Dr. Shirley Davis

Getting a Seat at The Table

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Categories: Articles and Publications, Professional

A 2 minute read

This week I had the distinct pleasure of presenting to nearly 60 Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers from across 22 government agencies ranging from the Department of Energy to the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Defense to OPM. For years, HR professionals have reported that one of their biggest challenges to being effective strategic business partners is getting a seat at the table. But in recent years as more and more companies make room for the role of the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, many are finding that they have the title, but not necessarily the positional authority to make real sustainable change and to join their other ‘Chief’ counterparts at the C-Suite table. Following are excerpts of the tips/strategies I shared from my presentation for “How to Get/Keep a Seat at the Table:

  • Earn it. Don’t just expect to get invited.
  • Know your organization’s business.
  • Know your leaders.
  • Be/become an SME.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership skills.
  • Get some quick wins. Measure outcomes and goal achievement, not work processes.
  • Be a partner/collaborator across the organization; set others up for success.
  • Demonstrate courage to speak up on the tough issues.
  • Think innovatively, strategically, and futuristically.
  • Secure a champion/sponsor for your efforts.
  • Get out of the office. Your seat may not be at the boardroom or conference room table.
  • Operate your office like a business owner. Even if you’re government, non-profit or faith-based, everyone can demonstrate entrepreneurial skills by looking for ways to manage costs, increase efficiency, and find innovative/creative ways to keep your doors open.

For this keynote and other topics that you’d like Dr. Davis to deliver at your next event, please contact her.