EDI strategy: taking the time to get it right

Following two EDI member reference group meetings over the last few weeks and a number of other conversations, we have decided to, once again, slow down the whole process down of developing the EDI Strategy.

by Karen Middleton

We heard very clearly from members the concerns about how collaborative we could be with members when there is so much work in the current time frame and when many members are working exceptionally long hours on the frontline during the pandemic.

Without this collaboration, there is the real danger of developing a strategy which ‘hits the target but misses the point’. We are clear, however, that any slowing down in no way diminishes our ambition for transformation.

The work to develop the CSP’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy started last June with a whole range of listening events with members from the three CSP diversity networks

These events informed draft objectives for the strategy which were tested with the diversity networks and modified as a result of the feedback we received.

And, of course, the workshops with members towards the end of 2020 and the EDI members’ survey informed the development of the strategy yet further, including the need to slow it down and aim for a March 2021 launch rather than December 2020.

We are conscious that some members have been involved at all the different stages and others have had to dip in and out along the way. We will be using all the input to date and the time and energy that has gone into getting us to where we are now, so we intend to build on this rather than completely start again.

That said, we do need to work differently with members going forward:

We will be explicit about the purpose of the whole EDI Member Reference Group and ensure that the draft strategy for consultation is signed off by the group before it goes out to the whole membership.

We will develop four smaller groups of the EDI Member Reference Group to work with each of the Directors on the strategic objectives in the corporate strategy. They will refine the EDI objectives, where necessary, set out the desired outcomes, and work up the measures and timescales for success.

We will also need to work with a group of members on language used in the EDI strategy to ensure clarity and consistency.

We aim to send out the EDI consultation to the membership in May and, whilst there will be timescales within the strategy, it will be reviewed again during the development of the next CSP Corporate Strategy 2023 – the work for this will start during the summer of 2021.

As with any strategy, it is likely to evolve and flex in response to how the work goes. We have to have the humility to know we are unlikely to get it right first time.

Lastly, a word about the importance of the strategy itself. Any strategy is just a communication about what we intend to do to achieve our vision or mission.

The operational plans of how we will do this is detail that the four groups described above will inform, but such level of detail is not likely to appear in the final document – although there will be links to the detail should members be interested.

We know to get the readership and interest from the wider membership, we need to provide a short, high level signal of commitment.

The other function of the strategy is to confirm where resources should be spent and so it is vital, from a governance perspective, to launch the strategy as soon as possible.

That said, anything that was already in our corporate plan this year, specific to EDI, has already been resourced and is being actioned – i.e. we have not waited for the strategy to start the vital work we need to do.

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