Make Black History
Do you only celebrate Black History every February because it shows up on the calendar? Do you search for ways to make sure that your social banners tout the traditional red, black, and green colors? This year let’s do something different. Let’s make Black history.
To say these past 24 months have been immensely tough is an understatement. We’ve dealt with a range of social, racial, economic, and health challenges that have forced us to change or re-evaluate almost every aspect of our lives. These challenges have also forced us to make Black history in new and innovative ways.
And while it might sound strange, the recent crises that isolated us into our family pods, and simultaneously forced us to march with like-minded strangers on the streets, also brought us together. Connecting over the previous two years, regardless of the impetus, gave us a collective sense of how much we desire the same basic fundamentals in life. Most of us seek respect, opportunity, and equitable access. Additionally, we have been reminded that working together continues to serve as the most effective way to get things done and achieve meaningful results.
How to Make Black History
The biggest opportunity to prove this notion of connected action and collaboration can be found in business. Companies can make Black history by becoming more inclusive. Research shows that diverse and inclusive teams better solve complex problems. They innovate more frequently, and make more effective decisions 87% of the time. To boost collective intelligence and problem-solving, deploy diverse-by-design teams, particularly in areas such as R&D, marketing, communication, and customer service.
Maintaining a diverse supply chain also directly impacts business success. Diversity weaves a sustainable economic fabric for the communities within which employees, suppliers, and customers live. In fact, diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets than organizations that do not actively recruit and support talent and teams from marginalized groups. Let this be the year that you make Black history.
Since the murder of George Floyd and the revelations of how the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionally affected Black-owned businesses, many corporations and government agencies made diversity, equity, and inclusion a primary business focus. Unfortunately, many still struggle with implementing the structures and sustaining the practices that truly support these initiatives. And for those that engage, most of their actions are still very limited in scope and ambition.
- 64% of organizations identify building diverse and inclusive teams as a key challenge
- Only 32% purposely create diverse and inclusive teams to drive performance
- Only 42% develop an inclusive leadership team
In order for companies to benefit from intentional diversity, equity, and inclusion, leadership must make Black history and stop looking at DEI as a cursory opportunity. Effectiveness requires active and deliberate support of diverse people, processes, and environments. Furthermore, decision-makers must build DEI into the organization’s financial foundation. This means re-examining old and current structures, processes, policies, and algorithms to remove systemic biases and to ensure that these methodologies and procedures work equitably for all.
Don’t simply celebrate our achievements. Do your part and together we can make Black history.
Your Marketing Momma,
Cheryl McCants ~ Impact President and CEO