Inclusiveness as a Lasting Element: CHC Inclusiveness Committee Begins Implementation of the Blueprint

In the first management team meeting following the Board and staff approval of the blueprint, Joe turned to the final module of the workbook. He looked up at Eleanor, Marcie, and Hector. "It's time we talk about implementation of this blueprint," he said.

"But this isn't the Inclusiveness Committee," said Hector.

"No, it's not," said Joe. "You are, however, the people who will be primarily responsible for making the action items in here happen. You will be helping your teams set priorities and handle unexpected challenges. I'm bringing it up today because I want you to know how important I think this is."

"Of course," said Marcie. "We all think it's important, too. We helped write it, if you recall!"

"And thank you again for that," Joe replied. "What I'm saying to you all is that your leadership in the implementation process will be part of your annual review next year. We all need to take much more than just an interest in this. With all the work we've done, I believe you are as committed as I am to making this work."

At the Inclusiveness Committee meeting later that day, Joe told the rest of the committee what he had told his management team. He then asked for suggestions as to how the committee could take a role in monitoring progress on the activities outlined in the blueprint.

"How about if we meet every other month?" suggested Trevor. "We could have one person from each of the three initiatives check in and report on progress."

"That sounds like a good idea," said Joe. "Are we agreed?" Everyone nodded. "Good. The other thing this group can do is constantly look for ways to assess whether we're going in the right direction. Now with some of our objectives, we have numbers to measure ourselves against, but in other areas, we're going to want to keep a pulse on our audience."

"I'll take special care to listen closely to the rest of the Board during this process," said Beth. "I know, though, that there will be some things they won't tell me. All of you, and especially you, Eleanor, need to keep your ears to the ground."

"I will," said Eleanor. "Another place we might hear things is from the staff in our inclusiveness trainings. Are we going to continue those, Joe?"

"What do you folks think? Are they valuable?"

Everyone started talking at once, telling the story of one episode or another from their past trainings. Finally Melody raised her hand and Joe called for silence. "Please, boss, let's keep doing them. Ed has done a great job of helping us look at how we're similar and different, and how to work with each other better."

"Okay, I'd say that's a good endorsement. We'll have at least two more sessions this year, content to be determined. Let me know, those of you who will be working most closely on the plans, if there's something you'd like us to cover."

Melody said, "I think we're ready now."

"Ready for what?" Joe asked.

"For Marcie's anti-racism training," said Melody. "I think people would be open to hearing about that."

Marcie smiled and Joe nodded. "I'll talk to Ed. Thanks, Melody, for sharing your suggestion."

"Now I have one very important question for you all," said Joe.

The committee looked tentatively at him, waiting for some critical element they had forgotten.

"How about a party?" Joe said. He tossed the inclusiveness blueprint into the air and caught it like a football. "This is something to be proud of. I'm going to invite the whole staff to my house for a barbeque, to celebrate how far we've come, and to help people get jazzed up about the work ahead!"

The committee agreed enthusiastically and filed out of the room, back to their offices. Joe stayed in his seat, the blueprint in his hands. They'd come this far, and the path was laid out before them. He felt a thrill when he thought about leading his team forward into the new beginnings they had crafted. They'd come a long way, but the journey had just begun.