The programme secured senior buy-in from adidas Group UK MD Gavin Thomson, who recorded a video message demonstrating his personal investment in building inclusive cultures. This was supported by our own strong evidence base for diversity and inclusion, presented in the form of a custom-built quiz with facilitated discussion of the answers.
Together the managers explored themes ranging from how inclusion can unlock staff potential and spark higher levels of engagement and innovation, to the positive impact it can have on market share and the bottom line. We also included questions on the specific diversity of Greater Manchester, designed to spark conversations and knowledge-sharing about the experiences of various diverse groups in the local area.
“Our objective was two-fold: we wanted the managers to understand why inclusive leadership is so important, and we wanted them to have a clear view on what they needed to do differently to make it happen.”
“The day itself was interspersed with various exercises and experiences designed to create powerful ‘light-bulb’ moments for the managers. We wanted to accommodate people’s own individual approaches and styles: no leadership behaviours prescribed or even suggested. As a result, what we found is that the light-bulb lit up for different people at different points in the day.”
“And by the end of the day? Everyone really got it. Not only did they understand how inclusion works and why it matters, they seemed genuinely motivated to lead differently. Each manager left with a clear and personalised commitment to exactly what they were going to change.”
Working together in this way, we have built the capacity of adidas Group leaders to identify the effect their own micro-behaviours have on company culture. Crucially, they leave our sessions feeling empowered and emboldened – with a clear plan for what they are going to do differently, and why.