As strategy consultants, we have seen time and time again that even the best-constructed strategies can struggle to produce successful outcomes if they are not supported by a culture that is conducive to the vision and ambitions set forth. As the saying goes: “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Today, many companies are making bold commitments to equity. However, strategy by itself is insufficient without changing the conditions within the organization to embed equity into the fabric of its culture. In the guide Centering Equity in Corporate Purpose, we recommend five practices for how companies can develop and deliver a strategy centered in equity.

Equity is about who holds power, the role of power in producing outcomes, and the reshaping of power. Through our research and experience working with business leaders around the world to transform their organizations to become more inclusive and equitable, we uncovered four enabling conditions that underpin the success of a company’s strategy and equity work. Because we are talking about a strategy centered on equity, each of these enabling conditions helps companies reshape power in ways that positively support their efforts to reduce inequities.

  • Leadership with authenticity and values anchored in equity – how leaders use their power responsibly for the full range of a company’s stakeholders
  • Comprehensive learning and reflection to advance equity – building awareness about and rethinking power as it relates to a company’s equity dimensions
  • Intentional measurement that drives accountability on equity – holding power accountable and tracking progress in building power for those communities facing inequities
  • Connection and trust through reimagined relationships – establishing inclusive processes, practices, and structures that share power.

Read the full article about centering equity by Nikhil Bumb and Shumeca Pickett at FSG.