Managing Complexity in Diverse Organizations for Industry Partners

DEIA and the future of leadership

As the world becomes increasingly complex, organizations that harness the power of diversity will excel. A diverse workforce provides the broader range of perspectives essential for responding to and leading through organizational change, as well as meeting the needs and expectations of top stakeholders. 

According to a 2020 survey, more than 3 in 4 employees and job applicants in the United States expressed that diversity within the workplace is a critical factor when evaluating companies and job offers. The focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) principles in the workplace is now an imperative for current and emerging leaders here and in countries around the world. It’s also much harder than it looks to put into practice. 

Effective global leaders advocate for DEIA, demonstrating both high levels of emotional intelligence and fluency in the tactics and technologies that can scale and sustain truly inclusive and equitable environments. The highest performing organizations are able to bring together people who are very different from one another, but have the skills and mindset needed to work together harmoniously. They embed DEIA values in their systems and communicate in ways that earn the trust of their stakeholders. 

However, few leaders have the opportunity to learn these additional capabilities beyond occasional workshops. Gaining the self-awareness and interpersonal skills needed to overcome implicit biases, develop cognitive empathy, and navigate difficult and stressful DEIA situations requires focused, professional skills development in a safe space with peers. 

As a leading school of communication, USC Annenberg has taken on this challenge with its new graduate and professional learning program, Managing Complexity in Diverse Organizations, that guides learners through the latest applied research and equips them with applied skills and tools — so that they may have an outsized impact on the organizations they join and lead. 

For more information about MCDO, please contact us at