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Dei Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right

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I hate to say people eat it up because they're like, "Yeah, I don't know what any of those words mean. Reform in the context of social justice is the attempt to change a system from within by building solidarity and cooperation with existing stakeholders and neutral parties. Educators use movement-related information to increase the ability of stakeholders at different stages in their learning journeys to make change.

They summarize with: “Knowing how strategy, power, culture, and structure interact allows us to reverse engineer outcomes. They're just like, Okay, maybe DEI is one of those kumbaya hold hands leaders that are really soft with their followers and ask people about their feelings all the time.

High-trust environments enable a more linear path forward, with leaders setting expectations, assessing the current state of DEI, and distilling data into a compelling rationale for change. What's great about the book is it is helpful for anyone who is trying to build a movement to effect changes and will help you spot "performative" DEI and understand how real change is built and enacted. Some of it is really interesting, some might be things you're familiar with already, some might be repetitive if you've gone through trainings or are familiar with these concepts. Equity involves providing equal access, treatment, opportunity, and advancement for every employee, eliminating obstacles to success. And

I particularly appreciated their focus on trust as the key ingredient for change, laying out different paths for high-trust, medium-trust and low-trust environments. I understand that we shouldn’t try to further entrench DEI skeptics in their beliefs, but it’s 2022, and talent has a plethora of options outside of companies that don’t see the value of DEI.And I think one of the big reasons is because we had a lot of outrage and a lot of, I think very right shift energy and frustration and momentum but we didn't understand any of the levers. As someone who works in the DEI space I think this book is a really good introduction to this type of work. I've been following Lily Zheng for years on LinkedIn to get their DEI insights, and their book is even better. Their bestselling books, DEI Deconstructed and Reconstructing DEI, describe cutting-edge, accountable, and effective practices that can enable any leader to create the diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations we all deserve. I lead a BRG system at a large bank and I spoke about this book so often, that the entire DEI office has decided to read it together.

Lily instead starts from the basics of defining measurable impact outcomes for diversity, equity and inclusion, and then lays out strategies and tactics for moving organizations towards those outcomes. And I wonder if that has changed at all over either the writing of the book or the recent couple years?The way they explain all these subjects made it very easy for me to think about which people and orgs I know fall into which categories, and the questions at the end of each chapter are thought-provoking deep considerations to ponder. Whether a DEI aficionado or a well-meaning corporate leader hoping to find the right way to bring about “sticky” change, I recommend this.

I don't like followership necessarily, but I'm still encountering Lily, and I'm sure you are too, people who just don't give a damn and don't want to be bothered. I love this author and how they bring the reflection but also actions and a lot of substantial resources to help us improve our work around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in organizations. By the way they happen every couple of months at this point in our world, unless we use that momentum, it'll just keep going like this. And that DEI competencies are embedded within manager evaluations, like all sorts of things like that.We've probably participated in making it more of a moral choice versus a good practice versus an equitable practice which enables better organizational performance. LILY ZHENG (they/them) is a no-nonsense Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategist, consultant, speaker and author who helps organizations and leaders achieve the DEI outcomes they aspire to. Zheng recommends leaders with formal power put skin in the game by making commitments with consequences, and creating and empowering stakeholder groups to hold them accountable.

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