well. You forget about all these great things that you do, Toby.

Fiona Daniel: So our employee networks, then became an internal consultant supporting our core functions and supporting business areas, and then became the head of diversity and inclusion for the UK bank. So that was my time at HSBC. But prior to that, actually, even before HSBC, I used to work for two other financial service organisations, so old Abbey National. I am showing my age now here, aren’t I? So Abbey National, that then became Santander and also the Halifax as well. So I would say, sector-wise, financial services industry, but at the same time as, me and you know, people, we have the same challenges in any organisation regardless of sector.

Fiona Daniel: But what it did, I suppose, for me in terms of experience, was really, I suppose, ignited in me this desire, I suppose, to continue to help organisations, but also people as well, and take the big step of setting up business by myself. And it was quite scary, because I was quite secure in HSBC working there for so long, but I was just ready. I think that’s all I can say. I was definitely ready to spread my wings. And one of my passions is actually just around diversity and inclusion, but also helping people, supporting people in their career ambitions regardless of background. And I’m looking really forward actually to something coming up. I can’t really divulge just yet, but in that space actually coming up, hopefully, later on this year, going into next year, going back to my roots, actually, in terms of that support and doing something a little bit clever in this space. So I shall tell you more, behind the scenes…

Toby Mildon: Yeah, watch this space.

Fiona Daniel: Sorry, listeners, behind the scenes. On a personal side, I’m very proud to be a… I think in my own words an amazing Black woman, who has experienced many challenges and also many opportunities as well. I’m not going to lie and say I’ve had everything easy, because I haven’t in the workplace. No, I haven’t. I’ve faced lots of things that people who know when it’s been a different experience, those challenges, some of those microaggressions, people trying to put you in a box and keep you in there. And I think also that’s one of the things that actually made me also really want to just control my own destiny as well, Toby.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Fiona Daniel: And just fly solo. And while flying solo, business is growing. So anybody that wants to join in terms of getting a bit of experience, please let me know, ’cause I’m always looking out for people. So also I’m a carer, Toby, so not many people realise, that I don’t think, it’s really important to me. I’m a carer, have been a carer for a number of years along my life. And so it’s come around again. So I also care for my mum and it does take priority. That is for me, quite an important element of me, of who I am as well.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing all of that. And all of that experience gives you a very well-rounded and holistic approach to diversity and inclusion, which I’ve seen ’cause obviously you and I have co-delivered a number of courses together.

Fiona Daniel: Yep.

Toby Mildon: You bring that well-rounded approach, professional experience from HSBC, your lived experience of being a Black woman, being a carer. And yeah, it definitely shows up in the work that we do. So I mean, one of the things that we’re going to talk about particularly is inclusive leadership, ’cause that’s an area that you specialise in as well. So for the person listening to us and the avoidance of any doubt, what is inclusive leadership from your perspective?

Fiona Daniel: From my perspective, inclusive leadership is really about a way of leading that is consciously mindful of those that you lead and also those that you don’t. Leadership, particularly inclusive leadership, is where you’re really quite strongly aware, very self-aware, and you ask yourself or should be asking yourself constantly, “Who am I including? Who am I not including? And why?” And like I said, that requires a high degree of self-awareness, Toby, and the ability to adapt our behaviours, and it’s about steps that individuals take to actively seek out and consider different perspectives for better decision-making and to collaborate more effectively with others who are not in your in-group normally, you know?

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Fiona Daniel: So often, we always seek… You know, something we often talk about, as you know, the same people, the people that you always feel comfortable with. In the workspace, we see that quite often, but it’s also quite limiting, quite dangerous, ’cause we’re excluding quite a lot of other people who have got the talent, people are there, just haven’t got the access to the opportunity, because our brain is telling us, “Well, I’m always going to stick to what I already know.”

Fiona Daniel: Inclusive leadership is all those things, but I think also one key component of inclusion is about the doing, isn’t it? It’s about what we say, it’s about what we do, and how through our actions and behaviours we can make someone feel. So from an inclusion point of view, that’s about helping people and ensuring that people do feel valued, feel respected, feel supported for who they are. It sounds cliche, because I’m sure people think, “Yeah, that’s what they always say,” but it’s true. It is absolutely true. And inclusive leadership is about stepping up and not being afraid to challenge, and to change the status quo, remove those barriers that exclude.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Fiona Daniel: But I think… In summary, I think it’s safe to say that… As I’m talking about it from my perspective about what inclusive leadership is, it’s quite an individualistic, if I get my teeth in, behaviour, like I said, that does demonstrate that value to difference, most importantly.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, I mean, you’ve touched on a few key things there, ’cause even if we look at something like the Deloitte six signature traits of inclusive leadership, they talk about being aware of your biases and blind spots and having that emotional intelligence as well. And I like what you said about who are you including, and who are you not including, and why.

Fiona Daniel: Yeah.

Toby Mildon: And I think the “and why” is really important, but also people need to stick with it and go deep on that, because sometimes it can be quite easy to brush off the why, and I think if you can stick with it and actually investigate why certain people or groups of people are being excluded, ’cause we are creators of habit. We like to hang out with people that are just like ourselves. And yeah, I worked with a HR director once, who said that, “I always thought that opposites attract, but actually, birds of a feather flock together.”

Fiona Daniel: And it’s true. And especially, like I said, not just in our work lives, in our personal lives as well, we think about those when we’ve worked together a lot, and we do those exercises around what we would call your circle of influence, and we demonstrate and prove it, don’t we? Time and time again, it doesn’t fail, the people to see that actually I am surrounding myself with people that are like me.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, definitely. So what is one key myth that you feel that we should dispel when it comes to inclusive leadership?

Fiona Daniel: Oh, okay, good question. I think it kind of links to what I said before, I suppose, because it’s that individualistic aspect of it, I think, because inclusive leadership isn’t about hierarchy. I think because inclusive leadership has leadership in the title, people think it’s something for just leaders to demonstrate, or if you have a team reporting to you, it’s just then that person’s responsibility to be demonstrating inclusive leadership, and it’s not. But yes, individuals who are leading others or in positions of leadership, of course, it is important, you do need to turn those things up, but it’s not just restricted to individuals who lead, it’s about…

Fiona Daniel: Inclusive leadership, for sure, is about how we interact with others regardless of role, but it does, like I said, have to be switched on, doesn’t it, from the top of organisations by those who are in those positions of leadership and influence. But it’s not just about them, it’s about interacting with others, like I said, inclusively. And I think the other word I’d add to that is intentionally. Can I just be very cheeky, and add another myth, something else that bugs about inclusivity. [laughter]

Toby Mildon: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I did say one myth, but let’s pack in another one.

Fiona Daniel: I think the other one, it’s about… I think the other myth I want to dispel is that it’s not… It’s going to sound a bit like an oxymoron, but it’s not exclusionary. Often, I think, people think it’s about… Inclusive leadership is about excluding others to the detriment of another community, or giving someone special treatment or to specific communities. It actually is about including all human differences, and it shouldn’t really be excluding no one. Our brains exclude, but inclusive leadership is about then going back to that question, “Who am I excluding? And why?” And actually doing something about it, because we all have biases, don’t we? And it’s understanding what they are, and that whole, like I said, “Who am I excluding, and why?” And taking the action to reset them.

Toby Mildon: Well, it’s like that kind of intentional, conscious inclusion.

Fiona Daniel: Exactly. And you know, when people say to me, “I’m aware of my biases,” and I would say, “Well, it’s great being aware, but it’s more than being aware, isn’t it? It’s about moving from being aware to adapting our behaviours accordingly for better inclusive action.” Of course, you know what, in inclusive leadership, great inclusive leaders, we will still judge, but it also means is that we are going to have to work even harder to not judge or assess individuals based on who they are or who we think they are. So they’re a couple of the myths. I mean, I could go on about this forever, there’s just so many myths, but I just think the hierarchy and the way that sometimes people feel it’s a bit exclusionary, I’ve got to do something extra. It’s like well, you do, but not in the way that you think that you do. It also includes everybody. What do you think?

Toby Mildon: Yeah, I like your first one, the first myth that this applies to everyone and it’s not just those from, you know, leadership in their job title. And it reminded me that when I was working at Deloitte, we said that everybody in the firm was a leader or that we had… We had leaders at every level of the organisation, but you didn’t have to be a partner of the firm, overseeing 3,000 people, to be a leader, you could be a graduate who’s just joined and maybe you’re on a client assignment and you’re working with one other person, or even leading yourself as an individual and…

Fiona Daniel: Correct.

Toby Mildon: And we came up with a list of leadership principles that had inclusivity woven into them, but everybody was held to account for these leadership principles, not just those with leader in the job title.

Fiona Daniel: Exactly, ’cause how are you going to create an inclusive culture if it’s just some of the people [chuckle] and not all of the people. So yeah, absolutely.

Toby Mildon: Absolutely. So do you think that inclusive leadership is hard for individuals to adopt?

Fiona Daniel: Oh, yeah. [chuckle] I do, because… Well, let’s face it, if it wasn’t, we wouldn’t even be doing what we do for a living, right? We wouldn’t be needed.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. Fair point.

Fiona Daniel: Yeah. So it is hard. And I think it’s hard for many reasons for individuals to adopt inclusive leadership and those inclusive leadership behaviours. And I think one of the reasons why it’s hard is, look, simply, all of us, we’re all different, we’re shaped by many different things. We all have our own knowledge and understanding of what as well an inclusive leadership is. And we have to appreciate that inclusive leadership is made more difficult when we have to turn the mirror inwards and look at ourselves, and let’s face it, who likes doing that, Toby? It is hard to look at ourselves and go and question some of our core beliefs.

Fiona Daniel: And often, doing that, especially when we’re looking at it for the first time, something like inclusive leadership, we’re questioning ourselves, we’re questioning the beliefs that we’ve held on to for a long time that have in fact made us who we are, that has kept us safe in our circle. I mean, in some instances it’s helped us be successful and progress and get all these lovely promotions. So then why is somebody come along telling me that I need to behave differently and do something differently when it’s actually served me a purpose and made me quite successful.

Fiona Daniel: So on the surface level, we’re talking about, “Oh, we’re asking people to change fundamentally, something that has made them them.” And so that also then feels like I’ve got something extra that I now need to do that I didn’t have to do before. And I think another reason why it can be quite hard is I think there’s some individuals, when we’re talking about it, it can feel like they’re losing something rather than gaining something. Do you know what I mean? It’s like, “Well, if I’m doing that, I’m losing something that’s kept me,” like I said, “safe before and now I’m got to do something extra.” Rather than going, “Actually, do you know what, when I look around, who’s missing?”

Fiona Daniel: And then I could go, “Actually, it’s this is what’s missing, it’s this type of person, it’s this type of perspective that I haven’t got on my team. If I’m looking at making products or services that are allegedly supposed to be for a diverse community and I’m looking at the decision makers around my table, how can we actually be making these diverse products and services for a community if we all look the same? And actually, again, rather than going, “Actually, I need to bring it in, I’m going to gain something from it. I’m not losing anything, I’m going to gain.” And I think above all else as well, Toby, on this in terms of why it’s hard is because more than anything else, like I said, it’s not actually often about learning, it’s often about unlearning, isn’t it? Like I said before, it’s unpicking things that you’ve known before.

Fiona Daniel: And I remember somebody once said that companies are full of, I think it was Simon Sinek or somebody that said something like, “Companies are full of managers, but very little leaders.” And what I take from that is that many people know how to do a task. Many people know how to get things done and, like I said, they do a really great job, but really, there’s not many people who know how to truly deliver through people. And I think it’s something we’ve talked about before around that whole aspects of having people follow you because they want to and not because they have to. And I think that’s why sometimes it makes it hard because it’s… We still have in many companies, I believe, and it is just my humble opinion, but we have many individuals who have a very strong manager mindset as opposed to a leadership mindset. And that’s the other thing, it is a mindset thing, isn’t it?

Toby Mildon: Yeah, there is this kind of ladder model or framework of leadership. And right at the bottom, you’ve got leaders who lead by authority. You have to follow them because of that position in the organisation. And if you are in that position, you want to get away from that as quickly as possible, because that’s not a sustainable way of leading. But then if you get to the top of the ladder, the job of the leader is to empower and help develop other leaders.

Fiona Daniel: Correct.

Toby Mildon: I’ve found that quite a useful framework to discuss with clients.

Fiona Daniel: Yeah. It’s a really good framework, because one of the things that I think is really powerful with that framework is the top of that ladder, is you’re not creating more followers, you’re creating more leaders.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Fiona Daniel: That’s what I love about it. And I think the… In other models you see it’s about followers, which it is, but actually, the legacy, what you really want to be in is creating more leaders. I don’t need… I don’t need any more followers, thank you. I want to be creating more leaders. So yeah, I really like that model. And I think the other thing as well, Toby, about it being hard is… And again, because quite individualistic, I think many people focus on the many internal reasons why they can’t be demonstrating these behaviours and then these can’t then develop into fears, that risk of exposing my vulnerability and making mistakes, I’m going to say the wrong thing.

Fiona Daniel: And again, oh, it’s seen as, you know, it’s a bit fluffy this, isn’t it? It’s a bit PC because of being politically correct. And all of that internal dialogue in itself then creates a barrier, doesn’t it, in terms of, well, actually if I’m going to… If I’ve got all this going on in my head, then I’m not going to do it. So because it’s those internal messaging and barriers that we also have to try and overcome with individuals. And as you and I know in what we do, that’s what we spend a lot of time on.

Fiona Daniel: And so I think, ultimately, it is hard because if it was easy, we’d all be doing it. But I also think… Look, honestly, inclusive leadership for any company who’s ambition is to be more diverse, to be more inclusive, if you’re really wanting to create that environment of equity and that environment of belonging, then inclusive leadership has got to be the key, hasn’t it? It’s the right thing to do, but it’s really hard to do, because individuals often don’t fully appreciate the why? Why is this important? Why does this matter here in our company? What difference is it going to really make? What’s in it for me? What’s in it for the business? And ultimately who cares?

Fiona Daniel: And I think once we address those root things, then it won’t be case of we’re just implementing an inclusive leadership, workshop or programme or approach or inclusive behaviours as a reaction, ’cause everyone else is doing it. It’s got to mean… It’s got to be relevant, hasn’t it, to the company for the culture and aspirations. It’s got to be parcel sort of what we’re trying to do and achieve and get into the strategic ambition of the organisation, I think.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. And a lot of organisations that I talk to, they want to get it into the quote-unquote DNA of the business that, like you say, it’s not just a workshop that you do once and then expect everybody to be cured.

Fiona Daniel: Yeah. [laughter]

Toby Mildon: And have these fantastic leaders in the organisation that’s, it’s a cultural thing. And I met, when I interviewed Emma Codd, who was my boss at Deloitte, who’s the global D&I lead at Deloitte now. I always remember her saying that really culture is the kind of sum of our day-to-day behaviours. So how do you want people to show up at work? How do you want them to behave moment to moment leading their teams, leading themselves in the organisation? So what do you think companies should be doing to make it easier for individuals to become inclusive leaders and have that inclusive mindset?

Fiona Daniel: I think to start off with, Toby, it’s something like what I do with clients and find really useful is knowing where your people are at, really understanding where are your people at. So something like a learning needs analysis to really establish where the gaps are and possibly like a self-assessment, because again, it’s… You’ve got to turn that mirror around. You know what I mean? We don’t often do that in busy environments. We just carry on doing what we’re doing. So I think that’s really important to not to have that assumption or presumption that everyone’s on the same page when we’re talking about all of these good things. So I think that’s something that companies can really start to do. And it’s quite an easy-ish thing if we’re ready to do it.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Fiona Daniel: Another important thing is listening. So like I said before, when you’re having these kind of conversations, you do hear fears, you do hear those vulnerabilities that serve as those barriers, like I said before, to creating that inclusive culture. So it’s really important that we create the safe spaces, so we can surface these up, and it’s not easy. You know, we’re talking about… Like I said, we’re digging into people’s beliefs and if you are in a visible leadership position, for example, it’s not often easy to sit down and share those in front of those that you’re leading. So having those safe spaces and doing those one-to-one conversations, I think is really quite a helpful thing to do. I just don’t think we do enough of it. We just jump off and jump straight and just blanket everybody with the same approach and you know…

Toby Mildon: Yeah. That doesn’t work.

Fiona Daniel: It doesn’t… And as we know, you know, it doesn’t work and you have written a fantastic book. I really need to write a book myself. [chuckle] But it really doesn’t work. We know it doesn’t work. And I think as well, do you know what? Leading generally, whether that’s individually leading, leading with your leading people, it can be sometimes be quite a lonely space, especially when doing something like this around inclusive behaviours and inclusive leadership.

Fiona Daniel: So I think another thing that companies can do is create these peer-to-peer groups. So once you know you’ve had your one-to-ones, etcetera, etcetera, you’ve surfaced some of the challenges and also some of the opportunities, to be fair. But I think having those peer-to-peer groups and again, adding to that safe space for individuals not only to share their fears where they feel comfortable to, but also best practices and support, because there’s some fantastic leaders doing great things and they keep it to themselves, and I don’t get it.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Fiona Daniel: I’m like, share it. You know what I mean? Why are you keeping it to yourself? And I don’t… Again, I just don’t think we do enough of it. But the other thing that companies can do is for goodness’ sake, acknowledge that this is hard. It is not an easy thing. It’s not going to change overnight, like we said, you’re not going to go through your baptism of, you know, my inclusive leadership programme and come out the other the end and saying, hey, hey, you know, I’m converted. This takes… This takes time. It’s a mindset shift and change in behaviour. So we really need to help to get people ready to enhance that growth mindset, you know, and that continuous learning approach in our organisations. It’s not a once and done thing, is it, Toby, as we know.

Fiona Daniel: And you know, so to put in those support mechanisms in place and don’t shy away from 360 feedback. I think, you know, like I said, we’ve got to get into the habit of turning the mirror inwards to look at ourselves. But we’ve also going to get in the habit of turning the mirror the other way to see, actually, how am I coming across? How do people feel, see and hear me, am I as inclusive as I actually think I am? And what is that, you know, what is that gap between what I think and what people are actually, you know, experiencing? And I think doing something like that, again, I don’t know what you think, I do them a lot.

Fiona Daniel: And having, you know, when I’m in those conversations and I’m in those sessions, just those penny drop moments, because how people see themselves is often vastly different to how they’re received by others. And what it also starts to surface is that my favourite question, which I’m sure will be on my headstone is, you know, who am I not including? Why have I got this kind of relationship with this person, but not why are they feeling and seeing and hearing me differently, this person. So you do start to then see your world through a much clearer lens and it does take confidence. But going back to those Deloitte behaviours, Toby, I think the one word that is a fantastic behaviour, inclusive behaviour that we just don’t demonstrate enough is courage. This takes courage to do, doesn’t it?

Toby Mildon: Yeah. That’s one of the six signature traits that they talk about.

Fiona Daniel: I love it. They’re my favourites. I mean, I use them all the time. I think, I know there was so much research done on them to get to those six. And they are still valid from the time I did that research to today. I mean, I use them all the time. And, you know, it, A, they make sense. But when you’re really looking at it in the world in the context that we look at this, all of them, aren’t they, the cognizance of bias, that cultural intelligence, the courage, the collaboration, you know, and I’ve forgotten the other two now. But you know what I mean, but they’re all absolutely relevant to being inclusive, those behaviours.

Toby Mildon: Yeah.

Fiona Daniel: And in any context.

Toby Mildon: Well, part of the courage also is being proactive and not being able to rock the boat or call things out when you see it. So if you’re a leader and you notice that, let’s say the talent attraction process or recruitment processes is attracting a certain type of person, that you’re not afraid to call that out, and prepared to challenge it and change the status quo. That particularly resonated with me.

Toby Mildon: And I like what you’re saying, because I’ve been working with a large client at the moment who’s in the energy sector, and I’ve been helping them develop a inclusive leadership programme for their top 250 managers or so. And one thing that we… I suppose one of the design principles that we came up with was that we need to meet people where they’re at if we want to take them on this inclusive leadership journey. So we’ve developed this 4 x 4 grid. So along one axis is the, I suppose, the maturity of being an inclusive leader. So it starts off with being unaware about inclusion and diversity, and being an inclusive leader, all the way through to being a proactive inclusive leader. It’s like you go out of your way to be an inclusive leader.

Toby Mildon: So there’s that spectrum. And then along the other axis is moving people from awareness to action. ‘Cause like you were saying, a lot of organisations, you and I could go in and do like an hour or two inclusive leadership workshop, which will raise awareness, but it doesn’t actually move people to action.

Fiona Daniel: Correct.

Toby Mildon: And it’s the action that has the profound impact, doesn’t it?

Fiona Daniel: Yeah, absolutely. And you know, and it’s like I often say to people, we jump into reaction and providing a solution, even though it may be the right solution, but we actually don’t have enough evidence to actually really appreciate and understand, is it the right solution? And actually, where are they at? And you know, and I use something similar, and I think the other thing for me as well is, you know, inclusive behaviours and inclusive leadership as a whole, it can’t just be a workshop. It’s not just about… I mean, I read [0:31:53.4] __ like this, but it’s not a training, do you know what I mean, I’m training you to do it. You know, it is much more than that, isn’t it? It can’t just be I’ve had my baptism, the end.

Toby Mildon: Yeah. It’s your moment-to-moment behaviours which ultimately create a culture within the team or the organisation. So assuming an employer or an organisation gets inclusive leadership right, how do you think that they could sustain this so that they actually make tangible impact?

Fiona Daniel: That’s quite interesting, ’cause I was just saying, wasn’t I, it can’t just be a case of having a training programme, yep, yep, yep, you know, a programme, it’s about doing more. So I would say, look, first and foremost, a lot of companies, and I’ve had a number of clients, and the first thing I do, Toby, is look at the values. I look at the values, and then I’ll look for the supporting behaviours, which are often none.

Fiona Daniel: So that worries me, so I always think the first place to start if you really want to sustain inclusive leadership, please, please, please have your values, but link some behaviours to them. What do… What does that mean, you know? Don’t just have lots of nice words, but what’s underneath that, what is it that we want people to do and how do we want people to behave and link in, weave in inclusion into that and diversity into that, because that’s your first place to start, make it relevant to your company. You know, like I’ve said so often, I just don’t see those behaviours there which, you know, so it does worry me sometimes.

Toby Mildon: That’s a really good point, actually, yeah.

Fiona Daniel: And I think if people are really serious, really serious folks, not just saying we’re all about diversity and inclusion in your websites and annual reports, I’m talking really serious and doing things. If you’re really serious there’s got to be… For this to be sustainable, there has got to be accountability and a clear commitment, with action on driving inclusive culture with inclusive behaviours that require our leaders to be inclusive leaders. It’s got to be part and parcel of the same thing, so, and that then links to enhancing that capability.

Fiona Daniel: And whilst we do a lot of that with our clients, as you know, Toby, you know that’s what we do, it can’t just be a one-off, like I said. This is something that needs to be added to any company’s suite of learning. This can’t just be a one-off thing, it’s those behaviours should be added into your general leadership programmes, have inclusive leadership as a general programme that your leaders who you’ve got in succession plans, leaders that are coming into the company, so your induction programmes, from beginning and throughout the organisation, it should just be part of the learning and development suite in different ways.

Fiona Daniel: And I think the other thing to sustain it all is having those behaviours… I think kind of links onto what I said just a minute ago, in recruitment, for example. Succession, talent management, promotion. We often… I mean, with the clients, and I’m saying, “Well, what’s the basis that you’re promoting people on?” “Well, they’ve done this, they’ve achieved that, they had some really tough sales targets to meet, and they’ve got them.” “Brilliant, but how did they get it? You know, what are they like with the people, did they lead through people, just lead through themselves?” And it’s like, “Oh, right, okay.” So I think again it’s about embedding those behaviours in those key core people, processes and systems and I’ll be really gutted if I didn’t say this, because it’s something that we’re both passionate about, is about measuring it, Toby, isn’t it?

Fiona Daniel: You know what I mean? It’s got to be monitored and measured. We’re all for fantastic D&I dashboards that really help companies to see where what they’re trying to move from and what they’re trying to move to and the progress that they are making there, so I think it’s really important to measure the success of anything you’re doing around inclusive leadership, like the behaviours. Is it really working? What changes are we seeing? Has it aligned to our aspirational targets of doing, you know, let’s just go back to some of the things that happened a couple of years ago, so everybody was talking about oh, yeah, we need to… Following the murder of George Floyd we’ve now got these great aspirational targets of having more Black people in senior roles, that’s all great, but is it really working?

Fiona Daniel: Have we really done enough to change the behaviours and mindsets through how we recruit, how we do talent, all those kind of good things, and how effectively are we measuring it? What are the consequences if we don’t? So I think again there’s something else around making it sustainable, and that consequence has got to be built into performance management, hasn’t it? It can’t just be a standalone kind of thing, it has to be part of that review process for everybody. Everyone’s got, to your point about Deloitte about everyone’s a leader, everyone’s got a responsibility, how we treat people, how we promote people, are we giving people opportunity, are we mentoring? All of these are underwritten, aren’t they, by inclusive behaviours, so I think these are really, really important to ensure that this is how we sustain the inclusive leadership aspect, but also how we sustain the behaviours that are underpinned by inclusive leadership.

Toby Mildon: Definitely, definitely. So as we as we wrap up this interview, the question that I ask everybody when they come on the show is what does inclusive growth mean to you.

Fiona Daniel: So good question there, Toby, because I would say inclusive growth means to me, I’m seeing this personal, as me, as a person, so inclusive growth for me is about the ability to grow as a person, being a better version of yourself, that self-improvement that has at its heart inclusion. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I am still inclusively growing as a person, really sharpening my skills, my knowledge in just being a better human. That’s how I see inclusive growth. I don’t know, I know we often talk about it, don’t we, in a business context, but I’m seeing this also as a personal thing, and I think it goes back a little bit as well to, like I said, that previous question about that sustainable, how do we keep this sustainable?

Fiona Daniel: It starts with this, doesn’t it, you know what I mean? We’ve got to be forever evolving and challenging ourselves, I would say. So yeah, that’s what it means to me, it’s that self-improvement, being a better version of yourself inclusively.

Toby Mildon: Yeah, and it links to one of the traits of inclusive leadership, which is being committed through diversity and inclusion, and really believing in it. So Fiona, thanks ever so much for joining me today, I’ve really enjoyed our conversation. So much has has come out. And before you go, if the person listening to us right now wants to follow up with you, get in touch with you and talk to you more about inclusive leadership, what should they do?

Fiona Daniel: Ah, they should connect with me on LinkedIn. So it’s Fiona Daniel, connect with me on LinkedIn, that’s where you’ll find obviously me, but you’ll also find updates in terms of thoughts I have, but updates on the business, but also updates on the little thing I sneaked in earlier, what’s possibly coming, not possibly, that will be coming down the line. So yes, LinkedIn is the best place for me, Toby, for your lovely listeners to reach out and connect and find out more on inclusive leadership and much, much more on diversity and inclusion more broadly.

Toby Mildon: Wonderful. Thanks, Fiona, thank you.

Fiona Daniel: Thank you, Toby.

Toby Mildon: Lovely to be talking with you today, thank you very much.

Fiona Daniel: It’s been a pleasure, thank you.

Toby Mildon: You’re welcome. And thank you for tuning in to Fiona and I’s conversation today, really great to have you listening to us, and hopefully you learnt lots and you can take away some tangible things that you can begin to apply in your own organisation. And if you want to talk to Fiona or myself about implementing inclusive leadership within your own organisation, then please do reach out to us, contact Fiona through LinkedIn or contact me through LinkedIn or through my website, which is milden.co.uk. Until the next time, I look forward to seeing you on the next episode of The Inclusive Growth Show. Until then, take care, thanks very much.

S?: Thank you for listening to The Inclusive Growth Show. For further information and resources from Toby and his team, head on over to our website at milden.co.uk.

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