“Inclusive 360” by Bernadette Smith – NOT Just Another Diversity Book!

Bernadette Smith, author of “Inclusive 360: Proven Solutions for an Equitable Organization”

This new book launched on September 21st !!

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As a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultant and trainer, I do like to read various books on this topic and blog about them. And every so often, an author I personally know sends me a pre-publication book to review and blog about.

Such is the case with “Inclusive 360: Proven Solutions for an Equitable Organization” by Bernadette Smith. I met Bernadette several years ago at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s annual conference (our companies are both certified LGBT-Business Enterprises via the chamber) and later enjoyed coffee with her when I traveled to Chicago where she shared about her plans to write with me.

Seriously, this is one of the very best diversity books for organizations I have read in years, and I plan to use it as a resource in my consulting work. So why is this book so outstanding? Five reasons:

1. The book is packed with ideas and dozens of examples of various innovative and impactful actions organizations have taken. Bernadette covers employee belonging, diversity in product and offering design, inclusive recruiting, pay practices, employee benefits, procurement practices and more. I cannot think of an area of business she did not cover. And all of this in under 200 pages!

2. She structures the book within the 3 main topics often included in all diversity work – part 1 is diversity, part 2 addresses equity and part 3 addresses inclusion.

3. Bernadette provides a very useful construct that she repeats in each chapter called ARC – Ask, Respect and Connect:
• Asking is about being open and inquisitive; asking good questions to better understand someone’s issues, struggles or position and then listening intently
• Respect is about actively listening and then accepting the input provided or data with an intention to honestly gain insight from it.
• Connecting is then providing appropriate responses and actions
Bernadette uses this ask, respect, connect methodology as she explores the various aspects of DEI

Order your copy today!

4. A high percentage of the book contains realistic actions that organizations can take on the various areas of DEI ranging from basic and intermediate tactics up through leading edge, truly inspirational actions.

5. And finally as appropriate and when totally relevant, Bernadette is authentic and transparent and shares some difficult parts of her own learning journey around diversity, equity and inclusion.

I highly recommend this book as a great tool to help you and your organization in your DEI journey no matter the size of your company or what stage you are in.

Here is the link to order your copy now, and I hope you are fortunate as I am and get to meet Bernadette in person some day.

An Important Book – Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take To Cultivate an Inclusive Organization

Rhodes Perry of Rhodes Perry Consulting

In late October, I published the blog, “After Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Comes … BELONGING!” I shared two perspectives; from a North Carolina-based diversity and inclusion consultant (Gracie Johnson-Lopez) who recently spoke at our local HR SHRM chapter, and Rhodes Perry, founder and CEO of a leadership and management consulting firm in Portland, Oregon. I also mentioned that Rhodes was just about to publish his new book about this topic.

The book, Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take To Cultivate an Inclusive Organization, is now out! I quickly ordered it and read it, and recommend it to all leaders who need to take that next step of assuring everyone on their team feels they belong so they can contribute their very best.

Rhodes starts the book with a little personal sharing of how his fear of disclosing his being a transgender man, coupled with a general lack of understanding and acceptance of transgender people while working at the White House, stymied his ability to show up as his authentic self at work. This then ended up adding additional stress to his daily responsibilities, foreshadowing his eventual departure for greener pastures.

Starting from his own base of personal experience, Rhodes shares several key concepts along with many practical suggestions on moving from diversity and inclusion to the next step of as he shares, “cultivating a culture of belonging.” Topics Rhodes expands on include:

• The concept of intersectionality; that almost everyone has some aspect of their diversity (gender, race, family status, veteran status, sexual orientation, etc.) that they “cover” at work.

Understanding the difference between equality and equity (graphic from the Interaction Institute for Social Change)


• Understanding the difference between equality and equity. Yes, there is indeed a difference. See graphic to the left and buy Rhodes’ book to understand more.

• The human need for and the power of fostering a sense of belonging at work

• How to apply an equity and empowerment lens by considering people, place, process and power

• How the fast changing global workplace has made belonging even more critical for business success, including the compelling business case for focusing on belonging

• And finally, very importantly, loads of practical actions to take in the workplace to promote belonging; because, at the end of they day, shouldn’t the outcome of reading a book like this be taking practical steps to increase personal and business effectiveness?

In addition to the book, Rhodes has an upcoming 30-Day Belonging Challenge. It offers readers of the book (or future readers) the opportunity to work with the concepts presented and allows them to have a hands on opportunity to put them into practice during the challenge, learning directly from the author himself.

I strongly recommend this book – here is the link to secure your copy. And do consider joining Rhodes’s 30-Day Belonging Challenge.