Small and medium-sized business guide to investing in long-term change.
The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd, in the midst of a global pandemic, has created an explosion of consciousness among leaders across all sectors — and for the first time, small and medium-sized companies are considering making an investment in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Across the board, consultants are getting slammed with requests for information and proposals. My company, Moving Beyond, has had dozens of conversations with leaders who are making first-time investments in DEI. In these, I see a clear trend among the well-intentioned.
Persona 1: Training. Right now. In 2 hours or less.
Despite the preponderance of data and studies that say otherwise, the single biggest request at the moment is for all-staff training. One time training sessions don’t work (NYT) to create the culture shifts necessary to make the organization work for diverse individuals. In fact, they often cause more harm to people of color. Stop asking for it, folks!
DEI practitioners are not SWAT teams who can parachute into organizations to create change in two hours and zip back out.
Training and facilitated conversations can be a powerful way to build shared vocabulary and new skills. Invest in quarterly half-day sessions, and ensure they happen across the organization — leadership teams, people managers, and individual contributors/employees.
Persona 2: Can you do this in $10,000 or less?
Please make a real investment. When organizations with budgets in excess of $20M tell me they can’t spend more than $10,000 on DEI efforts, it’s a red flag.
If your DEI budgets are smaller than your snack budget, you will not be successful. Period.
The average day-rates for consultants is $3500–5000, and hourly rates vary between $175-$350. You’re paying for someone with cross-disciplinary skills, that are honed over a decade or more of work (not a 4-year bachelor degree program).