How to Establish Goals That Shift Organizational Culture

Is your organization truly inclusive?


As a speaker, entrepreneur and ambassador for nonprofit agency 99 Balloons, Harmony Hensley discusses how to set goals that will spark a shift in organizational culture. In the video, Harmony shares about her work within the nonprofit community and its goal of developing a true inclusive environment for people with disabilities. Harmony's goal-setting process includes defining measurable objectives, setting quantifiable goals, measuring stages of achievement, and ensuring that people and partners throughout the entire organization have an opportunity to contribute. 

Discover how you can use goal-setting to create a cultural shift that extends beyond your organization's borders.

My current role with 99 Balloons as an Ambassador is one that requires me to tell a story. And the story that we tell is that there are 900 million people globally living with a disability, and the vast majority of nonprofits are not doing much to reach out to this people group. Goal-setting is a big part of the inclusion process.

When I meet with leaders, they want a quick fix. They want to know what they need to do to go into the organization and immediately become inclusive. And the reality is that's not how it works. So we have to quantify what measurable, attainable goals are for inclusion in the organization. That could look very different depending on the organization you lead, so it's important that we calibrate our goals and expectations in a way that is relevant to the people group that we're working with.

For a lot of people, I have to actually define what real inclusion is because people are so unfamiliar with the world of disability and what it can look like to fully integrate people into their organization. So we start with defining some things. We want to look at, "Does inclusion mean that you have people actually serving in your organization? Is it a step further where they are on staff? Are they leading in your organization? What is it we're trying to achieve so that we can start to figure out what the first step is?"

What we do when we are brainstorming ways to make sure that we are creating inclusions that's actually measurable, that we can actually sense in the organization we're with, is we want to put some words on the board as I say. So I often will do a whiteboard exercise with groups and I ask them, "Okay, if we believe that inclusion is thriving in your organization, what does that look like? If we took a snap shot of it, what is it? Is it X number of leaders who have a disability serving this area? Is it X number of employees with a disability in this particular arm of the organization? What are those things?"

We also want to look at what kind of disabilities are we going to proactively try and create space for, because the reality is, including a person who has a physical disability versus including a person who has an intellectual disability, are very different processes and require different steps to get there.

The ultimate goal for me in inclusion is not just a specific event that people can celebrate as being inclusive, but to see a culture actually shift. So that when we go back to an organization that we partnered with say, three, five, seven years down the road, we see that the entire organization lives, and breathes, and moves differently. That when we go in, suddenly, we see that the language they're using in their communication is one that is inclusive. We start to see that the imagery they're using may be on their website, they actually have images of people who have a disability. That we start to see actual individuals we would interact with who have a disability. So let's say I go back and visit an organization I've done training for five years later, and I'm greeted by a greeter who I know has an intellectual disability. That is a win for me. That is a measurable goal that we reached.

Harmony Hensley

Harmony Hensley is a speaker, entrepreneur and board vice president of Bespoken Live. She is also an Ambassador for 99 balloons, seeking to change the story of disability globally.

As a sought-after speaker, Harmony has spoke...

Take Action

Complete the following Action Items to put the insights in this video into practice,
and share them with your team to continue your leadership growth.

Perfect your new leadership skills every day with these exclusive Leadercast exercises, available to Subscribers! Click here to become a Subscriber.

Liquid error: No such template 'platform/programs/search-modal'