Have you ever had a good idea? Well, of course, you have. So the question is, “what did you do with your good idea, and could your idea be the next great idea?” For example, I recently watched one of my favorite television shows when a commercial caught my eye. As I watched the commercial, I thought, what a great idea!

Well, one of my husband’s favorite television shows is Shark Tank. The show is a business-themed show where entrepreneurs present their good ideas to “The Sharks.”

Who are the Sharks? They are a group of self-made multimillionaire and billionaire tycoons. Each Shark has a reputation for being challenging and demanding, with a sharp eye for identifying the next great idea.

The Sharks’ goal is to find the next great idea. During the show, the Sharks pepper the entrepreneurs with tough questions. Then, based on the entrepreneurs’ responses, the Sharks decide if they will invest in the entrepreneur’s company or not.

The entrepreneur’s goal is to convince The Sharks to invest in their company. Now I have to be honest, I have not watched many episodes, but when I do watch, I wonder, “why would anyone put themselves through this experience?”

So why do they do it? Because they believe their good idea can become a great idea with the right people at the table.

When The Sharks invest in an entrepreneur’s company, not only do they bring their expertise and experience to the table, they also bring a team of experts with them. By including a Shark, the entrepreneurs infuse a wealth of knowledge and expertise into their company, significantly increasing their probability of success.

Now, I have a question for you. As the leader, how can you find the next great idea to maximize your organization’s success?

Start by making sure you are hearing everyone’s ideas! From leading organizations and watching Shark Tank, I have learned that you never know who will have a good idea that can become a great idea.

“A diverse and inclusive workforce offers an advantage to the bottom line for a business.”

-Vicki Brackett

So, one might ask, “what does Shark Tank have to do with inclusion?” Well, let’s start by defining inclusion.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines inclusion as the act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability).

In simple terms, inclusion asks: Have everyone’s ideas been heard?

How can you ensure you hear from different voices? Create an inclusive environment! Why is inclusion important? Because it will open the door for individuals who have historically been excluded from being at the table.

Now please don’t confuse diversity and inclusion. Diversity asks who is in the room. However, inclusion asks, have everyone’s ideas been heard? Therefore you can have a diverse workforce but not an inclusive environment.

Why is it essential to hear ideas from everyone? Because by cultivating an environment of inclusion, your organization will benefit.

Everyone has a unique perspective based on their lived experience. So when we bring different perspectives together, we can make a good idea great. When we bring other people to the table and listen to their ideas, we can create our own “Shark Tank” of success.

Are you cultivating an inclusive environment?


Want to be more inclusive by increasing your cultural competence? Click HERE to learn how!

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  • Great article, Kim. Making the point of the difference between inclusion and diversity was outstanding. Take care, Pat

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    About the author

    I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.