We covered the differences between conditional vs transformative business cultures, how businesses can start improving their culture and stamping out racism and how you can identify racism in your business and processes and we’ve outlines some of the ways you can do this below.
What are some of the things that business owners need to look for in their business or processes to identify racism?
I would say that the first thing is to start with yourself, which is hard. So the first thing is, be honest with yourself and ask ‘what is the relationship that I have with racism?’ Think about when someone talks to you about racism, what is your reaction? Why do you react that way? You’ve got to be curious first, because it’s very important that you then role model. Show others how to look inwards, role model vulnerability and doing the work, even if this means being uncomfortable.
The slight differences with me is that I did this publicly. People saw me learning, they saw me learning about black history that I didn’t know. But they also saw me being tolled, being attacked, moments where I was really upset and witnessed how I dealt with that. That is leadership. So if you want to ‘uncover’ and racism, first you need to understand that you’re looking for.
Then you can start to look at what your data tells you, both quantitative and qualitative. What are the experiences that your colleagues are telling you? If you don’t have black colleagues within your business, that’s fine, but what about your supplies or partners? What are their experiences? Ensure that these people are open so share their experiences- don’t expect to be able to mine them for information because you want to.
Once you have started to understand the experiences of people, you can ask yourself, ‘What does my board structure look like?’ Think about how you can diversify your board, consider how you make decisions, who is in your network and where do you go when you are looking for advice or someone to collaborate with. You can start to make some really intentional decisions by starting to ask yourself better questions.
It’s my job and the job of my team to not tell people what to do, but to help you ask questions so you can make informed and intentional decisions. We’re disrupting our patterns of behaviour because the patterns of behaviour that we all have are due to being socialised into this system. We’ve got to disrupt it somehow.
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