Don't Put the Diversity Training Cart Before the Strategy Horse

By Keith L. Scott, MBA, PMP and Jon Reid, MBA, CDP

We are often asked by clients both previous, prospective and existing, “Do you provide Diversity Training?”  And in reply we always respond, “Yes”.  However, when we dig deeper into the request and ask, “what problem are you trying to solve?”, there really is not an alignment with business or organizational objectives.  Therefore, we pose another question, “where are you currently on your diversity, equity, and inclusion journey?”  Now the loud sound of silence is deafening, and we realize there is a need for further discussion before any training is administered.  Training without a clear objective is putting the proverbial cart before the horse.  We often advise our clients to look beyond compliance (i.e., training) and think more strategically to identify their goals, objectives, and vision to transform into a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization. 

Developing a strategic plan is key to navigating properly through the DE&I Journey .  Understanding where you are on that journey, how your organization envisions its future, and developing actionable initiatives on how to get there is the proper navigation path.  K.L. Scott & Associates has developed a strategic planning framework that helps clients develop a roadmap to accomplish short- and long-term objectives.  Organizations cannot transform with a snap of its fingers.  It takes identifying pain points such as culture, employee engagement, diverse workforce recruitment and retention, policy development, community outreach, career ladders, counteracting unconscious bias, just to name a few.  It all starts with understanding where you are currently.  To quote Socrates, “Know thyself”.  To that end, KLS&A has developed a DEI Maturity Assessment that evaluates where you are as an organization along your DEI journey.  The DEI Maturity Assessment helps our clients evaluate their current challenges and where focus should be aligned to achieve their organizational objectives.  The resulting analysis will help frame our support to help clients develop a future state vision and identify programs and initiatives that will help achieve that vision.  The initiatives will be organized into a prioritized implementation roadmap and strategic plan which may include training.  However, if training is identified as a strategic need, it will be organized into a training program and not merely a “check” in the compliance box. 

For more information on how K.L. Scott & Associates can support your organization develop a DE&I Strategic Plan, contact us at (404) 692-5552 or

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