Building Your Windmills: An ODLC 4-Step Guide


It is certainly windy out here! As DEI and Health Equity leaders of consequence, change is instrinsic to the work that we do. We create it, manage it, and sustain it, all of which can be complex tasks to achieve. What do you do when the uncertainty, resistance, and stress of this complicated domain bring gusts and gales of wind?

Do you limit your activity to preserve yourself and your position?

Do you avoid the conflict to protect your peace?

Do you tighten the hold on your efforts and spurn collaboration?

Do you retreat from this work altogether?

When we “build walls” in these challenging times, we run the risk of creating silos that limit our ability to achieve our mission. Without collaboration or creativity, we also minimize the impact we can have on the communities that we serve. Indeed, there is some perceived saftey in sameness and status quo, but there is more to be gained by embracing the energy created by the winds and using it as momentum forward.

So how do we break the cycle and build windmills instead?

1- Understand the current landscape…for real.

Lean into understanding the current state of affairs internally and nationally. Put on your learning lens and read the policies or the controversial bills, digging deeper than the headlines. Read the survey results, the data reports, and the vetted textbooks. Take the courses. You will find that there is actually more positive momentum and affirming evidence that supports the work that we do, and that could be just the push you need.

2- Check in with your allies.

Allies are, well, allies. Call on them for their diverse skills and perspectives that can re-energize you and provide clarity amidst the chaos. This will also keep them invested in your work and optimistic for the better future you are creating with them.

3- Do something different.

The time is ripe to tap into your inner innovator! Advances in AI, digital health, and medical device technology are taking healthcare by storm(weather pun intended). Apply your equity and inclusion expertise to these areas of innovation and see where the magic of design thinking takes you and your teams. Creating a new product, a new service, or identifying a new community to serve can generate more modern initiatives and greater results.

4- Communicate with your constituents

Communication gaps and opportunities affect even the best leaders. In this climate of change and uncertainty, many are still looking to you for your vision and a relevant, practical plan forward. Ensure that your communication is efficient, effective, and compelling (EEC) and you will create an avenue for dialogue that will keep your windmill blades turning with vigor.

Need help building your windmills?

Reach out and let us know if you need an ODLC Solution or simply some words of encouragement.

No matter what, we got you.

Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,

Dr. Erica Taylor
ODLC Founder

Written by Dr. Taylor
Founder, CEO of ODLC Practice: Duke University Subspecialty: Hand Surgery Dr. Taylor believes the unique combination of our lived experiences, passion for changing the landscape of orthopaedics, and strengths in strategic diversity leadership make the ODLC powerful and inimitable.