Scale up what works, and switch off what doesn’t.
In the superbly clear and practical best practice article below, Ed Fox, HR Strategy and Policy Manager of the FCA, reminds us of the importance of scaling up or switching off our D&I interventions, given all our limited time, energy and resource.
Scale-up what works, switch off what doesn’t
I love working with others to deliver people solutions that are strategic and have a lasting impact, and I’m passionate about people, change and innovation. I joined the Financial Conduct Authority in September 2013 and quickly committed to building a culture change programme that delivers robust succession and a diverse talent pipeline. Both are very important to me.
At the FCA, we’ve delivered a programme of work to build an inclusive culture for people from all backgrounds. We have also created organisation wide culture change, as well as creating routes for individuals from all backgrounds to enter and thrive within the FCA.
Here are my recommendations, and some practical tips, to consider as you continue your own journeys.
1. Take time to develop insight that will make sense to everyone
People will help you because your work makes their life easier or solves a problem for them. Always think, “what’s in it for them?”, and make it easy for people to help. If I could go back two years, I’d start by thinking how can I build an exciting programme, where the goals are clear and everyone is clear on the role they play in making success happen.
2. Prioritise action so that everyone is working on the most important initiatives
A leader challenged me to think of the three most important things leaders could focus on getting right. It’ll be different in all organisations but we prioritised leadership role modelling, recruitment and work allocation. Everyone can remember three things and a prioritised corporate response will make sure the work you are doing gains momentum.
3. Find ways to measure your successes
We created a spreadsheet that used colour to highlight the parts of the business where our programme was making a difference and the areas where the was still more to be done. I have been surprised by the quality of conversations this type of data has driven with our Board and Executive Leadership. Our leaders really value having this data. It allows them to see what’s working and to share initiatives across the organisation.
4. Switch off what’s failing or can’t be scaled
Having data will give you the confidence to switch off initiatives that aren’t having an impact. You’ll also spot things that might be working, but can’t be scaled. It might be worth thinking about whether the energy is better invested elsewhere. With the data behind you, you’ll be able to keep these conversations evidence-based and action focussed.
5. Scale what’s working
Use your data to think about what is working and can be easily scaled. We made a real impact on the diversity of our graduate hires by using diverse hiring panels, simplifying our writing in job adverts and by giving serious consideration to the classification of qualifications required for a job. We’ve been working hard to encourage take-up of these ideas across the organisation. None of this is groundbreaking. The art is in finding out what is working in your organisation and doing more of it.
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