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Brain circuits

Key factors to consider when developing an inclusive strategy

Published 26 November 2021 in Brain circuits • 2 min read

Inclusion isn’t just a buzzword for human resources, it’s one of the pillars of an effective business strategy. When more employees are involved in the strategy process, engagement and performance have been proven to improve. When a diverse cross-section of employees are included the sense of ownership, clarity and purpose are emboldened throughout the company. This has also been found to boost financial performance.

If you are looking for ways to increase inclusion it is important to think about it across two dimensions:

Breadth of inclusion: You should ask how many people are you involving and from how many divisions.

Depth of inclusion: What are you asking them to do? How are you inviting their participation in the process?

If you are ready to move forward, the following four techniques are effective ways of expanding your strategic process:

  1. Get more people involved

Route one is simply to increase participation. It’s not perfect, but it has a big impact on how your employees feel.

  1. Ask specific groups to take the lead

Another option is to assign limited-size, non-traditional groups to lead parts of the strategic process.

  1. Focus on the must-win battles

This approach means not just democratizing the process of producing strategic options, but allowing a larger team to make strategic decisions based on those options. 

  1. Building strategy together 

It is possible to involve large numbers of people at great depth in the strategic process, from coming up with ideas to making decisions and delivering on those decisions. The workshop model works well for this process.

Further reading: 

Why inclusion can help you develop successful strategies by James Henderson


James Henderson

James E. Henderson

Professor of Strategic Management at IMD

James E. Henderson is Professor of Strategic Management at IMD, Program Co-Director of the Leading Sustainable Business Transformation program, and Program Director of the Strategic Partnership course. He helps companies achieve and sustain their competitive advantage either at a business unit, corporate, or global level through directing custom specific executive programs, facilitating strategy workshops, or teaching MBAs and executives.


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