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We are recruiting companies who are dedicated to supporting culture change from within and have the support of their CEO and senior leadership in championing inclusive cultures. Each company will identify and send three to four staff members to participate. We suggest choosing those participants based on the following criteria. As your organization determines the three to four individuals who will participate in the program, keep the following description of a culture influencer in mind.

  • There should be a mix of genders, functional areas/departments/disciplines, seniority, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and other dimensions of diversity among the participants.
  • Organizations should think about who does, or can, influence their office culture, formally or informally. See definition below.
  • Focus on staff outside of human resources and diversity and inclusion departments. This is not a program meant for HR/D&I professionals as these employees have already been primed as a part of their job description to be aware of many of the points this program will be teaching. Therefore, the program is targeting employees throughout the organization who can support and reinforce the work of their HR/D&I colleagues. HR/D&I officials’ input will be sought throughout the program.
  • The program is an opportunity to lead a social innovation project and can be positioned as an opportunity to raise the professional profile of participants.

Ideas for how to identify cultural influencers in your organization:

  • Who do you go to for a pulse check for what’s happening in the organization?
  • Imagine this person left the company or went on vacation – do you see staff looking for that person or keep running into an empty office to seek advice?
  • Whose buy-in do you or your managers/business partners seek when starting something new that’s NOT the CEO?
  • Who organizes informal work events successfully?
  • Who do you see staff responding to when there isn’t a formal reporting relationship?

Reference: Organization Development & Change, 10th Edition, Thomas G. Cummings, Christopher G. 
Worley Organizational Culture and Leadership, 4th edition, E.H. Schein