Inclusion decisions are made when everyone those decisions impact are included in the process. Today’s episode focuses on inclusive decision-making and—perhaps just as importantly—the conversations that enable it.
Inclusivity is about voices, not faces. Just because someone has a face that matches an excluded community doesn’t mean you are hearing their voice.
An absence of trust from people who are brought into a room for the first time is an obstacle to making inclusion decisions because they may not share their true opinions.
It’s very important to make certain that you are transparent with your motivation.
Think of inclusive decision-making through the lens of “trust dials.”
Types of decisions needed include: Fixed: Already created and cannot be altered by stakeholders; Flexible: Already created, but can still be altered according to stakeholder input; and Formable: Not yet created and need to be created with stakeholders.
When seeking feedback and input, remember to close that communication loop and say, “thank you for coming to this session. This is how we integrated your suggestions into our [fill in the blank].”
Structure the decision-making process in a way that gives power over the outcome or over the agreement, such that the outcome could look different because of what people say.
Inclusive decisions start well ahead of the actual decisions. It starts with building relationships.
About Our Guest
Mer (pronounced “mair”) Joyce is the Founder and Principal of Do Big Good, a Seattle-based firm that trains and facilitates inclusive decisions. Mer has committed her life to social change innovation. She was New Media Operations Manager on President Obama’s 2008 campaign, led the creation of the 2010 book, and managed a first-of-its-kind activism data set as a fellow of the National Science Foundation. Mer has collaborated with nonprofits, foundations, think tanks, and firms in North America, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, including the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, the Open Government Partnership, Microsoft, and Google. Her graduate studies in Public Policy and Communication and undergraduate studies in History and Africana Studies were at the Harvard Kennedy School, the University of Washington, Vassar, and the University of Ghana. Having also lived in Morocco, Chile, and India, Mer now lives in Seattle, where she enjoys biking and intentional communities.