Case study

Training

The Challenge

In 2016 VERCIDA Consulting were asked to design and facilitate an awareness raising programme for a global media company. Aimed at senior executives across the entire group of businesses within the company, the key aims of this global programme were to:

  • To provide a baseline understanding of the commercial benefits of having a diverse workforce and an inclusive business culture
  • To provide an overview of how unconscious bias impacts key people decisions; covering hiring, work allocation, feedback and informal sponsorship
  • To promote the principles of inclusive leadership 
  • To provide a framework for promoting inclusive behaviours, aligned to wider business goals

Workshops were delivered in various locations including: New York, Los Angeles, Budapest and London.

What We Did

Stage 1: Pre-workshop material:

This consisted of a short economist style article on the nature of unconscious bias in the workplace. This article covered the business case for having diverse and inclusion teams, the nature of cognitive and unconscious biases and how these biases – affinity bias, confirmation bias, halo / horns effect, gender benevolence –  influence decisions and behaviours. 

This article included insights gathered within our pre-workshop interviews. 

The article also covered how to make effective change happen, focusing on expected ways of working linked to organisational values and other proven interventions such as role modelling inclusion, challenging bias thinking and engaging diverse team members.

Stage 2: Workshop delivery: 

Our workshop was specifically designed to ensure we utilised a range of inclusive learning techniques including video material, written case studies, small group discussions, whole group discussions and individual reflection. These followed our AAA learning model of: 

  • Awareness and Understanding – What is unconscious bias? 
  • Application & Impact – How does bias thinking play out in your organisation / team? 
  • Action and Change – What are you going to commit to, to start the change process?

Stage 3: Post-workshop: 

All participants were provided with a complimentary copy of our Inclusive Management Briefing Paper. This short, practical and business focused document provided:

  1. A summary of the key biases with impact management attitudes, behaviours and decisions
  2. The principles of inclusive management – thinking styles, behaviours and decision-making patterns
  3. Best practice examples from a range of global businesses 
  4. Tips on what inclusive managers do to mitigate bias together with a range of ‘inclusion nudges’ that work towards promoting an inclusive work culture 
  5. A short inclusive management self-assessment checklist

iCommit: Drawing on the nudge principles from behavioural science, we use iCommit, a unique approach that helps organisations embed inclusion into workplace cultures by influencing everyday behaviours. 

Together with the pre-workshop material, these post-workshop interventions offered a ‘pick and mix’ approach to learning. This created an integrated and sustainable programme of activity that utilised a range of relevant support material.

This approach is part of our coherent methodology for creating lasting inclusive change.

The Impact

The Impact: 

  1. Awareness raising: 97% of leaders who attended the workshops suggested that they had a better idea of what unconscious bias is and how it may influence their judgement of others
  2. Mitigating bias: 91% of leaders who attended the workshops suggested they were provided with practical tools to reduce bias in decision-making 
  3. Individual change: Over 500 individual micro-actions were created and are being used to create a systematic culture shift within the company
  4. Organisational change: Over 250 organisational actions were created to support policy and culture change.

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