Photo Credit: Tyler Nix, Unsplash.com

“I played Dungeons and Dragons with my daughters.

They were supposed to fight the wolves surrounding a town. 

Instead, they fed the wolves and turned them into their friendly wolf army.

Girls, man. They’ll take over the world.”

James Breakwell, comedian, Father of four girls

You want your company to thrive. You have put programs in place to bolster your diversity numbers. These two efforts aren’t mutually exclusive. The more diverse your leadership team, the higher your profitability. New McKinsey research shows that in organizations where at least 20% of the executive leaders are women, profits outperform the industry average by 22%.

Organizations that have fully integrated women see profits outperform the industry averages by 46%.

The key’s in truly integrating women into your company, not just keeping track of statistics and focusing on hiring women and minorities. The value you derive stems from incorporating different viewpoints and modes of operating in your day-to-day decisions. Often the smallest shift creates huge gain.

My husband and I are both creative thinkers. We often chuckle that his thought process takes him through a set of serial boxes that lead to a new approach; while I have a tangle of wires that spark together to lead me to find new directions. The ability for your leadership team to look at opportunities from different perspectives is what can give you the resilience and fortitude to excel while your competitors languish.

Here’s an example: A large consumer services company is in the process of a technology-integration initiative. The objective’s to take advantage of technology internally as a proof point to drive new projects with their customers.

The leadership team discusses the strategy for the internal rollout: create a mandate, require training, measure compliance, and reward teams based on adherence to the program. Kaitlyn’s the only woman on the team, a relatively newly-promoted VP of Marketing. She listens to the discussion about mandates, measures, rewards and punishments, all carrying the tone of strict enforcement of a key strategic objective.

Finally, she speaks up, “What’s in it for our people to take the time to change their work habits to incorporate technology? What can they gain by embracing this? Take a step back furtherwhat do they WANT to enhance in their work here? How can technology help them to do that? Let’s reverse the order of our thinking and put what they want first. If we can accomplish that, they’ll be begging us for the roll out!”

This small shift in viewpoint opened a new avenue for success. Same objective met, with an approach that was met with enthusiasm and company-wide support, rather than grumbles at yet another “bright management idea that takes away from our limited time.” The end result? A powerful testimonial for future customer solutions.

How are you leveraging your women leaders to enhance your profitability? What if you could move well beyond focusing on how many women you have in your company and instead focus on how to dramatically improve your performance?

How would your retention rate of mid-level women leaders change if they truly believed that you valued their diversity and that they have a strong career path with you? What customer loyalty could you secure with a more diverse leadership team designing the strategies to provide products and services for markets in which women are the key decision makers?

How fast do you want to leave your competition in the dust by building a friendly wolf army instead of battling the wolves surrounding you?

BreakAway Leadership Coaching and Fortitude Consulting have forged a unique and powerful alliance to energize successful companies to dramatically increase profitability through a true integration of women into their leadership. We work with our clients to create sustainable cultural change that goes far beyond #MeToo and removes cultural blind spots for a significant gain. Please contact us at [email protected] for a free consultation and more ideas on integrating your organization.

 Photo Credit: Tyler Nix, Unsplash.com