As the business realm changes, so do leadership skills. What does it take to become a great leader today or in the future?

The disruption in the current business world highlights the importance of innovation if a business intends to survive. If you fail to reinvent your business processes or approach, you could be the next slow giant who failed to correspond to the changing times.

Companies are focusing intently on innovation. Whether a big transformation or small, incremental improvements, growth is in change. However, in recent years, diversity has become a cornerstone of innovation. According to the Apple CEO, Tim Cook, “the more diverse a group is, the better products will it produce.”

Nonetheless, diversity and inclusion require hard work, as inclusivity is not about bringing different people together but developing cohesion among team members for harmonized work processes.

Similarly, innovation is not always about generating breakthrough solutions. Sometimes it involves successful execution and implementation.

Therefore it is the internal forces of an organization that lead to its failure. However, the good news is, you have control over what happens within the four walls of your organization.

The Missing Element: Inclusive Leadership

 What is inclusive leadership, and how can it benefit your business?

Businesses often fail to bring about the desired change because they lack effective leadership that can create conditions for new concepts to thrive, diverse perspectives to be heard, and ideas to turn into reality. So, businesses need inclusive leaders.

But who are inclusive leaders?

They are the people who understand the mindset of different thinkers and thus communicate in a manner that brings everyone on board for new ideas and methodologies. How inclusive leaders are different:

They create opportunities for innovation and collaboration

Inclusive leaders design teams in such a way that creativity and innovation are optimised. They also offer a framework, toolkit, and guidelines to the team members for designing a practical solution. This helps the team to think diversely yet effectively and encourage each other to think in new ways.

They insist on hearing out everyone’s opinions

Teams of diverse individuals are only successful when each team member gets a chance to voice their thoughts and opinions. Inclusive leaders mitigate conflict, encourage diverse thinking, and ensure everyone is heard and respected.


They remove communication barriers

Inclusive leaders understand that different mindsets can hamper change if they fail to listen attentively to others. Therefore, they proactively overcome these differences and provide ample information to fill in the gaps.  


They harness diversity to achieve business goals

It’s important to generate ideas, but the execution is a different matter. Inclusive leaders not only bring together thinkers but also acquire the necessary tools and training to implement those ideas to bring about the change.

According to Barnard, inclusive leaders have the following four traits:

1.       Open-minded

2.       Actionable

3.       Self-aware

4.       Trustworthy

Inclusion not only deals with a diverse work environment, but it thrives on engagement and collaboration to bring innovation. Inclusive leaders create the environment for propagating teamwork to catalyze change. 

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