Chris Georgas, Chief operations officer, The Kaleidoscope GroupChris Georgas, Chief operations officer
Most organisations have realized that the differences among people in the workforce create diverse ideas. This diversity helps bring creativity and innovation to organisations, and helps enhance overall performance. Differences in educational and financial backgrounds, family values, beliefs, attitudes, nationalities, or gender all have a part to play in what a staff member brings to the table. And yet, companies still lack the strategic approach and competence to consistently tap into this diversity and create an inclusive and empowered culture that produces transformative results. This is where The Kaleidoscope Group, a full-service diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consulting firm, helps businesses and organisations develop powerful DEI strategies that produce sustainable change. In an interview with Manage HR, Christina Georgas, Chief operations officer of The Kaleidoscope Group, shares her insights on how the company assists its clients in building customized DEI strategies and solutions to not only address people, culture gaps, or issues but lead with a success model grounded in unity and empowerment.

Could you give us an overview of The Kaleidoscope Group?

As pioneers in the diversity and inclusion space, the organisation was founded by Bea Young in 1993, where the CEO, Doug Harris, and I were among the first employees. Headquartered in Chicago, we entered this field at its initial stages of growth and have had the distinct pleasure to guide and partner with over 800 clients across every industry. We are a certified minority-owned business and offer holistic transformational services to help organisations maximize, unify, and empower all its talent to achieve superior results. We strive to live the work as a minority, majority organisation, comprised of talent of many generations, tenures, backgrounds, styles, orientations organisation and consult on any and all areas related to diversity, inclusion, and equity, each and every day. Our additional network of 30+ consultants are spread across the globe, able to deliver the work in over 28 languages that bring the work to life in line with the needs of the region. We help firms become better through strategic implementation to make DEI a part of their DNA and the way they do business and deliver on their mission.

What are the challenges that your clients face with respect to DEI?

Whether it is large or small, every organisation analyzes the impact of a diverse workforce, including employees of different race, genders, and demographics. Companies are starting to really wonder how a diverse environment changes the way employees work. They wish to understand how it affects decision-making, policies, practices, and procedures. Organisations want to transform the company’s culture, operations, and norms that they adopt, but are often unsure about the impact of DEI on their business. It is important to implement the right strategy connected to a holistic vision, with short, mid, and long term goals to achieve impact. Some of the results being brand enhancement, increased revenues, attracting diverse, new, key talent, mission effectiveness and new and/or emerging consumers or business organisation. Organisations that have an innate desire to truly understand these opportunities and then create a workplace environment that empowers everybody to bring their best to work, and achieve their potential to attain unified goals will be sustainable. Any organisation that is trying is to bring change to their workplace or reach the next level of development strategically are our potential clients. We help them achieve their mission through purpose-driven, intentional approaches of investing their resources and/or dollars to ensure equitable systems and practices, and an inclusive workplace environment for a diverse workforce. We analyze the diversity in their workforce, such as employees from various parts of the world or different educational and financial backgrounds, and then build a culture suitable for everyone to succeed.

Could you tell us more about the portfolio of your solutions?

Our work includes consulting, research. assessment and measurement, strategy, coaching, and individual team and organisational competence development. We are real people, having real conversations, about real issues, to bring reals transformational change. We strategically focus the work in five areas:
• Workforce, create inclusive and empowered culture.
• Workplace, have the best talent of all backgrounds represented, and in the pipeline, for today, as well as tomorrow.
• Marketplace, able to attract and serve all customers and businesses.
• Community, Develop positive image and brand to make an impact in its’ geographic locations
• And work with different vendors to realize their mission and business promise.

What is the methodology that you follow while onboarding the clients?

We take a customer-intimate approach to guide,
partner, and engage our clients. First, we assemble a diverse, proven engagement team that is familiar with the industry and work. This team’s initial step is primarily focused on understanding the client’s business and strategies, culture, structure, background, historical, and current DEI foundation. We will also look to understand the values and nuances that make them unique, along with the unwritten rules for success. For the transformation of any organisation, the three C’s; commitment, course, and competence, are crucial. These C’s need to be embedded in the process to put a plan in place, as per the unique requirements and goals of clients. We first discover and develop the DEI commitment of organisations toward their goals, stakeholders, and process for the change. Then develop a course or strategic plan of action based on their vision or commitment and their baseline against the DEI vision. Further, as part of the strategy, we look at implications related to infrastructure, governance, resource availability and accountability. Once the organisation has its DEI commitment known and created a roadmap to attain its goals, developing competence for all stakeholders to play their role effectively, individually and functionally so the work can be operationalized is paramount. We help all stakeholders understand the business case and case for change, understand their role in DEI success and provide new proactive and conscious inclusive behaviors and skills to enhance how they operate daily at work and across lines of difference. Finally integrated measurement of their work at the organisation, BU, team and individual levels, are all important to ensure success and sustainability for the effort.organisation.

Through investment in Kaleidoscope Group, organisations achieve their mission and deliver on their business promise through purpose-driven, intentional strategic approaches to empower and unify and all staff to achieve their human potential thereby producing superior organisation results

Could you give us a customer success story?

One large municipality organisation that had no foundation around diversity, equity, and inclusion was looking for partners to help them understand and create the foundation for creating internal capability and creating an inclusive culture. We helped them build an inclusive culture by developing a tailored education program for leaders and individual contributors aligned to the organisation’s vision, goals and objectives. To operationalize the work, we developed tailored concepts, reinforcements, and vast internal capability to deliver this program for their thousands of stakeholders. As the training started to roll out, our program was rated as the top program across the city and became a mandated program, from a participatory program, due to its value. Moreover, the city won major awards and accolades for its diversity, equity, and inclusion commitment and outcomes. Starting from a place of no foundation for DEI, the client is now setting the standard for other major municipalities.

What does the future look like for The Kaleidoscope Group?

Most organisations and industries have realized that a well-connected and a diverse workforce in inclusive environments drives better results and overall growth. However, there have always been a group of people that still remain marginalized and disenfranchised. We have a great opportunity, buy-in based on the movement now to guide organisations to strategically enhance the systems that are creating barriers for certain groups. While at the same time create competence to empower all stakeholders to be successful. Meaning, where everything is anchored to its DEI vision and business goals and objectives. Finally, organisations who are committed to creating change internally, externally, and specifically in their communities will be the organisations with the best talent of all backgrounds. We are looking forward to leading the way to impactfully transform organisations through the empowerment and unity of its talent. DEI is a grow, industry and will continue to grow especially now since organisations are now looking inward to examine the change they need to make to be a great place to work for all. We realize that might look different for different people in the U.S. and in all parts of the world. The more we start to dig in and explore the significance of this work and its connection to the current and future business success and overall sustainability, the more change we can make inside workplaces, which will hopefully then transcend to change in the community and the world. We look forward to expanding our capabilities to meet the increasing demand for change and real conversations. The Kaleidoscope Group will continue to leverage our incredible resources and talented staff of all backgrounds, personalities, and values to partner with and lead our clients to change. We are, and will continue to be real people, having real conversations about real issues, to create real change!