Casey Tonnelly, Owner and Principal Coach, Beyond ThinkingCasey Tonnelly, Owner and Principal Coach
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) are not only moral imperatives but business imperatives. While many companies look at DE&I through the lens of compliance and reputation management, they must also recognize that improved DE&I is good for their bottom line.

However, DE&I initiatives are often confined to the HR department, limiting its potential. Beyond Thinking makes DE&I a vital part of a company’s core business strategy, beyond HR.

“DE&I should not be a separate endeavor. It must be applied to every crevice of an organization, including leadership, for the desired transformative effect,” says Casey Tonnelly, owner and principal coach of Beyond Thinking.

Beyond Thinking makes that happen by taking a holistic approach, including supporting leaders, employees, and HR. It helps leaders unpack their behavior, analyze them, and identify how certain behaviors might be contributing to exclusion. Through anti-racism coaching and facilitation programs, it then inculcates DE&I skills into leaders, helping them resolve implicit biases and foster a productive and inclusive work culture.

DE&I should not be a separate endeavor. It must be applied to every crevice of an organization, including leadership, for the desired transformative effect

Since its inception, Beyond Thinking upholds the nation’s diversity in its conversations and the role of indigenous communities and immigrants who have shaped the country in critical ways. People are indoctrinated on how racism is notional in a land of shared cultures and encouraged to respect the history of indigenous communities and tribes that have endured centuries of oppression and historical trauma.

Beyond Thinking’s team works in small groups to increase impact. Collective conversations with the privileged groups within the team further help analyze hidden racism.

One-on-one coaching helps some participants, providing them with free journals and workbooks to learn socialization and recognize how biases have been inculcated in their minds through storytelling. It makes way for more meaningful conversations that help organizations build internal capacity to support vital DE&I dialogues.

Facilitated conversations is another key service it offers, encouraging people to speak up with confidence about microaggressions in the workplace.

Beyond Thinking is keen on addressing the most difficult DE&I elements, like making uncomfortable conversations possible for optimal impact. It plays a vital role in addressing brief verbal and non-verbal put-downs instantly, avoiding a larger consequence.

In addition to the DE&I services offered at individual and interpersonal levels, it helps in a company’s capacity building by reviewing an organization’s policies, practices, and cultural norms at an institutional level. Once a client initiates contact, Beyond Thinking meets their DE&I or employee resource groups to listen to their concerns and offer required services. It acts as their internal catalyst to transform organizations into equitable workspaces.

In one instance, Beyond Thinking’s consultation significantly impacted an organization’s inclusiveness. The leaders resisted having conversations and had anti-black thoughts and performative allyship. Through collective conversations, coaching, and facilitation, the client began examining practices that caused harm and calling out inappropriate practices. Eventually, they made a remarkable transition to an empowered leadership that averts harmful behaviors.

Beyond Thinking’s internal culture is a significant part of scripting these successes. The team believes in practicing what they preach. For instance, they make monthly donations to support the transport and housing of indigenous communities and protect their culture and language.

A trusted DE&I partner has the potential to drive the momentum of minority identities. Unwavering commitment, minimal ego, and a work culture rooted in principles enable Beyond Thinking to achieve this.