founder of naked leader
Time to Read: 1 minute 10 seconds
If Life Deals You Lemons…
“I would tell myself, “If life deals you lemons, Steph…. get out there and make lemonade”!
STEPH CUTLER hasn’t let unexpected sight loss in 2003 get in the way of her vision for a successful future.
A business leader, life coach, motivational speaker and personal and professional development trainer, she spends her time helping businesses with an expertise in the field of disability. She was recently offered a chance to become a Clore Social Leadership fellow.
Since starting her business Making Lemonade (new website http://www.making-lemonade.co.uk ). impact and action are her bywords.
Author of a book entitled Living With More Vision and Less Sight, Steph reaches out to help others in the subjects of diversity and inclusion (D&I).
One of her tips is to start by exploring what people in the workplace feel about D&I without necessarily calling it that. “Some organisations can find themselves experiencing D&I fatigue and if it’s only ever talked about in isolation it feels like another commitment, which people feel they don’t have time for”.
After understanding how people feel about D&I and how they want to see the conversation move forward she then uses the input of employees to feed into practical measures.
Steph says, “Inclusion is about cultural change, engagement and trust. It’s about authenticity, building an environment where people feel comfortable contributing their true self. Where your people feel safe and respected. These are all leadership issues. Ultimately, recognising everyone’s unique contribution and understanding differences contribute to better outcomes which all businesses aspire to.
“My inclusive approach mirrors what I’m talking about so it is values driven and authentic. It also gets results. I am clear that inclusion is not easy to measure and that organisations need to think creatively and with flexibility around measuring and evaluating inclusion. Diversity is relatively easy to monitor but inclusion is harder. Measurements may be less sharp than we’d like, but there are ways such as using staff engagement surveys to capture improvements and track how included people feel.”
Steph combines this approach with her knowledge of best practice and the latest thought leadership when working with businesses.
“I am confident this approach delivers successful outcomes as the people it involves are kept at the heart of the process.”
A practical example was when Steph was asked by Public Health England to design a ‘reasonable adjustment passport’ for their disabled staff.
“They backed my reframing of the brief: supported me to speak to a wide range of staff who were affected by the process of requesting and recording workplace adjustments,” she says. “Their courage was rewarded with a tailor-made outcome, based on the insights of their staff, which fed into existing practices.”
PHE’s Human Resources Director, Lauren Toure, had worked with Steph before and enthuses: “Steph did an exceptional job in uncovering the target audiences and identifying suitable sources of knowledge and constructing a consultation process that sought to uncap key information for informing the project plan.
“Her comprehensive knowledge and refreshingly honest, open and trustworthy style of working with staff meant she produced a report which made recommendations to my project group which were not only well informed and compelling but were fully viable. We are piloting the recommendations ahead of schedule”.
Steph’s methods are aligned with Naked Leader’s approach, “wrap your organisation around your people”.
Adding value to clients by turning a negative in her life into a huge positive, she is a true visionary in so many ways.
With my love and best wishes to you all.