Keen to develop their global leaders’ understanding of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as attract new talent and maintain their competitive edge, Publicis Sapient approached Steps to partner on an inclusive leadership programme with a difference.
Drawing on detailed research from within the business and our Steps to Change approach, we used interactive drama as part of live-virtual sessions to hold a mirror up to organisational reality., This allowed the leadership population to See and Own the need for change and to creatively explore inclusive behaviours within global teams.
Tailored to leaders with varying levels of experience and tenure, the sessions were inclusive by design. We created a psychologically safe, non-judgemental space for people, wherever they were on their own personal journey, to have honest conversations about what inclusion means to them and what they can do to support a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Publicis Sapient. The drama was reflective of their global ways of working and the cultural nuances that can bring positive benefits as well as challenges on the journey towards greater inclusion. To best reflect the participants reality, we also tailored the content based on the many business ‘verticals’ within the organisation – including financial services, energy and commodities and retail.
Developed and delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic, this programme emerged at a time when individuals were working remotely and often feeling less connected to their colleagues and teams. – It succeeded in bringing people together at a time when they needed it most and allowed them to consider the role of inclusion as we rebuild teams, explore a hybrid approach and establish new ways of working together.
As part of Live It activities, internally-led, action planning workshops were developed to encourage greater ownership beyond the virtual workshops and to embed and encourage the change. This gave a focus and intent to practical ways to implement the change, as well as bringing peers together to support each other on the journey.
Over 200 participants took part in the programme, with 98% of attendees rating the experience as good or excellent, and that they would recommend it to a colleague, and 87% saying that they could apply the learning immediately afterwards. These results highlighted the importance of tailored, relatable content that gave participants exactly what they needed – in terms of the situations presented, the opportunity to self-reflect and the resulting conversations with peers.
Publicis Sapient has built its leadership strategy around our partnership, and we are now in the process of developing further virtual workshops and content to cascade the programme to more leaders within the business, as well as to the management population.