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What is the Zillennial approach?

An idea, a brand, a website, a blog, a consultant experience, a fight, a movement, whatever we need it to be.

The Zillenial approach is a response to a void that needs to be filled. The world has been moving in the right direction, but it's been slow and it's exhausting. The Zillenial approach serves to revitalize that fight, to review the past, to reimagine the future. It calls on current research, actual feedback, and the spirit of new generations.

We're not okay with tokenized diversity, empty promises, ineffective training, and outdated methodology. We never were. It was better than nothing, but our predecessors deserved more. We too deserve more. We deserve actual acceptance. We deserve valiant efforts. We deserve passionate diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We deserve the Zillenial approach.

Image by Tim Mossholder

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Commitment to Education

The key to personal growth is investing in education.​

Time and energy are precious resources to be allocated wisely. One of the best areas to focus on is education. Instead of relying on marginalized people to deal with the disadvantages society has presented them with AND be responsible for educating the masses, it is time for each of us to take that responsibility enthusiastically and unrelentingly onto ourselves. 

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Commitment to Listening

There is a difference between hearing and listening.​

Pacifying and gaslighting marginalized people has done nothing to further workplace DE&I. In fact, it is the reason not much has changed since diversity and inclusion training was first introduced. In order to have a successful and lasting impact, DE&I demands we talk to each other, include each other, listen to each other, and follow through on promises to each other.

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Commitment to Empathy

You've taken the most important step - realizing people are a priority.

Improving the workplace often looks like technology upgrades or revamping marketing strategies or a million other things. Data and numbers make things easy to see, manage, and improve. Understanding people and creating a work environment about more than just efficiency is a little harder (enter me). We need to have the difficult conversations. We need to emphasize that we care. We need to nurture the desire to connect with one another.

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Commitment to Change

People need room to grow. Adjustments are necessary. Programs can't stay stagnant.

Once we accept those facts, we're ready to get better. This is a learning based approach to DE&I. I don't have all of the answers. I am not going to go into this saying I can guarantee a solution in 30 minutes or it's free. But I can help and I can maintain fluidity to ensure that I keep helping. But most importantly, I can show you how to develop those skills in yourself.

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Commitment to Transparency

The first rule of the Zillennial approach: always talk about the Zillennial approach.

 

There's an innate desire to make sure everything you do is perfect before you make it public. I'm here to dismantle that frame of mind. DE&I, like everything else, is better when everyone works together. Keeping people in the dark while you try to perfect your plan only excludes others from the conversation and creates doubt in what you are doing (or that you're actually doing anything at all). Let's utilize all of our resources. Perfect isn't real, so ask for help.

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Education
Listening
Empathy
Change
Transparency

Why does the Zillennial approach matter?

I can list all of the moral reasons we need improved DE&I - it makes the world a better place, it helps life be a little more fair, it is a step towards mending a broken society, etc. I can even list the financial benefits - higher employee productivity and retention, more creative ideas/products/solutions, stronger fiscal growth, etc. But I'm not going to go that route because that's all been said before. It's why I get to even think about how I can improve DE&I. The problem is it's not working. We are not seeing the results we should be, which means we need to reevaluate and adjust our strategies.

Here's a little acknowledged fact: better DE&I is inevitable. Progress is coming and the younger generations are pushing it along at a faster rate thanks to technology. The 2020 US Census revealed more racial and ethnic diversity than ever before. The number of single race White babies being born is on a decline. People are more comfortable speaking about previously taboo topics like colorism, mental and physical health concerns, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. Millennials are already the largest generation in the workplace. By 2030 they will make up 75% of the workforce. And that number doesn't include Gen Z who have already started graduating from college and entering the professional world.

How long can companies hold out before they get better or get buried? These are the only choices left because the tipping point has already been reached; we're just waiting for the wave to hit. If it's enough for your organization to just survive until you retire, then you might not want this. But if you want a legacy that outlives you, you need Zillennial DE&I.

MOVING    PAST

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