FSG—in partnership with PolicyLink—supported a large national retailer to develop an enterprise-wide racial equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI) strategy. Excited by the concepts in the CEO Blueprint for Racial Equity, the company sought to build upon and align diffuse REDI-related efforts across the business into a strategy that both drives business value and leverages its full corporate footprint to create lasting impact.
In terms of key stakeholders, FSG and PolicyLink deeply engaged with the business’s full executive leadership team and established a cross-divisional working team of approximately 15 non-executive business leaders from across geographies and business units. FSG also supported the client to establish an external advisory council of 15 – 20 racial equity and other subject-matter experts both within and outside of the broader industry. In creating these structures, we sought to ensure that diverse and marginalized voices contributed to the process, and where possible, have the client experience what it means to shift and share power in pursuit of racial equity.
Grounded in the philosophy that “there’s progress in the process,” the FSG/PolicyLink team guided the client through 3 key phases over approximately 11 months:
- We began with a comprehensive internal and external assessment, understanding existing and past efforts to integrate racial equity within the enterprise, understanding how racial inequities have manifested in the sector, understanding the efforts of peers and competitors, and identifying the range of opportunities for consideration in the near and long terms.
- From there, we designed a 4-part learning series to build the capacity of business leaders to understand, champion, and implement an enterprise-wide strategy centered on equity. This custom-designed curriculum included both awareness of the historical and present racialized impacts of the business as well as an introduction to fundamental equity concepts and how they will apply to the organization’s work ahead.
- Building upon this conceptual alignment and shared learning, we then moved into strategy development, a co-creative process between executive leadership and the working group to align on four key behaviors that will drive their internal REDI transformation and three issue areas where the enterprise is well-poised for meaningful external impact.
The engagement closed with a focus on strategy activation, identifying near-term outcomes and the necessary alignment and accountability mechanisms to advance the work.