The end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Part 2 – Now What?

In last week’s blog, I hailed the repeal of the US Military’s “Don’t Ask / Don’t Tell” policy which occurred late last year. The US Congress, which voted to repeal this policy, finally understands what most major US businesses have long ago understood – that the most successful enterprises will have no barriers to entry, which allows the best talent from the widest possible pool can be considered.

So now gay men and women can enlist in the US military and be open about who they are. Now what? Is the work over? Certainly not! There is a lot of hard work ahead! After we are able to add GLBT talent to the US military, we need to work hard to keep them there and working at their peak capacity.

First, solid training will be required from the top of the US military through to every service member. Everyone needs to be taught to refrain from GLBT offensive behavior, including crude GL BT slurs and jokes. And then people need to learn how to best address and include GLBT people in every day interaction – including using more inclusive language like “spouse” and “partner” in addition to “husband” and “wife.” The culture needs to become one that is welcoming and nurturing to all so that every member of the team can contribute their best. A recent Associated Press article already stated that the US Army has started this training and hope to have it completed by every Army member by August.

Next, many of the military programs need to be examined for full inclusivity. Areas could include the provision of “married housing” to same-gender couples and support structures for spouses of service members.

And finally, this could then have ramifications on the military’s thousands of suppliers of products and services, especially since many of the suppliers interact directly with military personnel. For those suppliers who have not fully embraced total inclusivity of GLBT people, education and change implementation will be required.

I stand ready as a consultant with my leadership experience in one the world’s leading GLBT-inclusive companies to assist our military and their suppliers in any way I can.

Public Speaking Availability and Recent Television Interview

In addition to offering my consulting services in the areas of diversity management, career mapping / skills development and organizational effectiveness, I also offer my services as a public speaker for your business, organization, network or educational function. I can speak for any length of time you require on my topics of expertise that include:

• The business case for and importance of diversity (overall or LGBT–Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) in a corporate or non-profit setting

• The criticallity of career and skills development either at the person or corporate level

• Leadership focusing on the intersection of elements, talents, and style as well as an depth review of those areas

• On my experience as the new president of the North Carolina Council of Churches

Click here for details on my speaking topics.

If you want to see me in action, you can view the recordings of my recent television interview on Byline with Donn Ansell broadcast January 23, 2011 on CBS-WILM Channel 10 in Wilmington, North Carolina. The recordings come in three segments. They are available on YouTube.

SEGMENT 1: Introduction to the North Carolina Council of Churches and the newsworthiness of my election.

SEGMENT 2: More on my election and long time involvement with the Council, my own faith and coming out journey, my role at IBM and its diversity practices, and discussion of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

SEGMENT 3: Discussing gay bullying, my agenda for the Council, the gay marriage issue, me as a role model, my new consulting practice and my vocational center in Africa with Global Roots.

Thank you for watching. I look forward to you contacting me.