Breakthrough D&I Innovation Lab

Discover. Design. Deliver.

Your Business Needs Innovation with D&I

How many times have you heard that D&I progress is stagnant, D&I change takes a long time, D&I relevance to your business is unclear, or D&I efforts are stuck and not moving the needle? If you want different outcomes, you need a different approach. That requires innovation to create greater value with D&I.

Making Innovation Work for D&I

My Breakthrough D&I Innovation Lab creates opportunities for progressive leaders to co-create promising new practices with potential to transform D&I strategies into business success stories. Each customized lab is distinctive, but Breakthrough orients around Design Thinking through a blend of highly interactive learning experiences and practical working sessions creating the conditions for promising new ways of thinking and working to unfold.

  • Explore: Gain insight and empathy to frame the opportunity for D&I innovations
  • Design: Generate rough drafts of new ideas to make the most of D&I
  • Refine: Gather and apply feedback to improve rough drafts
  • Activate: Map a system-wide action plan overcoming barriers to sustainable change

This lab is effective for a variety of groups, such as D&I specialists, business and cross-functional executives, D&I councils, cross-sector D&I leaders and more. A series of labs across your organization can impact a larger cross-section of change agents who progressively build upon the outcomes of consecutive labs.

Outcomes and Value Created

Breakthrough enables the design of promising new practices to transcend the limitations of today’s “best practices”. The experience also develops proficiency in innovation and increases commitment to D&I. Although resulting prototypes focus on a wide range of different issues and opportunities, participants will:

  • Reframe D&I in progressive, business relevant ways
  • Refresh commitment, courage and energy to overcome D&I fatigue
  • Develop capability and proficiency in leveraging D&I for innovation
  • Design new ways of working that can create greater value with D&I
  • Map a system-w ide action plan yielding widespread sustainable results

Previous 2-Day Breakthrough Lab approved for 14 HRCI Credits

3 Examples of Tangible Outcomes of the Breakthrough D&I Innovation Lab

  1. Participants are knowledgeable about useful, cutting-edge facts and what works for contemporary D&I. For example, Breakthrough Lab participants explore 6 verified inclusive leadership behaviours that make the most of diversity to foster innovation in products, services, and processes.

  2. Participants produce drafts of new, customized D&I initiatives and practices that can be refined for implementation. For example, one group of Breakthrough lab participants drafted a fresh inclusive leadership development process. Using new technology, leaders receive real-time data on how inclusive they are being throughout each day. Patterns in data over time point to individual development plans as part of the integrated performance management and development process. Aggregated data across all leaders informs organization-wide inclusive leadership learning and development programs.

  3. Participants are prepared to use tools and techniques specifically designed to help them make the most of D&I in their day-to-day work. For example, participants learn a step-by-step horizontal thinking process to help leverage diversity for creative problem solving for any business challenge.

3 Examples of How Shifts in Thinking Propelled by the Breakthrough D&I Innovation Lab Can Create Practical Value for Businesses

Insights Shared by Recent Participants

Business Impact: I thought D&I was about compliance and representation. Now I understand we need to also move beyond numbers to focus on inclusion and D&I’s impact on business performance. With all the evidence about the business value of D&I, it's irresponsible to shareholders not to.

Next Practices: I came into this thinking that we needed to know and implement current best practices.  We need to move from best practices to innovative “next practices” for meaningful results. That includes letting go of what is not working today and creating and executing new ways of working.

Broad Inclusion: D&I is not about "them". It is about all of us. We need to include a broad mix of diversity beyond gender and race and cross-pollinate different thinkers to help the business grow.

Cohesive Integration: We need to blend D&I into the way work gets done every day and for every function (not just HR) instead of producing a bunch of segregated programs.

Widespread Transformation: You lose a lot when you try to fit square pegs into round holes. We need to redesign a whole system that works for everyone instead of trying to change marginalized outliers to fit in to our current environment.

In a Breakthrough D&I Innovation Lab, executives created sculptures to unleash creativity and explore fresh ideas about how to achieve elevated results with Diversity and Inclusion.