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The Cost of Exclusion with IDEA - with Michael Bach
Episode 355th December 2023 • Happy Space Podcast with Clare Kumar • Clare Kumar
00:00:00 00:42:23

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Exploring the concept of I D E A in workplaces, that exclusion has a cost, and how one small change can make a world of difference and bring us closer to more inclusive businesses with IDEA Thought Leader, Michael Bach. 

You’re listening to episode 35 of the Happy Space Podcast. Today we’re exploring the idea that I D E A is a business imperative with thought leader and fellow word nerd, Michael Bach. 

Veteran advocate Michael Bach shares his insights on I D E A -  inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, and why what we call it matters less than the actions we take. Not only have we been ineffective, for example, we’ve had years of antibias training that hasn’t worked, many actions can be considered performative. Michael inspires us to take bolder steps to make a lasting difference.

Michael Bach is a nationally and internationally recognized thought leader and subject matter expert in the fields of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. He founded the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI), CCDI Consulting and Pride at Work Canada.

Prior to taking on this role, he was the national leader for diversity, equity, and inclusion for KPMG Canada. Additionally, Michael spent 2½ years as Deputy Chief Diversity Officer for KPMG International.

Most recently, in 2023, he was named as one of the 10 Most Influential DE&I Leaders Revamping The Future by CIO Views Magazine.

His 2020 book Birds of All Feathers: Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right is a Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Amazon bestseller, and recipient of the silver 2020 Nautilus Book Award in the category of Rising to the Moment, and a finalist in the Legacy Nonfiction category for the American Bookfest's Best Book Awards. His new book Alphabet Soup: The Essential Guide to LGBTQ2+ Inclusion at Work was released in March of 2022 and is a Toronto Star bestseller and finalist in the General Nonfiction category for the American Bookfest's Best Book Awards.

He lives between Toronto and Palm Springs with his husband Mike, and their two fur-babies Sasha and Pepper.


00:06:13 - The concept behind IDEA

00:14:00 Avoiding the cost of exclusion

00:18:05 How research has played a role in diversity/inclusion

00:22:00 How other businesses have been practicing inclusion

00:31:40 The rise of flexible and remote workplaces

00:33:51 Where are we now? + Land acknowledgement as a performative action

00:39:26 What action can you take now?


2007 Catalyst Census Research of Women Board Directors

Accenture - Public Accountability for Leadership diversity - 

SHRM DEI Initiatives

SHRM Inclusion 2024


Michael Bach Website


Group working at table - Canva

Women standing in group together - Canva

Michael Bach headshot - Michael Bach

Catalyst logo -

Accenture logo -

Group of diverse individuals - Canva

Pride parade street - Canva

Pride flag in front of building - Canva

Hand holding pride flag - Canva

Girl waving Pride flag, turning - Canva

Trans rights protest - Canva

Indigenous dream catchers - Canva

Indigenous woman - Canva

Pig with lips - Canva

Nick Bloom - LinkedIN

Reconciliation Stone - Clare Kumar

Birds of All Feathers - Michael Bach

Alphabet Soup - Michael Bach

Learn more about Michael Bach:

Instagram - @themichaelbach

Youtube - @TheMichaelBach

Twitter - @TheMichaelBach

LinkedIn - themichaelbach

Website -


Highly sensitive executive coach and productivity catalyst, Clare Kumar, explores the intersection of productivity and inclusivity continually asking how can we invite the richest contribution from all. She coaches individuals in sidestepping burnout and cultivating sustainable performance, and inspires leaders to design inclusive performance thereby inviting teams to reach their full potential. As a speaker, Clare mic-drops “thought balms” in keynotes and workshops, whether virtual or in-person. She invites connection through her online community committed to designing sustainable and inclusive performance, the Happy Space Pod. Why? Because everyone deserves a Happy Space.

Believing that productivity is personal, the podcast is produced in a variety of formats so you can enjoy it in the medium you prefer:

Listen to the audio right here or on your fave podcast platform.

If you prefer to  watch video, check out the episode on YouTube.

If you prefer to read, please see the transcript below.

Ready to learn more, or want to find out more about coaching with Clare or hiring her for your next engaging event? Contact Clare here.


If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a heartfelt review as this will help other listeners discover the podcast.  Please invite your colleagues, friends, and family to listen as well. Together we can design a more inclusive world where everyone can make their richest contribution.

Want to learn more about Clare and/or her guests?  Follow Clare on Instagram and Twitter

And don't forget, everyone (including YOU) deserves a Happy Space. 😊


Audio and Video Editing by: Jaclyn Enchin

Production Assistant: Luis Rodriguez

Song Credit: Cali by Wataboi from Pixabay




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