Wide Open Voices is not just a company. It is also a principle; a principle that everyone has a right to speak and to be heard as their complete and fullest self.
It is a principle that acknowledges that many voices and identities are marginalised and silenced while others are privileged over them. This imbalance needs to be addressed in any work that seeks to combat exclusion and discrimination, and any approach that seeks to maximise the potential of an organisation.
Wide Open Voices takes a dialogic approach to engaging with people from C-Suite executives through middle-management to operational teams to open up spaces in which to talk about, understand, plan, and implement equitable inclusion.
Our model is rooted in sociological theory, critical enquiry, and empirical research on the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion. Wide Open Voices takes a whole organisation approach to support businesses and their leaders to not only become truly equitable and inclusive but also to effect real change in the world.
Wide Open Voices knows that for leaders, managers, and for many members of staff, it often feels difficult to talk about, plan for, and implement effective inclusion programmes.
Inclusion is a complex subject that incorporates people’s sense of self and their differing beliefs, values, and feelings. It is a subject in which emotions often run high. It is also a subject that requires strategic and operational planning, appropriate KPIs, executive coaching and staff training to be effectively achieved. The complexities involved can cause organisations to seize-up in their efforts to be inclusive.
The Wide Open Voice approach follows an empirically proven model drawn from academic research. This model begins with understanding the context and moves through planning, coaching, and training to develop leaders and staff who are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and tools to build equitably inclusive organisations in a sustainable manner.
How We Deliver the Model
The following services can be delivered independently of each other but they work best as part of a whole organisation approach.
Understand: Data and Analytics– Undertaking research with your organisation to reveal mission critical knowledge and develop equitable inclusion strategies.
Plan: Strategy Development – Drawing on our research with you and your staff, we will work with you to develop a robust inclusion strategy, including appropriate metrics and KPIs.
Support: Difficult Dialogues – ‘Safe’ but challenging 1-1 or group coaching/mentoring sessions for C-Suite Executives and Managers to support the ongoing implementation of your inclusion strategy or for the ongoing growth and development for executives to support them to achieve their inclusive leadership ambitions.
Equip: Staff Training– Programmes of four workshops designed to provide participants with the critical thinking, planning, and implementation skills that staff will apply in their day-to-day work and equip organisations to take actions to create equitably inclusive spaces and interactions
“Matt Jacobs of Wide Open Voices has made a significant contribution to Barnardo’s endeavours to become an anti-racist organisation. He set out an important context to the phenomena of Whiteness and its relationship to power and privilege. This provided a necessary focus on the need for people racialised as White to embark on their own realisations of what it means to be who they are in today’s world where power and inequality are still determined on colour lines. His presentation was honest, informative and was a great contribution to the seeds of transformation necessary to move forward on our anti-racist journey.”
Jendayi Serwah Strategic Advisor – Equality Diversity & Inclusion (Race & Faith Lead) Barnardos Wales, Southwest and Central England National Chair – Race Equality Network
“Matt has delivered a number of talks now for various training programmes and events that we have run. Each time he has provided insightful and thought-provoking explorations of Whiteness and privilege. His content is well researched and gives practical thoughts and examples as well as ideas on action that can be taken. His presentations are well structured and his level of knowledge in this area makes for challenging and important dialogue during discussion/Q&A. We have really valued Matt’s input into our staff learning and development programmes and have received positive feedback from staff who have attended. We look forward to working with Matt again in the future.”