Bring your whole self

Ohio supreme court protest - No American Left Behind

I remember during the onboarding week there were compelling testimonials from existing employees that encouraged us all to bring our entire person, or our "whole selves", to work. It was a reassuring message to hear especially for someone who has understood the unwritten contract that anticipates that "others" elect to assimilate or get pushed out.

In hindsight I am starting to challenge how companies that have promoted and lauded a particular kind of ethnocentrism prepares for the type of change necessary to sustain and reward a truly heterogenous group. You have to assume that it starts with first acknowledging and thoroughly mitigating the blinds spots inherent to monoculture.

There is a kind of chicken and egg game where you fix the culture to help invite diverse people in, while also inviting diverse people in to fix the culture. By entering this process we instinctively identify the current extractive model of value creation as flawed and we further posit that the status quo is a function of a structural inequality that must be redressed.

Those of us fortunate enough to be in a position to articulate, dissect and expose this moment are obligated to do so. My firm position is that I need to work to leave the place better than I found it.

Some people with power remain depressingly predictable. My concern then is a counter cause created by those who benefitted the most from the existing power arrangement. It threatens to bog down and even derail momentum by inserting apathy or simply reversing course on the "bring your whole self to work".

I will remain hopeful.

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