It’s popular thinking to assume today, that inclusiveness is universal in many aspects of our lives, both personal and professional. As a Western society, we like to maintain that being inclusive is more than a trend.
Yet I have found in many recent client conversations that inclusiveness needs to extend beyond an invitation to a function. Including doesn’t just mean accommodating. It needs to be an active component in program design and delivery so that all participants feel they have an opportunity to participate and contribute.
Quality program and event designs can integrate this consideration into the planning process. Venues are chosen for their accessibility and ease of navigation. Client consultations can identify unique considerations. Activities and events can contain a combination of physical and cognitive challenges, so participants may freely choose a role that maximizes their participation/contribution.
Over the last 7 years, we have worked with a national, not for profit organization that has become our corporate charity (Children’s Wish Foundation). We have facilitated several events across the country which feature corporate sponsors raising dollars to grant children who are facing a myriad of challenges, a wish for themselves. In the beginning, we designed events that allowed the sponsoring business to get together and compete for fun as a reward for their efforts. Gradually we have been able to design and deliver the same experience and include the participation of the Wish Kids and their families. This has resulted in the Wish Kids and their families developing a closer bond with their organizational sponsors.
Inclusion can happen in many different forms and opportunities. The benefits are widely regarded; more opportunity for input, understanding, investment, and participation. Which leads to innovation, collaboration, and better solutions.
Do I leave with this question: What are you doing to promote inclusiveness?
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