“It is our philosophical set of the sail that determines the
course of our lives. To change our current direction,
we have to change our philosophy, not our circumstances.”
Jim Rohn’s quote embodies how Coop Di Leu (formerly CoopLew) has solidified its approach to fuller and more robust service to diversity professionals and today’s generation. We continue to combine professional development, institutional assessment, and thought leadership. We also work to effectively influence the capacity of non-diversity professionals whose work impacts essential functions of matters of equity and inclusion. Our philosophy necessitates that Coop Di Leu transformative leadership experiences include knowledge about and hands-on engagement with HR, IT, academic, student services, and other professionals. Likewise, we engage the families of young people as an antidote to social injustices and identity impairment.
What is a Paradigm Shift?
A paradigm shift is a change in rules for behaviors such as thinking, implementing, and assessing. It is the blueprint for establishing boundaries and guidelines. Achieving a paradigm shift is extraordinarily complex. It involves several essential considerations before having any real success.
Why is paradigm-shifting essential for the advancement of diversity?
Two significant concepts are commonly absent when diversity professionals engage in change activism. One is knowledge of the current paradigm. The other is a vision for the next paradigm. Change agents should understand these concepts because:
Paradigm paralysis is a status that cripples the advancement of any diversity initiative.
The depth of understanding about paradigms correlates with the degree to which the current paradigm can be dismantled or reimagined.
The lived experience of diversity professionals can be improved to a transformative level only after a new paradigm begins.
Further, the current state of diversity professionals’ existence is primarily pre-conceptualized by hiring institutions. Too many find themselves “paralyzed” by patterns and behaviors that predetermine what they should look like, think about, and do when they report to work. When pre-existing conditions persist, work-life components such as onboarding, resource allocation, structural design, collaboration, and innovation remain aligned with the performance status quo.
What is the Future Diversity Paradigm?
The future involves transcending from common diversity administrative paradigms. The next paradigm should host new patterns for diversity professionals’ lived experiences, including space for cutting-edge thought leadership, untapped resources, network science, relationship design, and exclusive camaraderie among national cohorts. It will also be shaped by specific research findings about the reception of change-oriented initiatives led by diversity professionals. The following points, through research and early-career development, represent a future diversity paradigm:
a refined onboarding process that helps to establish diversity assisters and resistors early on,
an absence of preconceived expectations for assimilation and race-based service agendas,
elimination of career-long work on problems (low hanging fruit) present at onboarding,
resources and reporting units that are flexible during service deliveries,
doors opened for community and underrepresented access to all institutional resources,
cabinet-level CDOs with ample financial, leadership, administrative, and political savvy to move diversity agendas as mantles for all constituents’ common good,
requisite authority for full support to impact the entire campus, and
the flow and pipeline of students, faculty, staff, and administrators reflect world demographics, national imperatives, and local values.
The next paradigm unfolds one person at a time. It is exponentially tied to the diversity professional’s preparation before and/or shortly after taking a seat in office.
What is the Coop Di Leu logo?
The Spiral of Knowledge Development
The SKD represents CDL’s mission to advance clients from one stage of identity to the next higher stage, and beyond. It illustrates the pattern of thought life berth into the DEI space as we help diversity and other professionals better understand where they are, and where they can ascend upward from there.