As protests following the death of George Floyd continue with the refrain of “Black Lives Matter,” many of us are looking within ourselves to find a new level of understanding – and action.
Many organizations are wisely doing the same. The future success of their brands depends on it.
Last month, the second largest home improvement retailer worldwide and the 8th largest retailer in the United States – Lowe’s – took action. Lowe’s announced that it would assist minority-owned businesses with $25 million in grants to support efforts to relaunch the American economy.
Lowe’s is an activist. The company is an entity taking action to bring about social change.
If Black Lives Matter, do they matter to your organization? Organizations need to communicate what they are doing to create meaningful social change now.
Does your organization’s board of directors consist of a diverse group of people – or do they all look the same? What about your executive leadership team? What about the next level of directors/managers in your organization?
Years ago it was fashionable to hire a Chief Diversity Officer to advise the organization on hiring a more diverse workforce. While this was a step in the right direction for some businesses, progress stopped there. This needs to be more than just a token position meant to look good—it needs to be a catalyst for making meaningful change.
The question now is this: What is your organization doing to create meaningful, measurable change in in the diversity of individuals hired and promoted—especially Black individuals?
Beyond the Chief Diversity Officer, what is the responsibility of others in the organization to ensure a fair and equitable work environment? How does the organization demonstrate within the work culture that it truly values diversity and inclusion?
Advocacy is not activism
Many organizations have become comfortable with advocating. They publicly support or recommend a particular policy or cause. That’s good.
But today, advocacy is no longer enough to build and retain brand loyalty. Activism is now an expectation of the workforce you depend on, the customers and clients you value, the donors you seek, among others. The Cambridge Dictionary defines activism as the use of direct and noticeable action to achieve a result, usually a political or social one.
According to data from an online survey research firm published in The New York Times last week, a majority of American voters supports the Black Lives Movement by a 28-point margin, up from a 17-point margin before the most recent wave of protests began.
Those same consumers want to see your organization’s commitment to supporting positive change for Black Americans and People of Color.
The Activ Consulting Group wants to know how your organization is taking action to create meaningful change. Please email us at [email protected].