Learn, Act, and Celebrate (LACE) Framework
for Boosting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
in Organisations and Teams
Whether it is for social responsibility or bottom-line reasons, most organisations are looking to become more diverse and inclusive. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion cannot be achieved through a project or programme; it is an organisational culture change issue. But, like all organisational culture changes, it is not easy. Most organisations are built on a system that has been historically biased and are staffed and led by people who come from that system. Thus, through no fault of their own, most employees and leaders struggle to truly understand the lived experiences of black, brown, LGBTQ, disabled, ethnic minority or other underrepresented people. That makes is difficult to turn diversity and inclusion initiatives into meaningful and lasting cultural change. The LACE framework is an effective participatory tool for driving such change within organisations or teams by connecting and involving everyone in learning about, taking meaningful action on, and celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The LACE Framework
In an organisation, diversity, equity, and inclusion is and should be everyone’s responsibility. The LACE Framework and the more detailed Five-Grid Matrix which expands it, maximises participation in diversity, equity, and inclusion to include everyone in the organisation. The framework is based on the three fundamental elements of diversity, equity, and inclusion work: Learning, Action, and Celebration. The Five-Grid Matrix splits these elements further into five categories.
The three fundamental elements – Learning, Action, and Celebration - form the bedrock foundation on which Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion must be built for a thriving organisation. The fundamentals must form complete feedback loop with each element informing and feeding the other in an iterative way.
The LACE framework is not linear or chronological. Depending on the maturity of the organisation or team on DEI, all the elements of the framework can be implemented simultaneously. But for organisations at the beginning of their diversity, equity, and inclusion journey; it makes sense to initially implement the elements in a more or less linear way, starting with learning, then action, followed by celebration.
A linear approach as suggested here does not mean you only address one element at a time. In your planning and brainstorming sessions, you must consider everything you could do under each element or category on the grid. After that, you can put more emphasis on the relevant element(s) – for example focusing more on learning activities by looking at data and information and shared living experiences during the early stages to give the work forward momentum.
The Five-Grid Matrix
The Five-Grid Matrix goes into more detail about what needs to happen for each element on the framework. The Matrix breaks two elements – Learning and Action – into four sub-categories, two for each element. These categories are essential to the successful implementation of the LACE Framework. Thus, the GRID is the prescribed way for implementing the LACE framework.