The HBR Idea Cast I mentioned in Part I also talked about inclusion. Go and listen here.
As you can imagine, inclusion is about letting the voices be heard.
They mentioned companies that allow people to create content and even blog off their company web site. That sounds good to me, however, you need a lot of groundwork before you can go there.
It takes a lot of weight off you as a leader when your workers are producing value added ideas and content. Naturally, if they are doing it by blogging, then the risks could be higher.
In China, workers are a little more reticent about sticking their head up. Initiative is low on average but picking up. So to gain inclusion, you have to ask a lot of questions and open up a lot of paths for people to be heard.
You can reward brave involvement by your people. You need to have models, and between you and some early takers you may get inclusion moving.
It does require more openness from you. If you do not tell them which way you are going and in some detail, then they are not going to be very helpful in getting you there. Inclusion requires mutual openness.
Inclusion is valuable hands down. It gets people to put their whole being into the work and not just punch a clock. Openness from you and encouragement of all efforts to get involved can bring results. Further, you do not always have to wait 2 quarters to get there.
Some Western companies here fear openness and inclusion. They are afraid workers will make them look bad or steal their IP and customers and leave. If you hire the right people and treat workers well, then even those who do leave will not steal your IP and go. People will end very well when and if.
So, inclusion is not for everyone, but the benefits to excellent companies can be great. When it is clear that you are not the only genius in the company, then you will be heading to greatness.