About two or three times a year, I do like to blog about new books in the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) field that are powerful, practical and can truly help an organization grow their DEI strategy and execution. One such book is “Imagine Belonging – Your Inclusive Leadership Guide to Building an Equitable Workplace” by Rhodes Perry.
Belonging is becoming a key concept in the DEI arena. In fact, I have seen many organizations add the “B” and now talk about diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Rhodes Perry defines belonging as “an emotional outcome that comes from feeling seen for your unique contributions, connected to your coworkers, supporting in your daily work and career development, and proud of your organization’s values and purpose.”
This is Rhodes’ second book on this topic, with his first being the best-selling “Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take To Cultivate an Inclusive Organization.” When it came out in early 2019, I wrote this blog about it. This book focused on what all employees and leaders can do to build an inclusive workplace culture where everyeone can feel like they belong.
This new follow up book is now specifically targeted for workplace leaders who are the ones who need to drive and build a belonging workplace culture.
Here are some of the key points and topics in the book:
• Rhodes shares some of his journey growing into leadership as a transgender man, and introduces the importance of clarity, confidence and commitment in driving transformation.
• The criticality of addressing organizational culture in doing any kind of work around DEIB. This includes examining your own leadership style, your team and the entire organization, and how identifying and addressing dominant culture vs. belonging culture systems is crucial. This also includes six key questions to explore in doing a “belonging culture audit.”
• How all efforts can get derailed by conforming, and the need to have courage, which Rhodes defines as a the opposite of conformity. (See my June, 2022 blog “The importance of courage in being an inclusive leader.”)
• The book includes a fantastic practical table of “12 belonging culture traits.”
• Comparing competitive teams (and their issues) with cooperative teams (and their advantages.) The book also discusses the pros and cons of individualism and traits of a relationship driven team
• How to transform organizational culture to build belonging and trust, and the business advantages of doing this.
I highly recommend this book if you are leading transformational diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging work in your organization. To check out the book an to order it, link to www.imaginebelonging.com. And if you want to connect more deeply on the topic of belonging in the workplace, please check out Rhodes’ newest podcast, Imagine Belonging at Work, at https://imaginebelongingatworkpodcast.com/.