Many organizational assessments become a catalog of problems, rarely empowering the organization. The Cook Ross approach, instead, seeks to heighten awareness and indicate areas where meaningful change and transformation are within reach.

A key lens for our analysis is Unconscious Bias, which refers to the automatic associations of stereotypes or attitudes people hold about groups different from themselves. Unconscious Bias is subtle, yet powerful. The goal is not to eliminate Unconscious Bias, since this is rarely possible, but rather to incorporate an understanding of Unconscious Bias that fosters an environment in which each employee feels a sense of belonging and empowerment.

In addition to identifying barriers to engagement and inclusion, Cook Ross conducts assessments from the perspective of appreciative inquiry and positive psychology, both of which identify areas of great potential as places for future progress.

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Many organizational assessments become a catalog of problems, rarely empowering the organization.  The Cook Ross approach, instead, seeks to heighten awareness and indicate areas where meaningful change and transformation are within reach.

Cook Ross does not use a “one-size-fits-all” approach; rather, each assessment is tailored to the client’s current needs, size, and other relevant factors.  Our assessments are designed to engage a representative sample of the organization with a focus on ensuring the voices of key leaders are present.  Among the methods we use are:

Review of Existing Data:  Cook Ross partners with our clients to maximize the use of existing data. Often, rich insights are available in a review of previous engagement and climate surveys. We recommend considering data from multiple angles and aim to go beyond the traditional data found on diversity and inclusion scorecards.  In addition to employee engagement survey data, comments, and review of existing diversity and inclusion scorecards, other types of data we typically examine include workforce demographics and data related to talent attraction, retention, management, and performance.  This analysis then informs the development of a survey and questions for interviews and focus groups.

Surveys:  Surveys are broadly inclusive and allow for nearly everyone in an organization to provide input.  Our decades of experience have led to the development of insightful survey questions that provide insight into an organization, allowing us to develop short surveys that generally take a respondent approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.  The survey data provides a broad baseline for the assessment analysis.

Interviews and Focus Groups:  While surveys allow for broad input from across the organization, interviews and focus groups provide in-depth conversation on a protocol of topics developed in close consultation with our clients. Cook Ross works closely with our partner organizations to select the most appropriate individuals for participation in interviews and focus groups. By selecting participants from a broad range of backgrounds, roles, and viewpoints, Cook Ross can collect a comprehensive and representative set of data points that are applied to move the organization forward.

Review of Recruiting/Hiring Practices:  Cook Ross has extensive experience working with corporations to review recruiting and hiring practices to identify gaps that exist within their structure and analyze the role of Unconscious Bias in such systems and processes. We review the sources the organization uses to recruit talent and the process of interviewing, assessing and hiring.  These practices are at the core of identifying and engaging employees that reflect the diversity of the marketplace, bringing strengths and skills that might otherwise go unrecognized.

Network Mapping & Analysis: Network mapping and analysis is a collection of tools and techniques used to look at social (or informal) relationships through the lens of network theory. These relationships, which are largely invisible, are critical to individuals, teams, and organizations, as they are generally the principal portal for the movement of ideas, information, influence, and trust throughout an organization. Like an x-ray image of a person, a network map provides unique information about a group of people and ways in which they are connected. Network analysis is done through a quick and unobtrusive survey of 5 questions.

Communications and Context: Employees in the organization will rightly want to know why this work is being undertaken. Cook Ross partners with our clients to present the assessment in a context that aligns with the larger goals of the organization and is meaningful to employees.

Meaningful Presentation of Findings: Presentation of assessment results is a crucial step that is often overlooked.  Rather than overwhelm our clients with data, Cook Ross provides a report that is empowering, not debilitating.  We present our findings in a smart, focused approach highlighting clear, actionable steps informed by the assessment findings.  The action steps respond to the challenges identified and indicate how the organization can build on positive areas already at work in the organization.