We asked Lena Carew, the Head of Organizational Health and Innovation for The Justice Collective, to answer two questions, and we got great advice.
Q1 - What is your best management tip for small business owners?
Once you've learned every aspect of your business, invest in capacity through staffing that will enable you to grow. Many business owners work tirelessly to create systems for their business, yet many struggle to let go of (perceived) control and delegate tasks. Keeping a strong hold leads to burnout and exhaustion which stifles your company's growth and impact.
In the US, 97.5% of all Black women owned businesses do not have a single employee. After 5 years of operations, these same businesses only yield $23,876 in annual revenue. However, when Black women entrepreneurs are able to hire staff, in 5 years, their annual revenue jumps to $776,289 (Association for Enterprise Opportunity, 2017). There is too much to lose from trying to do it all. Get the help you deserve so you and your business can thrive.
Q2 -What tips would you give a company that is wanting to add diversity to their team?
Diversity and anti-racism have become household discussion topics as we witness global protests against police brutality in response to the horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis caught on tape for the world to see.
As a result, many companies have fast tracked conversations about improving diversity at all levels and are asking themselves, what more can we do? At The Justice Collective, we support companies with going beyond vanity metrics and "checking boxes". For those who want to "do diversity right," we believe that a great starting point is to begin by asking, "Why is diversity important to you?" "How diverse are we now" (are you tracking employee race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and socio economic factors)? "How diverse are your vendors?"
With this knowledge, companies should interrogate the experiences of current staff with respect to diversity by asking questions like: "How does one's racial identity impact their experience at the company?" "Are there patterns?" "What cultural norms (stated and unstated) impact one's sense of belonging, satisfaction, and promotional opportunities?" "What policies and protocols can be developed to ensure that diversity is truly represented across the company?"
The answers to the above questions are not exhaustive but they're a great starting point, and we encourage all companies to create space for critical and courageous conversations where appreciative inquiries are welcomed.
ABOUT THE JUSTICE COLLECTIVE
The Justice Collective is an intersectional, cross-sectoral, social impact consultancy that leverages collective expertise and networks to support strategic initiatives, organizational development and leadership nurturance.
Catalyze Talent–They catalyze talent for change through a consulting collaborative that executes projects and campaigns for nonprofit organizations, government and private business. By bringing together experts with a broad catalogue of expertise they work on a wide variety of projects from diversity and inclusion strategy to organizational rebranding.
Relationship Driven–They lead with relationships and trust, their client intake process is designed to provide both their potential clients and their organization the opportunity to explore partnership from a place of mutually shared values and goals. They have a selective process because they are deeply invested in the success of each project.
Learning Community–TJC is committed to cultivating the ongoing development of professionals of color through workshops and project opportunities.
For more information on The Justice Collective:
Race, Diversity, Inclusion, Hiring, Entrepreneurship, Small Business