I am going to let you in on a secret. You don’t learn how to be great leaders by doing nothing. You don’t grow in your skill as an HR professional or DEI trainer by not doing your research, constantly reading, or honing your craft. Cultural competency is not “woke”; it’s work. As your favorite cultural competency navigator, I work to help my clients accomplish their mission with less stress, reduced risk, and greater efficiency.
This curated reading list transcends trendy ideologies and embraces the essence of impactful change. These six books serve as guideposts for those seeking to navigate the intricate realms of cultural competency and DEI, underpinned by a foundation of tangible results and reduced risks.
Summary: No one should have to suffer…simply because they don’t understand the culture of another.
Why I recommend it: The hot and cold climate illustration is simple but covers a lot in helping the reader understand how culture drives behaviors. This short book is an easy-to-understand guide for those starting their journey toward understanding cultural differences.
Summary: “The critical race theory (CRT) movement is a collection of activists and scholars engaged in studying and transforming the relationship among race, racism, and power.”
Why I recommend it: The book was published in 2012 before the phrase “critical race theory” became a political talking point. If you are in the DEI field, someone will bring up CRT, so you need to speak about it from a position of knowledge, not blissful ignorance.
Summary: “Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right”
Why I recommend it: Lily Zheng is a boss who knows their stuff. The book is actionable. We need more action and less impractical nonsensical talk in the DEI world.
Summary: “Change the culture, change your world. Marketers make change happen.”
Why I recommend it: I don’t think Seth set out to write a book about DEI. But the marketing principles he lays out are exactly why companies should embrace culturally component business practice. People want to feel safe and respected no matter what you do or what you are selling.
Summary: “How stereotypes affect us and what we can do”
Why I recommend it: The summary says it all. Our assumptions matter. Claude Steele gives us real insight into how stereotypes can influence people’s behavior and performance.
Summary: “Tools for talking when stakes are high”
Why I recommend it: Conversations around identity and beliefs are often high stakes. We cannot bring about cultural change in organizations without good communication. Those facilitating crucial conversations need effective tools. Don’t just read the book; take the course.
In this era of ever-evolving challenges and complex cultural landscapes, the role of a cultural competency navigator has never been more vital. My team and I are dedicated to delivering practical solutions. We understand that excellence in leadership, HR, and DEI training is not achieved by mere passivity. Instead, it necessitates a commitment to continuous learning, diligent research, and the continuous honing of one’s craft.
Our commitment to clients’ missions goes beyond catchy slogans or fleeting trends. We hope you can incorporate the wisdom of these carefully selected books as you embark on a transformative journey that combines knowledge with actionable strategies, empowering you to foster cultural competence and drive meaningful change within your organization.
Remember, cultural competency is not a destination but an ongoing process, and Glen and his team are here to guide you every step of the way. Together, let us forge a future that celebrates diversity, nurtures inclusion, and builds organizations that thrive in the rich tapestry of our interconnected world. Contact us and let us know how we can help you deliver the desired results.