3 Ways Inclusive Leadership Will Make Diversity Less Exhausting And More Irrelevant

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The latest chapters in the healthcare debate and the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have made me realize one thing: For something I care deeply about – America’s population health in business and in life – has become a topic I am tired of hearing about. The endless posturing from both sides. The relentless media discussion and spin. The chaos the White House has caused as it tweets and tests different positions. Even the well meaning debates from the most informed and caring of our representatives in Congress. It’s just exhausting.

And in some senses it should be. Everyone but our President (before he took office) knew it was going to be difficult and hard work to repeal, replace, or repair the ACA. It is less than a decade old, but it has become more and more entrenched – and thus harder and harder without real commitment and risk that breaks free from party lines and existing templates to bring all populations from all sides into the discussion. That requires hard work, collaboration, and courage – not to mention diversity of thought – to achieve. That’s the kind of exhaustion that leads to real sustainable change.

Does anyone right now think we are going to get that change? Maybe the universal outpouring of support for Senator John McCain will bring people together around the table, but I doubt it. Unless they do, the ACA will either be repealed, limp along without the fixes it needs to thrive, or replaced with something the other side seeks to replace when the balance of power shifts back. One thing is for sure: our population’s health won’t get any better in any of these scenarios.

That’s what’s exhausting: The endless discussions that lead to solutions that never improve the problem that must be solved. Our government is a platform of exhaustion – and every day refuses to care and share with and about others who are not like-minded.

I’m tired of talking about diversity in the workplace for the exact same reason: it’s exhausting because progress is slow and there are few real solutions being implemented.

After decades of following versions of the same often well-meaning templates for diversity and inclusion, we have to admit we have failed. We need to get beyond diversity. And the only way…