DEI and Agile: Beyond Buzzwords Toward Transformation in Mining

This presentation has the objective to illuminate two concepts that are extremely important in mining but are at risk of becoming mere buzzwords: “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) and “Agile teams.” Most teams do not have an accurate understanding of these terms. And while the majority promote their workplace as embracing DEI and Agile methodologies, they often do not “walk the talk.” But this dichotomy makes perfect sense. How can we take appropriate actions based on certain values when we lack a mutual understanding of those values? In fact, this is one of the most common barriers we find in cultural transformation. Companies spend a great deal of time on executing solutions but neglect to devote adequate resources to building a mutual understanding of the problems and ideal state. Therefore, the outcomes are either failures or merely good learning opportunities. 

In our work in change management work, among distinct company cultures, we have confirmed two important facts about workforce trends: 

  1. The workforce and talent pool are being increasingly diverse due to globalization, mobility and technology.

  2. The workforce must continuously evolve to remain competitive and to keep up with an ever-changing, fast-paced workplace. 

We have also discovered there are a lot of commercialized misconceptions, misinformation and misunderstanding revolving around how to adapt to this diverse and ever-changing world. This presentation will focus on these two seemingly disconnected concepts ( DEI and Agility), and how they could be related. We have realized that for change management projects to proceed, those involved must understand the following key points:

  1. In order to outperform and thrive in today’s mining environment, it is essential to understand and begin to execute DEI and Agile values within yourselves and your team, although the extent of that effort may vary depending on your company's vision.

  2. The terms DEI and Agile are trending across the mining world and are frequently and increasingly misused. 

  3. There is a lot of overlap between the two concepts that can help understand both.

In this presentation, we will provide meaningful context to describe the barriers to inclusion and agility in the mining industry such as the history of management and leadership, communication technologies and the effects of addictive social media platforms. We will also offer practical steps for companies to include on their way to becoming an agile and inclusive culture and also outline the costs companies will inevitably pay for failed attempts and a lack of inclusion. In addition, we present our data on professionals’ level of awareness and attitude regarding DEI and Agility to take action and implement change. Finally, we summarize the next steps and approaches for organizations that acknowledge their responsibility to the growth and well-being of their members