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How this mantra can help your business when it comes to DEI 

The mantra ‘think globally, act locally’ has been popularized to every aspect of life. The phrase’s roots come from the environmental movement, asking for people to consider the health of the planet (hence, globally) by taking small actions and changes in their towns and communities (locally). The phrase was meant to encourage people to understand that every bit helps create bigger, grander changes. Now the mantra has been applied to various fields of activism and business alike. How can you use this mantra towards your team’s efforts in Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI)? Here we break it down…

Define Global Goals…

As a multinational organization – or aspiring – it is key to outline and define your overall global goals. Is your team focused on expanding to new regions? Higher sales in existing offices? Once these larger goals are defined, it will be much clearer how local efforts and strategies tie in. 

Center Local Voices and Values…

Regional and local feedback can hold numerous benefits. As many marginalized communities have discussed equity long before it was a social talking point, their opinions, experiences and ideas can help leadership finetune DEI efforts. 

As these team members are also a part of the local communities where your organization is based, they will have valuable insight into how to engage with target audiences, leading to efficient efforts and increased profitability. 

In centering the local teams and their voices, the global organization will gain teams that are deeply invested in its success. Additionally, it is crucial to create pathways for local team members to have pathways to leadership on both the local and global level.  

Consider Lived Experiences over Concepts…

With DEI efforts, it is easy to get bogged down with jargon and abstract concepts. To create more individualized, relevant efforts within your organization rely on your team’s lived experiences. Sharing perspectives and past experiences – good and bad – will help cultivate trust and understand where the organization is already excelling and how it can tangibly improve. Equity itself is an abstract term…try this exercise and define what ‘equity’ looks like with your team. By defining ‘equity’ as a group, everyone will feel invested in achieving it – rather than feeling it is being forced upon them. 

Lead with the past in mind…

Everyone wants to look towards the future when they think about DEI. A large part of these efforts – and their subsequent success – are based in understanding the organization’s past. Start with understanding the founding principles and members as well as original goals. This will help foster understanding not only in how far the organization has come, but also what potential blindspots have been created. By understanding the past, we  can work collectively to create a truly inclusive future. 

Remember that inclusion is a long-term goal and every effort helps get you one step closer to achieving this. 

Works Cited

Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, www.bloomberg.com/company/press/diversity-inclusion-b-open-to-think-globally-act-locally/. 

Ltd, Fathom Communications. “Think Global, Act Local – the Importance of Localisation to International Expansion.” United Workplace, www.theunitedworkplace.com/insights/think-global-act-local-the-importance-of-localisation-to-international-expa. 

Williams, Anasstassia Baichorova & Samantha, and Anasstassia Baichorova. “Four Global Lessons From Locally Driven DEI Efforts (SSIR).” Stanford Social Innovation Review: Informing and Inspiring Leaders of Social Change, ssir.org/articles/entry/four_global_lessons_from_locally_driven_dei_efforts. 

“‘Think Globally, Act Locally’: A Critical Analysis – Research Methodology.” Research, 9 July 2012, research-methodology.net/think-globally-act-locally-a-critical-analysis/.