Complete Story


"Taking Your Business to the Next Level" - January 19, 2023

ECA DEI Session #2

The Electrical Contractors' Association of City of Chicago (ECA) Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee was pleased to present a program called, "Taking Your Business to the Next Level." The program was presented by Alex Willis, Leadership Surge and was held on Thursday, January 19, 2022 at the Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook, IL.

Program highlights include the following:

  • This second DEI session focused on strategy for a company to utilize when planning a DEI Program within their firm. This is a long-term journey that has a two-pong approach concerning the aspects of:  Organization and People. 
  • Fears regarding the creation of a company DEI Program concern many areas, including:
    • Is the effort sincere?
    • Are resources available? What are the costs involved?
    • Will there be rejection of the effort / program?
    • Is there a lack of understanding?
    • What is the messaging to the target audience?
  • Company must be aware that the aspect of “What’s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) will be prevalent:
    • The WIIFM concept must be created for each level of the organization.
    • The effort must be a people-centric approach.
    • The Decision-Makers (CEO, etc.), Project Managers, Front-line employees must be on board.
  • Discussion of the benefit of having an effective DEI Program to an organization include:
    • Better performance
    • Larger revenue growth
    • Better retention
  • A Four-Step Process to create a People-First DEI Strategy includes:
    • Step One – Conduct a current state assessment.
    • Step Two – Determine the purpose of the DEI.
    • Step Three – Determine the governance model and select DEI initiatives.
    • Step Four - Plan to launch the DEI Strategy.
  • Coordinating an effective DEI Team includes many activities, including the following:
    • Start a team – someone must be in charge – an Executive Champion – a sponsor – someone with power and influence in the organization. The team members can consist of Project Managers, Subject Matter experts, Executive Champion(s), and other knowledgeable members.
    • Focus groups
    • What are the gaps?
    • Review company’s broader strategic goals and priorities
    • Complete a DEI Assessment
    • Get the external data to understand broader DEI landscape.
  • Once a team is decided on, the Four Lenses component must be conducted / assessed to better understand the make-up of the team / future interaction with all company members. Having a better understanding of personality types will enhance communication:  Relationship-oriented, Intellectual, Structure-oriented, risk-taker.

  • With the new DEI team, common biases must be avoided when conducting data analysis – all must be on the same page / challenging conversations will occur.

Upcoming workshop discussions will include:

  • The 12 Elements that Measure Engagement and Maximize Performance
  • Four Lenses Activity to improve communication and teamwork in your Company
  • Identify the Fundamental Skills that are needed for building competence: Emotional Intelligence: Self-awareness, Self-Management, Environment, Manage Relationships.
  • How to start Bridging gaps and creating a foundation for a DEI program.

The first two hours will cover learning objectives and interactive small group experiences, followed by a relaxed Happy Hour for members to discuss the learning points of the day.   

Alex Willis will also conduct a brief virtual follow-up (summary) session prior to the next session.  Also, guidelines on how to ask others to join a DEI team will be e-mailed to the current attendee list.

The subsequent session dates are:  March 16 and May 16.  We look forward to seeing you, there. We thank Alex for his time with the program!

ECA DEI Session 2 Jan 19 2023Pictured above is Alex Willis, Leadership Surge as he emphasized a point of discussion.

ECA DEI Session 2 Jan 19 2023Pictured is Alex Willis as he began the session.


Printer-Friendly Version