Three signs your company has a culture problem Lead Inclusively

Three Signs Your Company has a Culture Problem

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These days, company culture is more important than ever. It is instrumental in differentiating one company from another and bridging the gap between the c-suite to the entry-level. While most C-level executives recognize the importance of strong company culture, only 28% of executives believe they understand their company culture, and only 12% of executives believe their companies are driving the right culture. Here are three signs your company has a culture problem. 

                         

Team members are under-performing. 

Assuming that organizations are hiring qualified employees, a case of underperforming staff is an opportunity for leadership to better understand potential flaws in an organizations culture. Statistics show that lagging productivity is often tied to employee engagement, which results from a number of culture challenges. Failing to address the underlying factors at play can contribute to compounding issues in performance and culture alike. 

Leadership is not living up to organizational standards, value, or brand.

72% of employees are highly engaged in organizations with effective leadership. Leaders in a weak culture commonly don’t adhere toand often don’t even know, their organization’s values and leadership standards. This scenario can result in severe ramifications. Poor leadership can have a rapid trickle-down effect through an entire organization. It can erode talent and culture alike. Weak culture and weak leadership handicap an organizations ability to attract, retain and advance top talent, ultimately hindering its performance and growth.

Employee engagement is a lagging.

Employee engagement is a barometer of culture. 86% of employees in strong cultures feel their senior leadership listens to their employees. Employees that feel included and empowered are more invested, passionate and satisfied, which also reflects in innovation and output (link to leadership that unlocks innovation). Inclusive leadership is the foundation of a strong organizational culture and the primary force that upholds it over time.Lead Inclusively Inc.What are some other common leadership shortcomings that can damage organizational culture, employee engagement, and overall performance?  

Culture is extremely complex, but also absolutely instrumental in changing the way your talent, and teams perform over time. Join a more in-depth discussion on how inclusive leadership can be THE catalyst for a healthy organizational culture that drives employee engagement, retention, advancement, and team performance at this upcoming webinar 

 You can also share your D&I experiences and challenges with other professionals and receive expert insights in a more personal setting during this upcoming Open D&I Roundtable Q&A.

How Inclusion Can Drive an Innovation Culture in Your Company

How Inclusion Can Drive an Innovation Culture in Your Company

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In the modern world, impactful and prolific innovation is increasingly critical to company success. Some companies are learning that lack of diversity and inclusion in their ranks is inhibiting innovation. You’ve surely seen the headlines and statistics around the lack of diversity and inclusion in tech. For a shocking, real-world example of the result, check out the “racist paper towel dispenser” that was clearly an end-product of a team that lacked internal diversity and interest in the marketplace they intended to serve.

On the other side of the coin, there are also companies discovering that one benefit of becoming more inclusive organizationally is a corresponding improvement in the ability to quickly leverage the diverse perspectives and experiences of each member of the workforce to innovate new products and user experiences. Ultimately, a high-trust environment with significant diversity can develop quickly into a culture of meaningful innovation. An innovation culture is one in which employees feel that their company places a high value on the contribution of diverse ideas from everyone without placing blame on ideas that fail. Instead, all ideas are encouraged and employees are empowered to test those ideas in an atmosphere of experimentation and learning agility. Empowering employees to be experimental without fear of failure fosters even more employee engagement and organizational success.

So why does innovation matter? What are the opportunities that Diversity and Inclusion present? And what are some approaches your organizations can get started on?

Before you continue reading, feel free to sign up for our upcoming open office hours or our Lead Inclusively webinar where we will share a very detailed discussion on the topics of inclusive leadership, and practices that best harness team innovation.

How Inclusion Can Drive an Innovation Culture in Your Company

Why it matters

The need to innovate is higher than ever.

According to one study, 84% of executives say that innovation is important to their growth strategy. Industries, technologies, and economies are changing at exponential rates, making a company’s ability to innovate more important than ever. Workplaces that are both diverse and inclusive are associated with higher individual performance because employees are better able to innovate (+83%) and maintain engagement.

Non-inclusive companies produce less innovation

As mentioned in the 2017 PwC Innovation Benchmark, 54% of innovating organizations have trouble bridging the gap between innovation strategy and overall business strategy. Innovation occurs more readily in organizations and teams where everyone feels safe enough to share their ideas and debate the merits of ideas without feeling fear that there will be negative consequences for doing so.

Companies that do not innovate become irrelevant

In today’s world, companies must accept industry disruption as a given. In fact, according to a recent survey, 80% of executives think their current business models are at risk to be disrupted. Companies that failed to innovate include former monoliths of industry such as Blockbuster, which failed to innovate when Netflix came on the scene and was rendered irrelevant within four years of Netflix launching its streaming services.

The opportunity

Inclusive Behaviors Maximize Innovation.

Employees at companies with inclusive leadership are more likely than employees at non-diverse companies to take risks, challenge the status quo, and embrace a diverse array of inputs. They are also 75% more likely to see their ideas move through the product pipeline and make it to the marketplace. This means that a company’s ability to embrace inclusive leadership translates to its business results and can drive the level of innovative thought that leads to successful market disruption.

Inclusive companies are more innovative and reach more new markets.

One inclusive behavior is allowing teams a safe space to respectfully debate one another’s ideas. A recent Berkeley study found that teams that debate the merits of one another’s ideas (instead of brainstorming more collaboratively) come up with 25% more ideas. Additional research from the Boston Consulting Group found that Diverse and Inclusive companies were able to increase market share 15% more and capture new markets 20% more than the non-diverse workplaces.

Diversity drives increased revenue.

Companies that are more diverse than average have generated 38% more of their revenue from innovative products and services, compared to companies that are less diverse. These numbers demonstrate that bottom line dollars are on the table when innovation and inclusion are successfully embedded into the organization’s processes.

From intrapreneur programs to innovation labs, you can check out page 21 of our new whitepaper to see what some companies are already doing to meet the increasing demand for team innovation.

Inclusive Leadership - Lead Inclusively

Two Leadership Secrets for Fostering Innovation

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Leadership that fosters inclusion and innovation in the workplace

Good organizational leadership can be difficult to achieve. We all have so much going on that the ‘Inclusive Leadership Best Practices’ manual isn’t always top of mind. With that said, many leaders have developed habits in management and communication that over time can alienate team members and corrode their team culture.  

Here are some two rarely-practiced ways that leaders can actively avoid negative management habits and leverage Inclusive Leadership in a way that empowers team members, harnesses collective team capital and boosts innovation. 

Express genuine appreciation for all ideas. 

Innovation thrives in an environment where team members are able to contribute diverse ideas freely, without feeling ego or fear about the outcome. Despite the best of intentions, many leaders tend to express appreciation only for ideas that they perceive as having a high value. This tendency can actually cause team members to feel pressure about having the “right” idea before bringing it to the table, which can slow the innovative processAs a leader, remember that every idea contributed by a team member is an opportunity to encourage future ideas. Even if the idea presented isn’t one that will work, your first response should be, “Thank you for that idea, I appreciate you thinking out of the box. Keep that up.” In other words, place value on the person, rather than the idea, and make team members feel positively about bringing future thoughts to the table. Not acknowledging the thought, effort, or excitement of a team member risks alienating them, discouraging them from sharing future ideas, and thus squandering future potential opportunities. Simply acknowledging the effort, expressing excitement for the idea, and transparently explaining potential barriers and next steps can go a long way. 

Never forget about the quieter voices. 

Eliciting participation from the quieter voices on a team makes those individuals feel more comfortable and engaged. Over time, this feeling empowers them to actively ideate and openly approach leadership with future ideas. Beyond shy or introverted team members, in many workplaces being the ‘only’ (i.e. only woman, racial minority, LGBTQ etc.on the team can also make some people feel less invited to actively engage and share ideas. Leaders that effectively notice and actively elicit the quieter voices, when the proper opportunities arise, are more likely to bring out the potential for innovation on their teams.  

What do you think?  

Can you recall a specific experience when you as a leader were able to leverage inclusion to encourage innovation on your team? Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of a particularly inclusive leader’s encouragement (or perhaps you’ve experienced the opposite!) Share your experiences in the comments below. We would love to hear your thoughts.


See page 21 of our new whitepaper for further insight. 

Share an in-depth conversation with a global expert, Denise Hummel, and other professionals in the space during our upcoming open office hours.


 

Stats to support california mandate for women on boards

3 Reasons Women Shouldn’t Apologize for the New Wave of Legislated Inclusion

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Six months have passed since Governor Jerry Brown signed California Senate Bill 826 into law. As you likely have heardthis law mandates all publicly held companies in the state of California (where I am proud and fortunate to reside) to have at least one woman on their Board of Directors by the end of 2019.

Allow me to provide some history and stats behind the California mandate for women on boards

This new step toward workplace gender parity has a particularly relevant and personal significance to me. Depending on the public perception of this new law, I stand to either gain or lose by this legislationAs an accomplished female entrepreneur, litigator and corporate partner, now currently the Founder and CEO of a technology-enabled Diversity and Inclusion consultancy, I have a few things to say about the public discourse and debate of this issue 

This law is hardly the first of its kind. As a former employment law litigatorI vividly recall a similar debate surrounding Affirmative Action: a saga that, for the sake of brevity, essentially established the unconstitutionality of formally legislating ‘anti-discrimination’. Detractors had plenty to say: How could the government possibly force a race or gender filter on objective processes like job applications and college admissions criteria? How could that be fair or equitable? Isn’t it just reverse discrimination? And what about complacency? Surely mandated diversity will eliminate any incentive for underrepresented minorities to strive for excellence if they could use this criterion to gain an “unfair” advantage!  

We are hearing similar lines of reasoning surrounding CA SB826. In hopes of spurring healthy, respectful conversation, I’m adding my voice to the mix to share three compelling reasons we don’t need to apologize for “legislated inclusion.”  

We are responding to a history of legislated exclusion 

Like many women who have been forced to advocate for themselves their entire life, I feel I sometimes sound like a broken record. However, I strongly believe this discussion begins with knowledge of the extended history of “legislated discrimination before we can discuss the idea of “legislated anti-discrimination. 

So first, lets acknowledge the fact that we have been plagued by legislated discrimination in this country for decades.  For example, by law, women could not own property until 1900, did not possess the right to vote until 1920, and did not have the right to independently own a credit card till 1970Legislated discrimination has also plagued African Americans.   

We must also be reminded that although slavery was abolished in this country in 1865, women who birthed a mixed-race child faced imprisonment in Maryland until 1955. Schools that hosted black and white students in Virginia faced immediate closure until 958and Arkansas law required designated whites-only sections in all school buses in 1959. Generally, the Jim Crow era actively suppressed black advocacy and rights and upheld separate but equal doctrine well into the late sixties. All the above laws, terrorized and plagued millions for centuries.  

As Simone de Beauvoir said in 1949, “The relation of woman to husband, of daughter to father, of sister to brother, is a relation of [slavery].” So, women of color face the double-barreled challenge of surmounting a history of legislated exclusion on two fronts. 

The stats don’t lie; inequality in the workplace still exists and isn’t getting better 

The simple argument I espouse is that in a country with a history of legislated discrimination, we need legislated inclusion to accelerate the leveling of the playing field. The World Economic Forum indicates that at the current rate, we won’t achieve global gender parity in the workplace until 2100. In fact, the World Economic Forum even pushed back its timeline between 2016 and 2017 indicating that progress is slowing, and even regressing, in some places. Globally, some 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice in jobs as men, face higher unemployment, lower pay, and more threat to their job status and personal safety according to the UN. 

In the US today, despite the fact that women comprise 57% of college graduates, we only comprise 31% of entry-level hires, and by the time we reach the C-Suite, women make up less than 20% of the workforce. For women of color, that number is less than 6% and only 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women—all are rates that have remained consistent for several yearsThe percentage of women in STEM (despite continued efforts) has also remained at around 20% for the past 19 years.

History and Stats Behind the California Mandate for Women on Boards  

In workplace culture, women are excluded from key opportunity and deprived of important relationships that are instrumental to professional development and career advancement. Men are 46% more likely to have a higher-ranking advocate in the office, more likely to receive a raise, promotion, and job. Women more often have to provide evidence of their competenceFinally, women, many times find themselves excluded from stretch assignment and are many times the only woman on a given team or in a workplace. All the above factors continue to contribute to the exclusion and our collective inability to move towards workplace gender parity.   

Those who argue that our society is changing, and the market is indeed naturally working in favor of equality must face the harsh reality that this is, in fact, not significantly the case and the need for formal Diversity and Inclusion initiatives is a necessity.  

Legislated inclusion benefits all of us 

I think what scares some is the premise that advancing one person must surely be to the detriment of another personThis perspective ignores the fact that gender is being used as an additional selection criteria, not as a criteria that substitute for competence. There are thousands of qualified female board members and the more parity at board and senior leadership levelsthe healthier our organizations 

Inclusion (and subsequent legislation) is the practice of fostering the necessary environment that transforms culture. McKinsey research shows that the most gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely to outperform their peers. The more inclusion, the more employee engagement, leadership development, talent development, and innovation in our largest organizations. That is ROI that cannot be ignored or squandered 

Because we are overcoming a history of legislated exclusion, because inequity in the workplace is not improving quickly enough, and because the most diverse, inclusive organizations produce the greatest business results, I am unequivocally unapologetic about this new law. In fact, I am inspired and driven by the opportunities it stands to present for qualified female board candidates 

When signing SB-826 into law, Governor Brown acknowledged his skepticism as to whether this new law would prevail if tested in court but highlighted its importance in sending a message that we cannot patiently stand by and “hope” that gender parity will reach us by the next century 


About the author, Denise Hummel

Connect with me on your Diversity and Inclusion experiences and share your thought-leadership at my upcoming open Office Hours

What do YOU think? I would like to use this article as an opportunity to engage in dialog. My opinion is just one of many and discussing controversial issues in diversity and inclusion in an open and thoughtful manner is indeed the most effective way we will move the needle towards gender and racial parity together.

If you have more interest in this matter and some of the work we are doing in the field of Diversity and Inclusion, I encourage you all to see our Lead Inclusively Whitepaper.

Bibliography:

https://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/timeline/jimcrow.htm 
https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters 
https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/gender-equality/women-in-the-workplace-2018  
https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2017-01-20/timeline-the-womens-rights-movement-in-the-us 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_women%27s_legal_rights_(other_than_voting)  
https://hbr.org/2018/09/dont-underestimate-the-power-of-women-supporting-each-other-at-work  
http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2017.pdf 
Marshall Goldsmith Endorses a World Leader in Diversity and Inclusion

Marshall Goldsmith Endorses a World Leader of Diversity and Inclusion

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Marshall Goldsmith Endorses a World Leader of Diversity & Inclusion

A self-reflection inspired by a humbling endorsement, By, our Founder and CEO, Denise Hummel.

In Ixtapa Mexico, I had the opportunity to sit down with a colleague and mentor, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling author, and the nations #1 Executive CoachMy relationship with Marshall started with one of his famous walks, years ago, having been introduced to him by Garry Ridge, a client and the CEO of WD-40. I was in the midst of selling my cross-cultural business and suffering from extreme anxiety as I labored over the decision.  Garry told me, “you need to meet Marshall.” That walk changed my life as he coached me to lead with balanced generosity rather than fear; a decision that accelerated my growing career exponentially. Years later, after knowing Marshall for many years, he named me to his 100 Coaches program, his legacy team of coaches throughout the world. As a result, the oneonone talks have expanded to benefitting from 99 others in a group that I can only describe as a brain-trust. My gratitude for having Marshall and the MG100s in my life is experienced every day. 

It was in Ixtapa that Marshall endorsed me as the World Leader of Diversity & Inclusion. This from a man who has inspired millions with his leadership and coaching (many among whom are some of the most influential people in the world). The moment was humbling, gratifyinginspiring and unsurprisingly “Marshall. His generosity in utilizing his gravitas to propel that of the next generation is one of the hallmarks of his brand.  When I look back on that first walk, I experience a contrast and mixture of emotions that I can only describe as “Coming Full Circle” and it has given me the impetus to reflect and share my story — where I have come from, where I am now, but most importantly how far we have all come in our collective awareness and application of Diversity and Inclusion, and how much further we can go. 

SEE THE FULL DISCUSSION WITH MARSHALL GOLDSMITH

Like many, life for me has been a series of chapters, marked by a thread or theme. For me, the theme is a fascination with how to connect individual differences in the workplace, while preserving the individual uniqueness and gifts of each person. There was the chapter in my life where I leveraged my law degree to advocate for the disabled, litigating and winning the first class-action under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).  There was a chapter where I rejected litigation as being part of the “problem,” rather than the “solution” of empowering diverse peopleconvinced that using my law degree, instead, in international Mergers & Acquisitions was a way to bridge cross-cultural differences and ultimately built a cross-cultural firm that I sold to Ernst & Young.  There was a chapter where I led Culture, Inclusion, and Innovation for EY and was able to truly understand the needs of an enterprise when it came to the ability to recruit, retain and advance diverse employees.  Each of these chapters had additional complexities, and like many women, I was also trying to raise children, and in my case, doing so alone. The tumultuous nature of these stages of my career and life have culminated in my transition to the latest most exciting chapter through two key realizations.  

The first realization was that above everything else, I was not an attorney, I was not a senior leader in enterprise, I was an entrepreneur – someone who was gifted at translating ideation and hypotheses to action with a willingness to fail if necessary, in order to succeed.  Someone who was impatient and intolerant of artificial barriers to innovation.  Someone who could take the lessons of decades and turn them into “next practices,” rather than relying on historic “best practices” that simply have not worked.    

My second realization is that I never quite felt that I belonged when I sold my small, thriving business to a large enterprise consultancy, despite the enormous resources there that could have catapulted the intellectual property I was developing.  I felt compelled to move on, once again, to entrepreneurship, starting over with limited resources, once again, rather than utilize my talents in the context of a large, highly successful organization.  Lucky for me,  this transition has taken me to the most exciting and impactful chapter of my life and career to date, but “unlucky” that my talents couldn’t thrive in an institution that had the power to be a dynamic petri dish, incubating thought-leadership relative to D&I that is transforming organizations and likely will transform our entire working society. 

This transition helped me to realize that my experience is pervasive in American and global corporate culture. How many millions of talented professionals like me might be missing out on opportunities because they didn’t fit a rigid, narrow corporate cultural lens? How many opportunities are corporations missing out on by not properly harnessing this talent due to a simple ‘fit’ issue? And how much quicker and more innovatively could society move forward with the ability to transform to an inclusion culture, effectively and sustainably. 

It was for these reasons that I evolved my current firm, Lead Inclusively, Inc., from a niche D&I consulting firm, filled with management consultants, passionate about the impact inclusion can have on the bottom line, to a technology firm leveraging technology and AI to promote inclusive behaviors in a way that has been previously impossible. 

More about the Marshall Goldsmith Leadership Consulting Group

Download the Lead Inclusively White Paper

I am humbled by the accolades that Marshall has given me and hope to live up to his vision of me, but mostly, I am excited to be a part of this unique moment in time, where we can admit that the way we have approached D&I in the past has not worked, that transforming organizational cultures to a culture of inclusion in the future, and that embracing technology to do that supports the majority of leaders who really want to “Lead Inclusively” but have never had the opportunity to see and feel what inclusive leadership looks like, how to apply it and be supported in their journey.  Thank you, Marshall, for supporting this dream through your gravitas.  Thank you to our clients who believe in what we are trying to accomplish.  Thank you to all of you who read this blog to the end.   

 

Scott Osman, CEO of Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches Talks Diversity & Inclusion

Interview with Scott Osman, CEO of the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches

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Our Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Denise Hummel was interviewed by Scott Osman, CEO of Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches, the mentorship legacy program of world-renowned executive coach, Marshall Goldsmith. In the interview, Ms. Hummel and Mr. Osman discussed the evolving role of Diversity & Inclusion in workplaces across the globe, and the emergence of tech as a viable tool that can be used to leverage Diversity & Inclusion as a driver of sustained culture transformation and improved business results. Scroll down to read a more in-depth summary of the interview, or simply press play below to listen to the whole interview!

 

 

The podcast begins with Ms. Hummel sharing her journey from top Civil Rights Attorney in the state of New York to serial entrepreneur, and now a leading expert/thought leader on matters of Diversity & Inclusion. Denise shares her perspective on the current and future state of Diversity & Inclusion and the necessity to move current D&I training beyond the initial awareness stage (e.g. unconscious bias training), and take effective measures to ensure D&I professionals are delivering learning that creates sustainable inclusive culture change within top organizations and ultimately our entire workplace culture as a whole.

The interview transitions to some of the unique work Lead Inclusively is doing to help companies leverage D&I as a driver of business performance, and the variety of exciting new ways technology and Artificial Intelligence have become effective and viable options for larger, less agile, organizations as they attempt to implement new D&I strategies, and training, that help foster sustainable culture transformation within their workplaces at scale.

The interview then concludes with Denise sharing her favorite Marshall Goldsmith anecdote and briefly discussing the 100 Coaches group. If you haven’t already, click play above to listen to the whole interview!

Learn more about Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches

Download our powerpoint to access our research on the role of D&I can have on your culture and business bottom-line.

Takeaways from Mckinsey's 2018 Women in the Workplace report

2018 McKinsey Report of Gender in the Workplace Showing More of the Same. Fed up yet? Me Too.

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Takeaways from Mckinsey’s 2018 Women in the Workplace report: In what is widely considered the primary barometer for the state of gender equity in the workforce, McKinsey’s annual report of gender parity in the workplace summarizes a stagnation in gender parity that is concerning but also raises some insight into potential solutions through inclusive culture transformation.

The report: pooling from 279 companies employing more than 13 million people, and features data compiled from their organizations. Like past reports, we notice a continuing trend of women being under-represented in the workforce and continually squeezed out of the workplace as they move higher up the corporate ladder. Women still make up the majority of college grads and leave the workforce at the same rate as men, highlighting that another year has gone by with seemingly the same dynamics at play that continue to hold women back and thus perpetuate the bigger issue of gender parity as a whole. Tired of watching another year go by with the same story unfolding? ME TOO.

Here are a few takeaways:

  • The root of the problem is culture.
  • Inclusion is the key to sustainable change
  • Leadership is the catalyst

The root of the problem is culture.   

While the still-prevalent accounts of sexual harassment are concerning, appalling and worthy of mention, for the sake of this article, I would like to discuss the phenomenon of microaggressions and the “only” experience that highlight the nuanced complexities of the cultural roots behind gender workplace inequality. Being the “Only” woman in a room is an occurrence experienced by one in five professional women and results in the higher likelihood of a woman experiencing, microaggressions, disengagement or worse, sexual harassment. Microaggressions can be described as experiencing a demeaning comment, having to provide more evidence of one’s competence, or being mistaken for someone much more junior. These experiences are products of a workplace culture that fosters an environment that perpetuates the exclusion of female workers throughout their professional life cycle.

Inclusion is the key to sustainable change 

Women are far more likely to experience microaggressions than men. This is only augmented by women who are “Onlys” and all the above result in women being forced out of the workforce pipeline through blatant exclusion in the form of lower promotion rates, or indirectly in the form of attrition because of disengagement. As a result, the issue of female under-representation and exclusion becomes a compounded snowballing effect. Inclusion needs to be the key to changing the focus of our current corporate workplace culture. Through training, gender advocacy and a general shift in workplace values, we can create a workplace that invites, empowers and advances female talent while decreasing the tolerance of, and likelihood for microaggressions, being an “Only” and overall female exclusion.

Leadership is the catalyst  

Leadership is the catalyst for instilling and enforcing an inclusive culture. Buy-in for inclusion and intolerance for exclusion must come from the top and perpetuate all the way down to the entry-level. Leadership is also the key component to fostering inclusion through engagement and advancement. Currently, women are less likely to see their work featured by their managers (at every stage of the employee life cycle) and are far less likely gain valuable access to senior leadership both of which are primary factors in an employee’s ability to advance within a company, and subsequently not leave. Under an umbrella of inclusion, leadership practices are the catalyst for the culture change the current corporate workforce needs if it is to achieve the gender equity that is not only fair but extremely necessary and overdue.

Takeaways from Mckinsey's 2018 Women in the Workplace report

Leaders need to take the lead when it comes to pioneering future gender equity efforts

Women are excluded through workplace culture that perpetuates inequality and is either purposefully, or inadvertently, upheld by workplace leadership figures from the management level all the way to the C-suite levels. The opportunity for change is there and the rewards for change are prevalent. The Question is: who will be the ones to seize it?

How is Lead Inclusively working to change and leverage personnel in leadership to the benefit of desired D&I transformation?

Leadership and culture are complex, yet vital, components necessary to effectively harness inclusion to the benefit of company innovation and productivity. Increasingly, larger companies are losing out on top talent, and subsequent innovation, to more agile companies who are more flexible and capable of implementing culture change when needed. See some ways how larger, less agile, companies are effectively delivering key learning and culture change at scale.

Also feel free to find us on LinkedIn and Facebook. We are a small team but we always find time to share content that is relevant to the most important D&I topics, and valuable towards inspiring dialogue to guide us all towards viable solutions. We ultimately are all Champions of Change and proponents of equity to all (Women and Men alike). Every interaction we can all share together is one more valuable step towards action and tangible change that makes our world fair and equitable for all.

 

Accelerate Your Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Accelerate Your Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

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Watch the Webinar

Why do so many D&I initiatives fail to achieve meaningful results, and how can you be certain that your strategy is successful? With a few simple tools, you can gain confidence in your ability to accelerate your Diversity and Inclusion strategy and create meaningful culture change in your organization. Accelerating Your D&I Strategy is the final installment of our highly successful four-part Diversity and Inclusion “Champions of Change” webinar series, presented by the National Diversity Council.

Join us for a complimentary webinar that will jump-start a fledgling Diversity & Inclusion program or invigorate a more mature D&I strategy. Hear our Chief Innovation Officer, and global thought-leader, Denise Pirrotti Hummel, as she shares her expertise on the strategic approach to Diversity and Inclusion that ensures real business ROI.

You Will Learn:
• The strategic pillars that can deliver success
• Why Diversity & Inclusion benchmarking is frequently ineffective and what to do instead
• The assessments that are most meaningful and why
• How to evaluate third-party partners and build an optimal plan for action

When: December 4, 2018
Time: 8 am – 9:30 am PST

Accelerate Your Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

Denise Hummel

About Denise Hummel:
Denise Pirrotti Hummel, J.D., is the Chief Innovation Officer of Lead Inclusively, Inc., a firm devoted to helping clients make the connection between inclusion and business performance. As an attorney, Hummel spent many years litigating Civil Rights Cases, including gender equality litigation. As a recovering lawyer, Ms. Hummel was the founder and CEO of a cross-cultural strategy firm which she grew as a single mother. The firm, Universal Consensus, LLC., was acquired by Ernst & Young, LLP., where Ms. Hummel became a partner and led their Talent, Inclusion and Innovation division.

Having left Ernst & Young to start her second business, Hummel is now the Chief Innovation Officer of Lead Inclusively, Inc., a firm devoted to the connection between inclusion and business performance. She serves clients around the globe, with a strong presence in Life Sciences and High Tech. She is a Board Member of the HBA, the Co-Chair of the Life Sciences Committee of Athena and is a legacy member of the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches team. Learn more about Lead Inclusively and Denise.

About the National Diversity Council and the National Training Center:
A well-informed and properly educated diverse and inclusive workforce can strengthen an organization’s reputation, financial performance, and workplace culture. The National Training Center is a customizable and convenient educational resource provided by the National Diversity Council, a nonprofit that champions diversity and inclusion in our communities and workplaces.

Watch the Webinar

Creating (and Winning!) the Case For Change: Webinar Presented by National Diversity Council

By | #metoo to #wetoo, Gender Inclusion, News and Events, Uncategorized | No Comments
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Do you ever wonder how you could better articulate the case for diversity and inclusion in your company? Creating the case for change can be a challenge, but with a few simple strategies, you can position D&I as a strategic value driver in a way that will be impossible to ignore.

Creating (and Winning!) the Case for Change is part three in the four-part diversity and inclusion webinar series “Champions of Change,” taught by Denise Pirrotti Hummel, J.D. and presented by the National Diversity Council.

Join us on September 18 for a complimentary webinar that can jumpstart a fledgling D&I program or invigorate a more mature D&I strategy. Hear global thought leader Denise Pirrotti Hummel, J.D., as she shares her expertise on creating allies, building buy-in, becoming an agent for change in your organization, and connecting diversity and inclusion with real business ROI.

You will learn:
• Your role as a change agent in your organization
• Identifying the most compelling case for change for your organization
• Tools for creating buy in
• How to connect the case for change to the strategic business plan

When: September 18, 2018
Time: 8am – 9:30am PST

Denise Hummel

About Denise Hummel:
Denise Pirrotti Hummel, J.D., is the Chief Innovation Officer of Lead Inclusively, Inc., a firm devoted to helping Life Sciences clients to make the connection between inclusion and business performance. She spent many years litigating Civil Rights Cases, including gender equality litigation. As a recovering lawyer, Ms. Hummel was the founder and CEO of a cross-cultural strategy firm which she grew as a single mother. The firm, Universal Consensus, LLC., was acquired by Ernst & Young, LLP., where Ms. Hummel became a partner and led their Talent, Inclusion and Innovation division. She then exited to start her second business.

She is now the Chief Innovation Officer of Lead Inclusively, Inc., a firm devoted to the connection between inclusion and business performance. She serves clients around the globe, with a strong presence in Life Sciences and High Tech. She is a Board Member of the HBA and the Co-Chair of the Life Sciences Committee of Athena. She is also a legacy member of the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches team. Learn more about Lead Inclusively.

About the National Diversity Council and the National Training Center:
A well-informed and properly educated diverse and inclusive workforce can strengthen an organization’s reputation, financial performance, and workplace culture. The National Training Center is a customizable and convenient educational resource provided by the National Diversity Council, a nonprofit that champions diversity and inclusion in our communities and workplaces.

Register Now

Metrics That Matter: Webinar Presented by NDC

By | Gender Inclusion, News and Events | No Comments
Register Now

Metrics That Matter is part two in the four-part diversity and inclusion webinar series “Champions of Change,” taught by Denise Pirrotti Hummel, J.D. Presented by the National Diversity Council.

Although nearly all companies believe that diversity and inclusion are critical to business success, only 85% of companies track any kind of diversity and inclusion metric. Unfortunately, there is often lack of knowledge around which metrics matter most. This creates an opportunity for companies who do use metrics to be able to reach their full potential. Lead Inclusively assists organizations in using D&I metrics to diagnose and correct issues throughout the talent pipeline, contribute to business goals, optimize processes and effect sustainable change. Join us on June 5th for a free webinar. Hear global thought leader Denise Pirrotti Hummel, J.D., as she shares her expertise on connecting diversity and inclusion with business ROI. Attend this can’t miss webinar to get your company’s D&I strategy moving in the right direction.

You will learn:
– The value of metrics for tracking and creating sustainable change
– Meaningful metrics most companies aren’t tracking
– Which metrics to track across the employee lifecycle and how to get started
– How to use metrics to optimize processes and achieve strategic D&I goals
– Best and next practices in tracking metrics that matter

When: June 5, 2018
Time: 8am – 9:30am PST

Denise Hummel

About Denise Hummel:
Denise Pirrotti Hummel, J.D., is the Chief Innovation Officer of Lead Inclusively, Inc., a firm devoted to helping Life Sciences clients to make the connection between inclusion and business performance. She spent many years litigating Civil Rights Cases, including gender equality litigation. As a recovering lawyer, Ms. Hummel was the founder and CEO of a cross-cultural strategy firm which she grew as a single mother. The firm, Universal Consensus, LLC., was acquired by Ernst & Young, LLP., where Ms. Hummel became a partner and led their Talent, Inclusion and Innovation division. She then exited to start her second business.

She is now the Chief Innovation Officer of Lead Inclusively, Inc., a firm devoted to the connection between inclusion and business performance. She serves clients around the globe, with a strong presence in Life Sciences and High Tech. She is a Board Member of the HBA and the Co-Chair of the Life Sciences Committee of Athena. She is also a legacy member of the Marshall Goldsmith 100 Coaches team. Learn more about Lead Inclusively.

About the National Diversity Council and the National Training Center:
A well-informed and properly educated diverse and inclusive workforce can strengthen an organization’s reputation, financial performance, and workplace culture. The National Training Center is a customizable and convenient educational resource provided by the National Diversity Council, a nonprofit that champions diversity and inclusion in our communities and workplaces.

Register Now

Companies Losing $30 Billion Annually On Reverse Ageism – by Dan Negroni

By | Generation inclusion, Inclusive Leadership

We know that making sweeping generalizations about any group of people being “lazy,” “unprofessional,” “unreliable,” or “narcissistic” is repugnant. Unless we are talking about the dreaded “M” word, Millennials.

In their paper Too Old or Too Young? The Impact of Perceived Age Discrimination, authors Ed Snape and Tom Redman cite a study which found that “being seen as untrustworthy and being given less responsibility were common” among undergraduate business students. And that is if they are hired at all; experts now cite a hesitancy in employers over hiring younger staff.

It is called Reverse Ageism and it presents a serious hurdle to young talent in your office no matter how capable they actually are.

Reverse Ageism Is a Billion Dollar Problem for Companies
For a mid- to large- sized company, reverse ageism could potentially be costing you millions of dollars, your most productive employees, and ruining your company culture. On average, Millennials stay in a role for 1.3 years, which Gallup estimates costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually. That’s a ton of coin.

And money isn’t the only loss for companies. Recruitment costs, onboarding costs, loss of productivity from watching colleagues leave, and lower productivity of new hires all negatively affect a company, its culture and its bottom line. Not to mention these young staff that are leaving are often more productive than senior staff and almost universally less expensive to hire, hurting your bottom line even further.

These are real costs to your company, but they are fixable. They require thought, time, investment and a commitment to emphasizing the strengths of your Millennial staff and helping the five generations working together today to bridge the gaps between them and leverage their unique strengths.

Millennials Have Unique Gifts and Gaps
While it may be true Millennials lack some essential professional skills, they are happier than any other generation to develop and hone their skills given the chance. Gallup found that 87% of Millennials believe “development is important in a job” and development opportunities regularly score higher than pay when Millennials rank the benefits of a job.

The catch is that they know when they are liked, wanted, respected and valued.

Employers who want to put a stop to both the generational tensions in their office and the high turnover rate of Millennials need to take the time to train the enterprise to bridge generational gaps. That process starts with providing Millennials with the training opportunities that develop their professional skills and make them feel that they are valued in the workplace and gives them a sense of progressing as professionals.

We suspect you might even be surprised by what they can do.

Get ahead of reverse ageism in your workplace. Click to learn more about the Lead Inclusively workshop on Generational Inclusiveness: Knowing Your XYZs.
– – – –
Dan Negroni is V.P. of Generational Services at Lead Inclusively, Inc. He is a “recovering attorney” and the quintessential next generation business management and talent development consultant and coach solving today’s critical multi-generational issues. Dan leverages his authentic, no-nonsense approach and a successful 20+ year career experiences as a CEO, attorney, senior sales and marketing executive, to help companies bridge the gap between managers and their millennial workforce to increase employee engagement, productivity and profits.

Why Healthcare Innovation Often Fails

By | Inclusive Innovation

Today, health systems require an increased focus on innovation to achieve their strategic goals. With major forces of change at play — including consumerism, retail healthcare, risk-shifting, new entrants, and uncertainty resulting from a new administration — hospitals and other providers have begun evaluating new business models, diversifying their business, and searching for new revenue streams to stay relevant and competitive in their markets. Igor Belokrinitsky © ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2016

However, deciding to pursue innovation is far easier than actually making it work.  We have found that connecting innovation efforts with Diversity & Inclusion initiatives is a win-win between business strategy and H.R. strategy.

There  are a few common themes that are beginning to come to light in failed innovation attempts. Fortunately, all of these can be mitigated through thoughtful and purposeful design of an innovation operating model that includes enabling diverse ideation from a diverse talent pool.

1. Treating innovation like any other project. Treating innovation like any other investment is one of the most common mistakes we see. Measuring the financial return on innovation projects alongside other projects decreases their attractiveness, as most new ventures’ payback period is protracted. This may result in organizations shelving otherwise high potential opportunities, or myopically focusing on incremental opportunities with near-term payback. Furthermore, funding innovation via traditional budgeting processes (those used for traditional business planning) does not pull capital from dedicated innovation funds, and forces ongoing innovation efforts to compete for funding against other projects, operating units, and organizational priorities. In times of austerity and budget cuts, innovation efforts can be perceived as non-essential, and are at greater risk of falling subject to the axe. Using Diversity and Inclusion engagements as a catalyst for driving diverse innovation and tapping D&I budgets through H.R. or individual business units can be the key to avoiding this problem.

2. Measuring the wrong things. Measuring progress of innovation efforts is significantly different from, and more challenging than for traditional business units. Measuring your innovation portfolio through financial reporting processes may not provide full transparency into an initiative’s performance — progress towards milestones should be defined by metrics appropriate for pre-revenue and early-stage growth companies (e.g., engaged users, downloads), not strictly by financials. Measuring innovation efforts strictly by financial projections may be misleading, as financial projections for early stage and start up businesses are subject to significant uncertainty, and are easily missed.  Qualitative metrics as well as financial metrics related to inclusion efforts pay off in unanticipated dividends.

3. Not understanding the talent market. Successful intrapreneur leaders are a special breed of talent that have both entrepreneurial tendencies and experience, but are comfortable navigating the processes and politics of larger corporations. Not only are these leaders different in profile from traditional corporate hires, the teams they require to support their innovation efforts (e.g., design, development) are different as well. These leaders are in high demand from start-up or growth stage organizations, and field offers with compensation that includes cash and significant equity — attractive components of a total package. Leveraging traditional HR functions that don’t understand the profile or motivations of the right talent can significantly impair your innovation effort, the success of which is largely determined by having the right leaders to drive it.  HR transformation that recognizes diverse talent as more than just “visual diversity,” but actually hones in on diverse thinkers can make all the difference.

4. Borrowing from the corporate playbook. Many fall into the trap of assuming that existing resources and shared services can support innovation in a “plug and play” manner. However, it is exactly this thinking that will stifle your innovation effort. Incubators and other innovation operating models that heavily rely on matrixing to parent resources (e.g., IT, marketing, legal, procurement, D&I, HR) are subject to the same prioritization processes and corporate cost reduction efforts that can hamper the speed of traditional projects. Furthermore, without embracing an entrepreneurial culture (e.g., focus on building MVPs, employing lightweight contracting), the innovation effort risks over-building and over-contracting products for enterprise clients without first having established product-market fit.

5. Failing to keep “fit.” Designing and consistently executing an innovation process that aligns to your overall strategy is hard, and requires commitment and constant vigilance. It is easy to become complacent in enforcing strategic alignment, pursuing attractive business cases despite their failure to align with your organization’s core mission. However, focus is paramount in innovation. A coherent portfolio that supports the organization’s overall strategy, from its innovation strategy to it’s D&I strategy and everything in between, not only ensures executive and board alignment, it can yield positive benefits by enabling your organization to create a compelling case to outside philanthropists, grant-providing organizations, and strategic partners.

We’re happy to help you begin. Take our complimentary mini-assessment to see how your company stacks up against the competition.

Life Sciences Fireside Chat Program Recap

By | #bettertogether, Gender Inclusion, News and Events

Blog recap of Athena Life Sciences Special Interest Group program: Fireside Chat with notable women in science.

Linda Strause, PhD and Sara Gilman, LMFT met because they both enjoy cycling.  They became close friends because, in addition to cycling, they shared a philosophy that life’s challenges could create such deviations from the most direct route to success, that navigating without a map might actually make more sense.

As a scholar of leadership, I often hear inspirational stories about how professionals achieved success.  This is the first time, however, that I have heard a story of the syncopation of two leaders whose paths have intersected with such serendipity, despite the fact that both walked (or rather cycled) their journey without a map and that their respective compasses were not always tracking true north.

Linda, the Principal and Founder of Strategic Clinical Consultants, shared with us that as she was working tirelessly in the field of oncology, her husband was diagnosed with brain cancer.  Sara, the Founder & President of Coherence Associates, Inc.,  shared with us that while she was working zealously as a family therapist to help others to battle addiction, she came to understand that her own son was experiencing his own battle with addiction.  Powerhouses in their own right, each was powerless to “fix” a problem in their own families, related to their respective expertise.  Their work, their cycling, their friendship and their family life worked in unison to help them heal, as well as stay focused on success, as the gentle sway of the road turned at times to hairpin curves.

The sons of both women eventually joined them in their “Mom-Owned Businesses,” and each credits her son with having insight into the business complementary to her own set of skills.

The definition of success varies with the individual.  It would be easy to define both women as a success.  Linda Strause has thirty years of experience in global clinical operations and clinical development in oncology.  Sara Gilman has created a company consisting of a team of counselors and family therapists.  As Sara explained a breathing technique that is used to reinforce the heart’s regulation of emotional response to create mental toughness, Linda ended the Athena session with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”  I might add that to thrive in business, while simultaneously administering to the needs of loved ones, takes great courage.  It would be easy to forsake one for the other, and the extremes of selfishness or selflessness are far more common than the balance between them.

Get more innovative! To augment your own life sciences organization, take a moment to learn more about about our Life Sciences Innovation Labs.

By Denise Hummel, Founder & Chief Innovation Officer, Lead Inclusively, Inc.