Inclusive Leadership: From KPIs to KBIs

leadership inclusif

As organizations and leaders progressively lean towards a more inclusive way of managing their people and conducting business, Key Behavioural Indicators (KBIs) are gaining momentum to measure efficiency – but also critical inclusive leadership behaviours such as humility, courage, and curiosity. Will KBIs dethrone Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as the dominant management tool?

Behavioural indicators are traits or behaviours that employers and managers can use to assess the competencies of their employees. As competency directly impacts performance, it’s easy to see why creating indicators for behaviours is garnering significant interest in management circles.

Measuring behaviours, a challenge

Measuring behaviour calls for qualitative data, a more complex value to assess. Quantitative data rely on numbers, which is more “cut and dry.” Gathering data on behaviour means engaging with people rather than spreadsheets. Adding to the complexity: behaviours are challenging to track and vary from one person to the next, making the process of evaluation more extensive and engaging.

While KPIs require analyzing numbers, assessing percentages, and comparing with previous numbers, KBIs call for one-on-ones, interviews, and other means of interacting directly with people. However, the task is worth it as it may serve well beyond measuring performance.

Assessing inclusive leadership

Our previous blog, Inclusive Cultures, argued that inclusive leadership traits mostly favour behaviours. Inclusive leaders tend to display humility, curiosity, or courage. So naturally, an organization that aims to be more inclusive considers behaviours as a determining factor in enhancing efficiency.

ACCULTURA’s resident inclusion expert, Patrycja Riera, believes that “if we want to measure our leaders on inclusion, we need to start tracking and measuring them on their behaviours and not only what they deliver as a result.” She adds that creating an inclusive culture requires leaders to emphasize how people work and behave. But where does one begin?

Creating KBIs

Our Inclusive Leadership Sessions for senior leadership highlight the importance of developing inclusive leadership behaviours. Based on exercises such as mapping the cultural values of their team and deep diving into inclusive notions, participants develop their own guidelines, outlining the behaviours they want to adopt and reflect. They then convey these behaviours by “walking the talk” and sharing them with their teams, encouraging them to follow suit. They often conduct one-on-ones with their people to track how these behaviours are met and devise indicators to hold them accountable.

In Inclusive Leadership and cultural intelligence, we list dominant traits researchers found in inclusive leaders. For example, humility, visible commitment and cultural intelligence can serve as a base to develop KBIs for an organization seeking to enhance and promote inclusive leadership.

In a nutshell, KBIs provide a different, powerful way to measure performance. But more importantly, shift how organizations work to foster a more inclusive workplace.


 Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash



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