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Building an Inclusive Organization summary

Stephen Frost and Raafi-Karim Alidina

Leveraging the Power of a Diverse Workforce

4.3 (204 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

'Building an Inclusive Organization' by Stephen Frost and Raafi-Karim Alidina offers a practical guide for creating diverse and inclusive workplace cultures. The book presents a step-by-step approach to creating an inclusive environment, promoting diversity and fostering equality.

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    Building an Inclusive Organization
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    In increasingly polarised times, diversity in the workplace is more important than ever.

    We’ve all done it. We’ve clicked “unfollow” or “unfriend” on that family member who insists on spouting political beliefs we find abhorrent. Or that friend who posts tasteless Facebook memes that make our blood boil. Such an easy solution: with a simple click, you never have to hear their awful theories on the world again. 

    And why not? Why should you be forced to listen to things that enrage you? Well, the problem is that unfriending your racist uncle doesn’t make him less racist. And now he doesn’t have anyone to contradict him, allowing his racist views to go unchallenged. 

    The key message here is: In increasingly polarised times, diversity in the workplace is more important than ever. 

    Diversity, in its essence, is about engaging with different perspectives. But in recent years we’ve become increasingly polarized, existing within homogenous “silos” of people sharing the same identity and opinions. Politically, this drive has resulted in the once unthinkable: the UK leaving the European Union, and the US electing a president who openly derides refugees and immigrants, and who built a platform based on their exclusion from the country at all costs. 

    Social media makes this polarization far worse, with technology “optimizing” your online experience using cookies to track your tastes and interests, and reflecting them back to you in the content you see. Before the internet, people used to consume news from a handful of newspapers and TV channels; today, they’re informed about the world via a “personalized” feed. So they’re rarely confronted with contradictory opinions. Worse still, many sources are overtly biased, or even completely fabricated.

    Our lives are made poorer by homogeneity. In the workplace, any completely white male team has deeply entrenched blind spots and is prone to “groupthink.” They produce fewer original ideas and are ill-prepared for the future. Worst of all, these environments often lead to cronyism, with gender pay disparities and nepotism strangling growth and scaring away fresh talent. 

    In these politically intolerant times, corporations bear responsibility to take a leading role in creating genuinely diverse and inclusive workplaces, where employees can learn from each other and “bring their whole selves” to work. How can corporations learn to transform homogenous cultures? As we’ll learn in the next blink, it starts by confronting unconscious bias.

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    What is Building an Inclusive Organization about?

    Building an Inclusive Organization (2019) offers a roadmap for leaders to create organizations that truly celebrate diverse perspectives in the workplace. The authors show that to become truly inclusive, workplaces need to work hard to overcome unconscious bias, create divergent teams where people challenge each other, and implement policies to create a psychologically safe environment for all. 

    Building an Inclusive Organization Review

    Building an Inclusive Organization by Stephen Frost and Raafi-Karim Alidina (2019) is a valuable resource for anyone looking to foster diversity and inclusion in their workplace. Here's what sets this book apart:

    • With its rich insights and real-world examples, it offers practical strategies for creating inclusive environments where everyone feels valued and heard.
    • The authors' deep expertise in diversity and inclusion shines through, providing readers with actionable steps to dismantle biases and promote equality in organizations.
    • It goes beyond theory and provides practical tools and frameworks to help readers implement inclusive practices and design inclusive policies within their own organizations.

    Best quote from Building an Inclusive Organization

    Diversity is a reality, inclusion is a choice. 

    —Stephen Frost and Raafi-Karim Alidina
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    Who should read Building an Inclusive Organization?

    • Hiring managers who want to learn how to turn good intentions into action
    • Leaders wanting to make their companies more innovative and inclusive
    • Anyone who has suffered systematic discrimination and wants to understand how the system works.

    About the Author

    Stephen Frost is the CEO of consulting firm Frost Included, and author of The Inclusion Imperative: How Real Inclusion Creates Better Business and Builds Better Societies. He teaches inclusive leadership at the Harvard Business School, and works as a consultant for companies all over the world. 

    Raafi-Karim Alidina graduated from Harvard with a Master’s in Public Policy. He was a Research Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, and now works as a consultant for Frost Included, advising companies on diversity and inclusion strategies.


    © Stephen Frost & Raafi-Karim Alidina, 2019. This Summary of Building an Inclusive Organization is published by arrangement with Kogan Page.

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    Building an Inclusive Organization FAQs 

    What is the main message of Building an Inclusive Organization?

    The main message of Building an Inclusive Organization is the importance of creating a culture of inclusivity to drive success and foster innovation.

    How long does it take to read Building an Inclusive Organization?

    The reading time for Building an Inclusive Organization varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Building an Inclusive Organization a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Building an Inclusive Organization is a valuable read for anyone interested in fostering diversity and inclusion in their organization. It provides practical insights and strategies for creating an inclusive culture.

    Who is the author of Building an Inclusive Organization?

    The authors of Building an Inclusive Organization are Stephen Frost and Raafi-Karim Alidina.

    What to read after Building an Inclusive Organization?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Building an Inclusive Organization, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Leader's Guide to Unconscious Bias by Pamela Fuller & Mark Murphy with Anne Chow
    • Inclusify by Stefanie K. Johnson
    • The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill
    • The Person You Mean to Be by Dolly Chugh
    • Leadership Strategy and Tactics by Jocko Willink
    • The Fearless Organization by Amy C. Edmondson
    • Difference Makers by Nicky Howe and Alicia Curtis
    • Teams That Work by Scott Tannenbaum and Eduardo Salas
    • Leading with Light by Jennifer Mulholland
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes