Paul Deemer, head of diversity and inclusion at NHS Employers, shares his thoughts on this year's annual conference.
Since the launch of our diversity and inclusion conference in September, I have pondered over the interconnection between the three headline themes for the day: diversity, collaboration and innovation. I sort of knew instinctively when we decided on the title that it was the right choice – but I hadn’t really thought it through thoroughly.
At an event in the offices of EY in London I saw written on the wall, 'collaboration is the new innovation'. I said to myself: "Yes, that's it! That’s exactly what I was trying to say". I did some research and came across the concept of the virtuous circle:
If you describe a situation as a virtuous circle, you mean that once one good thing starts happening, other good things happen, which cause the first thing to continue happening.
(The Collins dictionary definition)
This set off a chain of thought which resulted in me capturing my thoughts, as I often do, in a piece of prose. So here is my attempt to describe what I hope we will achieve at the September conference, and what I mean when I talk about the virtuous diversity circle:
Collaboration relies on trust.
Trust is earned and built over time.
Time is relative and allows us to reflect.
Reflect your values in your collaboration.
Innovation can be a leap of faith.
Faith is deeply held and steeped in values.
Values shape the outward behaviour.
Behaviour drives the innovation.
Diversity is defined according to you.
You are the one who can make the difference.
Difference can be seen as bad or good.
Good organisations embrace and celebrate diversity.
Diversity = collaboration = innovation = collaboration = diversity
You can book your place at the diversity and inclusion conference on our events web page.