I loved the conversation I had with Bob Joseph about his book, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, as well as his insights into how we can create more diverse and inclusive workplaces. You can watch the recording here and these are three things Bob taught me:
1) The Seven-Generation View
What if you thought about the decisions you’re making today through the lens of how they would affect your children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children? For Indigenous people, this long-term view presents a reframe on the short-term mindset of western capitalism. As leaders in our own organizations, what are the longer term effects of so many of our quarter-to-quarter decisions? What would shift if we considered things through a seven-generation lens?
2) The Importance of Challenging our Biases
A firm handshake, eye contact and the ability to talk about our accomplishments are all seemingly job interview fundamentals. And yet, these are three simple things that fly in the values of many Indigenous people’s cultural norms. As leaders make commitments to building more diverse teams and creating more inclusive organizations, we have to confront our biases and blind spots as it relates to how candidates “should” present. Training on understanding these cultural differences and nuances is truly fundamental to any diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
3) Small Actions DO Matter
In Bob’s beautifully written book, he unpacks the atrocious racism embedded in Canada’s Indian Act and also provides a series of small, actionable steps anyone can take to make a difference. From making public land acknowledgements, to identifying processes within your workplace that need to be improved, to finding ways to support Indigenous rights, our small actions build to create the ripples needed to make change happen. As leaders, we all need to step up to do our part.
I highly recommend you purchase a copy of Bob’s book and, for those of you with school-aged children, advocate that it become required reading in classrooms. Together we can make a difference and move Canada towards fulfilling the recommendations made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. If you are interested in bringing Bob’s work into your organization, visit his website to learn more about the various services of the Indigenous Training Corporation, download their free ebooks, and take a look at a number of their free and paid courses available.
Next up, I’m going to be talking to my friend and change coach, Phil Buckley as we explore his new book – Change on the Run. Get ready for some laughs, David Lee Roth references and a ton of practical strategies. Register here.
You can find recordings of all our sessions on our YouTube Channel.
And registration is on now for our Spring Roundtable for Leaders program. This session is open to leaders at the Senior Manager / Director level. As a reminder, all our programs are delivered virtually so join us! Contact us here to get more information.
PS – Don’t forgot to grab a copy of my new book The Grassroots Leadership Revolution to get tips on managing your career and building a network of support