Inclusion Big 4 With Chris Armstrong
We recently had the pleasure of checking in with Chris Armstrong. Chris is the Co-Owner of Veritas Culture, who put the commitment needed into resolving leadership, culture, and diversity-to-belonging challenges. A Certified Diversity Executive, Certified Master Facilitator, and ICF Certified Coach who specializes in culture change equity and belonging advocacy and transformation. Hosting over 5,000 culture and emotional intelligence sessions over the last decade, we wanted to get to know some of his thoughts on our big 4 questions around inclusion.
1. What do you think is the biggest challenge organizations are facing when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion right now?
I think the biggest challenge related to the lack of Belonging is a tendency to formalize Belonging efforts because people still believe that feelings aren’t facts and that Belonging is difficult, if not impossible, to measure. So, they go along with Inclusion efforts but stop short of going all in on Belonging because, to them, Belonging cannot be measured since feelings aren’t facts.
When it comes to Equity, I truly think that the biggest challenge is that people do not see it as necessary because, in their minds, there isn’t inequity. They’ll admit to poor Diversity and representation numbers, but they’ll stop short of seeing those as a matter of systemic racism. They truly believe that we all pull our bootstraps up the same and thus Equity isn’t necessary. They won’t admit this out loud, but it comes out in neutral, open-ended facilitation.
2. Why do you think diversity, equity, and inclusion are important?
I think Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are important as outcomes, but Belonging and Equity should be the efforts. And no, D&I are not important because of a business case, that needs to go. They are important because of a human case – the reality that the world is culturally, spiritually, and functionally diverse means that the human being who makes it so must be able to be a human being. And they can’t be human beings if their cultural, spiritual, and functional sides are pushed aside.
3. What advice would you give someone struggling to make the right change in their organization right now?
Ask yourself (and be honest in the answer) if this is something you want, or if this is something you want for others. If it is something you want for others, you will struggle to influence change because it’s not in your heart, it’s in your head. Find out why it’s not something you want.
4. What do you love about what you do?
I love changing hearts and minds, and in particular, achieving this organically via facilitation.
We thank Chris for his honest and inspirational answers to our questions. You can follow him on Linkedin for more and to see the wonders he does with his coaching and mentoring.