Dr. Dorinda Rolle, Founder and President, Rolle and Associates, LLC, Rolle and Associates, LLCDr. Dorinda Rolle, Founder and President, Rolle and Associates, LLC
Inclusive organizational leadership can drive a positive culture shift that gives teams and individuals a true sense of freedom— improving creativity and lowering turnover rates. However, some leaders try to set an example by practicing fairness and non-discrimination without examining the broader aspects of inclusion that may not be part of their own experience.

“Most of us think what is good for me is also good enough for everyone else, but sometimes it isn’t,” says Dr. Dorinda Rolle, Founder and President, Rolle and Associates, LLC. “We meet organizations where they are in their DEI journey. For some, it could be as basic as defining what DEI means for their organization.”

Rolle and Associates has been engaged in DEI work since the early 1990s when it was simply referred to as diversity. Over the years, the company has witnessed firsthand how this work evolved from focusing on on race and gender into an all-encompassing approach that includes the richness of workplace diversity and the potential to translate it into financial benefits. Initially, they offered a wide range of leadership and organizational development training and interventions. For the past six years, the company’s focus has been exclusively in the DEI space, working with organizations on strategy development, executive coaching, and teaching inclusive leadership through the lens of DEI.

As a management consulting and training firm, Rolle and Associates offers its services to federal, state, and local governments, healthcare, higher education, medium and small size organizations, as well as individuals in the areas of leadership development, executive coaching, strategic planning, board development, group facilitation, research, and special projects.

“Through training and strategy development around inclusive leadership, we strive to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion and go beyond these three terms by focusing on accessibility and belonging,” says Dr. Dorinda Rolle, Founder and President, Rolle and Associates, LLC. “For instance, the murder of George Floyd prompted one of the smaller organizations we were working with to take on a diversity initiative to increase their staff diversity and communicate its diversity position to the community it served.”
As part of that process, Rolle and Associates conducted a survey with staff of the organization to learn more about their views and opinions. Giving everyone a voice helped them zero in on what was important and prioritize the issues that needed action. It shed light on where they were on their DEI journey and reach a place of understanding and respect despite the differences. Better clarity on the issues inside the organization also empowered the leadership to take up responsibility and ensure the processes and workflow does not stop or get bogged down because of the differences in opinions. Over the course of the engagement, leaders in the organization were able to pay close attention to the areas where they lagged behind in their D&I initiatives while remaining committed to addressing the issues identified in the survey.

A similar strategy was taken with a global client who is a leader in their industry. Dr. Rolle met with senior leaders of the company to help them determine what direction they should take to prioritize and implement their goals. This client had done a significant number of surveys and small group discussions with key leaders and were stuck trying to appease everyone’s individual opinion.

We are strong advocates for diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion and do not teach tolerance, but rather respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of the world’s cultures, people, and all forms of human expression

“We were able to help them focus on the business case for implementing a DEI strategy without getting bogged down with individual opinions. We rebranded the initiative from DEI to Workplace Belonging and even came up with the tagline “there’s a place here for you”. This company’s success in their quest for inclusion and fairness is because they were willing to take the time to work through seemingly impossible issues. In this process we asked hard questions to which there were are no easy answers, but because they remained committed to the process and recognized the financial and competitive benefits of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging for everyone in the organization at every level they are on the road to achieving their goals.

Today, amidst a sea of competitors, Rolle and Associates’ individualized approach to client needs differentiates them in this space. The company will develop a plan only after thoroughly learning and understanding the client’s culture and values—in training executive leaders or creating a DEI strategy for the entire organization—while considering their objectives and end outcome. In doing so, Rolle and Associates works hard to ensure that they succeed in their mission of strengthening organizations by enhancing both individuals and teams.