Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 27

unsuspecting leanings or inattentive
inclinations. Unconscious bias is the
presence of unfairness, occurring
underneath conscious thought and
rendering well-meaning conscious efforts
less effective.

The Business and
Social Impact of
Unconscious Bias
In the workplace, unconscious bias may
cause employees to question their value
to the company or the magnitude of
their contribution - resulting in low
morale and disengagement, increased
turnover, and decreased productivity
and organizational competitiveness. The
types of unconscious biases that impact
equitable leadership in today's workplace
include availability, in-group, Semmelweis
reflex, observer-expectancy, confirmation,
conformity, affinity, framing effect, status
quo and group attribution. These cognitive
biases are dangerous to organizational
performance because they can:
Ϝ Weaken the ability and willingness
to create value.
Ϝ Increase the risk and likelihood of
value erosion.
Ϝ Diminish the character and culture
of the organization.
Ϝ Weaken the corporate brand.
Ϝ Stifle opportunities to be authentic.

Objective Leadership
Frameworks as
a Solution
Inequitable leadership not only hurts
the corporate entity but also negatively
impacts relationships with customers,
employees, managers, peers, suppliers
and partners. So, what's an antidote
for unconscious bias in the workplace?
It's making the unconscious conscious
by replacing leadership partiality with
leadership objectivity. As an innovation
coach, I work with startups on customer
adoption for new technologies and
services. I developed a model that I believe
is useful in assisting an organization
in innovating its equitable leadership

efforts. Let's explore this four-phased
approach of awareness, adjustment,
abandonment and authenticity.

leaders can become less reactive, more
responsive and increasingly equitable in
their decision-making.

Awareness

Abandonment

The first phase is awareness. This phase
aims to validate that an unconscious
bias exists and is a threat to the
organization. Leaders and employees
believe in the merits of equity, but - until
we experience evidence to the contrary
- most people are reticent toward
prescriptive action. As leaders, we must
identify specific examples of inequity
and use data to communicate the
problem, its prevalence and its impact.
Awareness of these conditions can
strengthen belief in and commitment to
necessary adjustments.

The third phase is abandonment. In
approaching innovation, authors W. Chan
Kim and Renee Mauborgne discuss the
Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create (ERRC)
Grid in their book, " Blue Ocean Strategy. "
When it comes to unconscious biases,
it's not enough to merely reduce some
behaviors; we must eliminate them
(e.g., racial profiling, sexual harassment,
bullying, etc.).

The Georgia State University (GSU) story
of " Eliminating Equity Gaps Through
Data and Institutional Change " by
Timothy M. Renick, Ph.D., is an exemplary
story of creating awareness to promote
action. As the title suggests, his
research details how GSU explored the
factors negatively impacting graduation
rates based on race, ethnicity and
socioeconomic factors. After becoming
aware, they took action and graduation
rates improved by over 30%.

Adjustment
The second phase is adjustment. Once
we become aware, we can adjust. This
phase aims to change behavior through
deliberate thinking and objective action.
In his book " Thinking, Fast and Slow, "
Daniel Kahneman defines system 1 and
system 2 thinking. The first " operates
automatically and quickly, with little or no
effort and no sense of voluntary control, "
and the second " allocates attention to the
effortful mental activities that demand
it, including complex computations. "
Unconscious biases rely on less
rigorous, preprogrammed mindsets that
lead to inattentive decision-making.
By employing OLFs (see sidebar),

The goal of this phase is to lay the
foundation for sustained organizational
success by abandoning biased behavior.
Economist Joseph Schumpeter described
creative destruction as innovating by
destroying existing processes to make
way for new creations. Failure to do
so may result in catastrophe. We often
innovate our approaches to technology
and business processes, but how often do
we apply those approaches to our people
development methods?
Through abandonment, we leverage
OLFs to create and support a shared
organizational vision. Division is often a
byproduct of no vision. A shared vision
focuses our attention, consolidates
group effort and recasts our differences
as differentiated capabilities that help
us achieve a common goal. We also
create credible connections. Mutual
dependence in pursuit of a shared goal
helps establish a credible connection.
According to contact theory, contact
between two groups can promote
tolerance and acceptance, as long
as there is equal status and common
goals. Consider military training as an
example. Basic training begins with
a reprioritization of individuality and
collective goals. Social, economic and
cultural differences are deprioritized for
a shared vision of success, resulting in
a shared sense of equivalency. Recruits

T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MAGAZ INE - BUILDING AN EQUITABLE W ORKP L AC E I WWW. T RAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31837492/ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31837492/ http://www.newcombefoundation.org/files/2019/11/Newcombe-Renick-10-10-19-web.pdf http://www.newcombefoundation.org/files/2019/11/Newcombe-Renick-10-10-19-web.pdf https://www.trainingindustry.com/magazine

Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021

Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021
L&D's Role in Building an Equitable Workplace
Table of Contents
Race, Gender and Age: Social Conscience of Learning
Mitigating Bias: The Role of AI in D&I
The Opportunities Embedded in the Pursuit of Equity
The Real Unsung Hero: The Training Manger's Role in Building an Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
Training's Role in Driving Leadership Diversity
Perpective-taking in VR
The Leadership Problem of Inequity
Practicing Inclusive Leadership: How Leaders Can Take Action to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Raising the Bar on Diversity Training
Create Community in Your Organization Through the Power of Meaningful Conversations
Leading with Authenticity in a Hybrid World
Organizational Health as a Tool for Creating Transformative Workforce Development Opportunities
How L&D Can Avoid Naïve Interventions to Create an Equitable Workforce
Learning Silver Lining: How the Pandemic Might Teach Us to Balance Temperamental Needs
Normalizing Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace
Making Employment Access More Equitable with English Language Training: Voxy EnGen Announces Series A Investment
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Intro
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - CT1
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - CT2
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - L&D's Role in Building an Equitable Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 4
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 9
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Race, Gender and Age: Social Conscience of Learning
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Mitigating Bias: The Role of AI in D&I
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Opportunities Embedded in the Pursuit of Equity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 16
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Real Unsung Hero: The Training Manger's Role in Building an Equitable and Inclusive Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Training's Role in Driving Leadership Diversity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 20
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Perpective-taking in VR
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 24
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - The Leadership Problem of Inequity
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 29
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 32
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 36
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Practicing Inclusive Leadership: How Leaders Can Take Action to Improve Diversity in the Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 40
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Raising the Bar on Diversity Training
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Create Community in Your Organization Through the Power of Meaningful Conversations
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 46
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Leading with Authenticity in a Hybrid World
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 51
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Organizational Health as a Tool for Creating Transformative Workforce Development Opportunities
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 53
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - How L&D Can Avoid Naïve Interventions to Create an Equitable Workforce
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 56
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Learning Silver Lining: How the Pandemic Might Teach Us to Balance Temperamental Needs
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 58
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Normalizing Mental Health Conversations in the Workplace
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Making Employment Access More Equitable with English Language Training: Voxy EnGen Announces Series A Investment
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - March/April 2021 - 62
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