What Is Criticality?

Criticality is a knowledge-based process of critical inquiry – asking questions and finding solutions – in development of a long-term strategy to leverage workforce diversity. Criticality is also change management framework based on Critical Knowledge and Critical Action that result in systemic change.

We pioneered our applied method of Criticality based on a decade-long effort to address a problem of enacting enterprise-wide diversity strategy. Criticality approaches diversity strategy through a process of integrated segmentation, which recognizes that organizations today are so complex that there is no “one-size-fits-all” way to achieve optimal diversity. Indeed, senior managers and administrative staff think differently about and have different responsibilities in carrying out organizational diversity efforts. Criticality Change Management focuses on the thought processes and behavioral patterns that lead to profound changes in organizational understanding and behavior.

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A premise of Criticality is that to produce sustainable change, there must be a fundamental change of approach in thinking about diversity’s problems and possibilities. Criticality is unique in that it creates a powerful, positive dynamic in diversity management in its requirement for organizational self-knowledge. It spurs a rethinking of accepted organizational truths, behaviors and results by the people charged with guiding them that give diversity context and long-term value.

Criticality consists of a three-part construct: Critical Knowledge, Critical Action and Critical Being.

  • Critical Knowledge is the product of an examined and reconstituted awareness of organizational realities and possibilities.
  • Critical Action is the application of Critical Knowledge to organizational problems and possibilities to impact results.
  • Critical Being is a state in which Criticality is sustained – organizational self-examination and modification become fundamental to organizational character.

Criticality results in organizations developing an internal capacity to continually enlarge and refine their performance through diversity management.