How To Create a Conscious Culture Beyond Your Organization and Throughout an Entire Ecosystem

In recent years, businesses have taken a leading role in trying to improve the world. While the government has traditionally set standards through laws – in the last five years – companies have used their economic power to influence society more quickly and effectively than government regulations. So far these efforts have mainly been focused on internal measures within individual organizations: things like diversity initiatives or switching to more sustainable modes of production. 

But we can go so much further than this.

The Power of Networks

Businesses can also affect social change by empowering its ecosystem of suppliers and partners to meet certain diversity, equity and inclusion standards. Every company lies in a network of other businesses who they regularly transact with. Whether it’s buying, selling, consulting or collaborating with other businesses, every organization has its partners. By holding their partners to certain standards of social justice, a single business can enact wide-ranging change in the whole network.

We’ve already seen a version of this trend with the rise of ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) investing. Prominent investment companies such as BlackRock have pledged to account for environmental sustainability in their investment portfolio. Regulators have indicated that companies may soon be required to disclose their ESG footprint to investors so that they can make a more informed decision about who they want to support. Across the economy, capital is flowing to companies who have a proven record of transparency, DEI, and environmental consciousness.

Like pressure from investors, pressure from other businesses adds a financial motive for good behavior on the part of companies. When a company engages in discriminatory practices and its partners cut ties with the business, it sends a strong message. Firstly, to the offending business, who now has a financial imperative to change their ways and improve their culture. Secondly to the public, who now better understands the values of the partners, and sees the lengths they will go to uphold those values.

Setting Standards

Companies should let the partners and suppliers in their network know what they expect in terms of DEI and social awareness. They could even go as far as to specify that all employees at another company undergo a certain level of workplace training before they do business with that company (for more information on how to structure a workplace training program, click here). When every organization in a network pledges to hold themselves and each other accountable to standards of workplace conduct and DEI, leaders can enact real change in record time.

For those looking to elevate their workplace training programs and bring genuine change to their network, Emtrain is here to help. Along with offering tailored DEI and anti-racism training, the Emtrain Solution allows you to share your workplace culture analysis with partners, VARS, and service providers. With the Emtrain solution, companies can compare their workplace culture scores, seeing how they stack up and where they can improve. Contact us to roll out DEI training throughout your own workforce and make workplace learning available beyond your entire ecosystem.

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Janine Yancey
Business Compliance & Workplace Culture Expert
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