Inclusive Leadership & Embracing Change - in conversation with Nicola Fraser

Point of View
3 min readFeb 17, 2021


Image from Unsplash Matteo Vistocco

The phrase ‘the only constant is change’ has been used and re-used all over the world. However, its authenticity and reality have not lost their value. It’s true, the only constant is change. This statement holds true for everything in life, especially business.

If businesses do not adapt to change, they lose their competitive edge. Change needs to happen — to evolve, grow, and improve. The only way to overcome change, is to truly experience it, and embrace it.

Nikki Fraser, a navigator of profound change and Managing Partner at NextKey Services is here to share with us her views and experience with change and leadership in business.

Your past professional experiences have led you to be a solutions-oriented expert, inclusive leader and navigator of profound change. If you were to serve on a company board, how would you effectively bring forth these skills and values?

“Showing up as a leader is something you embrace and commit to daily. A quote from John Donahoe, CEO of Nike and also serves on serval corporate boards, really captures this point:

“Leadership is a journey, not a destination. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a process, not an outcome.”

“When I read this quote again recently it resonated with me. It made me think about “inclusive leadership” and the importance of curiosity, collaboration, humility, courage and creating a culture for everyone to thrive in their journey. As an inclusive leader, I am a firm believer in that fact that I can’t (and didn’t) do it by myself and the importance of recognizing others for their contributions. According to Gallup’s World Poll released in 2017, only 15% of the world’s one billion full-time workers are engaged at work. It is significantly better in the U.S., at around 30% engaged, but this still means that roughly 70% of American workers aren’t engaged. There is a significant opportunity to create more engagement through driving the culture to be more inclusive.

“Organizations across the globe are facing extreme changes (some for the good and some to survive) as they face the reality of the pandemic and social injustice. I have a simple view towards navigating change. One must embrace change, not fight it. Using it as an opportunity to strive toward the greater good — that’s what should be done. Inclusive leaders, in and out of the boardroom, need to be more curious, embrace others with different opinions and create a culture where everyone has a voice without fear of retribution.

“Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” ~ Stephen R. Covey

“Embracing unique views and differences is a step towards creating an inclusive culture. As the board focuses on governance matters, they should do so from an inclusive perspective as they assess the changes in strategy and monitor critical risks to ensure alignment. These conversations can be challenging when there is diversity of thought in the boardroom but by being inclusive it will create an open and authentic environment for all its members. This will help drive better answers for the business.”

It’s nice how you tied that all together. Thanks, Nikki.

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Point of View

A point of view is the angle of considering things. It’s a platform for people with a vision and a story to tell.