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Embed Inclusion Into the Organization's Culture

Diversity on its own will not create inclusion.

  • Although inclusion is key to the success of a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy, the complexity of the concept makes it a daunting pursuit.
  • An individual employee has many diversity dimensions that cannot be categorized, meaning that narrowly defined inclusion efforts won’t be enough.
  • This is further complicated by the fact that creating inclusion is not a one-and-done exercise. Rather, it requires the ongoing commitment of employees at all levels to drive a cultural shift.

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Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Realize the benefits of a diverse workforce by embedding inclusion into work practices, behaviors, and values, ensuring accountability throughout the organization.

Impact and Result

  • Conduct an assessment to understand the current state of inclusion.
  • Embed inclusion into organizational values and adapt competencies to promote accountability at the individual level.
  • Use inclusive design principles to modify organizational work practices to demonstrate a more inclusive culture.

Embed Inclusion Into the Organization's Culture Research & Tools

2. Frame inclusion for the organization

Ingrain inclusion into organizational values, competencies, and behavior to realize the future state of inclusion.

3. Mobilize inclusion efforts throughout the organization

Communicate the inclusion competency and expectations to managers, shift employee mindsets towards inclusion, and examine work practices using inclusive design principles.

4. Equip managers with tools to create an inclusive environment

Understand what it means to be inclusive, examine biases, and learn how to apply leadership behaviors to create an inclusive environment.

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Get the help you need in this 3-phase advisory process. You'll receive 7 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Determine the current state of inclusion
  • Call 1: Identify how to embed inclusion at the organization based on the Diversity & Inclusion Strategy (only for organizations that have completed the steps outlined in Create a People-First Diversity & Inclusion Strategy).
  • Call 2: Review why inclusion is a priority and how it will be communicated to the broader organization.
  • Call 3: Plan how the organization will assess the current state by identifying data and conducting focus groups.

Guided Implementation 2: Frame inclusion for the organization
  • Call 1: Identify and set goals for how inclusion progress will be measured.
  • Call 2: Review the inclusive behavior model and identify how to assist leadership with modeling the behavior.

Guided Implementation 3: Mobilize inclusion efforts throughout the organization
  • Call 1: Determine how to embed inclusion competency into talent programs.
  • Call 2: Review inclusive work practices and plan how inclusion will be embedded into the organization.


  • Aaron Barth, Founder & President, Dialectic
  • Lori Kantymir, Director of Learning and Development, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Alan Richter, Founder & President, QED Consulting
  • Diana Samu-Visser, Instructional Designer, McLean & Company
  • Sarah Saska, Co-Founder & CEO, Feminuity
  • Katee Van Horn, CEO, VH Included Consulting
  • JoAnne Wehner, Research Associate, VMWare Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab, Stanford University
  • Anonymous Contributor
  • Anonymous Contributor, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, Multinational financial institution