Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
The CEO's Uber Diversity Dilemma
Uber executive, Emil Michael suggested at a dinner party attended by people like Arianna Huffington and Kara Swisher that Uber would pay a million dollars to hire researchers to dig up dirt on journalists who wrote negative stories about Uber.
“They’d look into your personal lives, your families,’ and give the media a taste of its own medicine,” he said.
He was targeting Sarah Lacey; journalist from Pando Daily who wrote that she deleted the Uber app because of their sexist comments and advertising that she felt was detrimental to women drivers and passengers.
In response to the public outrage about Michaels’ comments CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick in a series of Tweets wrote “His remarks showed a lack of leadership, a lack of humanity, and a departure from our values and ideals.”
Really? Then why is he representing your organization? Did you not know until that moment what he thought? Or did you know, agree and assume that everyone else agreed? Or maybe, you didn’t think he’d say it in public?
Message to the myriad of CEO’s politicians, et al who have had to apologize and explain away the sexism, racism and homophobia of an employee or representative.
1- You’re responsible for anyone who represents you.
2- It doesn’t matter whether they’re at work, or at a party. How do you want to be seen in the world?
3- Let every single employee know that and hold them accountable.
4- If you say that you and your organization value respect, inclusion, diversity and talent, then you better mean it in words and deeds. If not, eventually, you’re going to be embarrassed, lose customers, or be the defendants in a big lawsuit.
5- If you really believe the values in your mission, your website or your marketing material, then you’ll hire people who believe and live those values at work and everywhere else.
6- You create the cultural blueprint for your organization and when you have people in senior leadership who are offensive, and, disrespectful, they are reflections of the culture you’ve created.
These scandals are like the parent who apologizes for their kids bullying, when their kids learned that behavior from them.
I love technology and disruptive innovation. I want to see everyone benefit and be welcome to the new age (like the Imagine Dragon song.) For that to happen we need more diversity of every kind represented in these organizations. Right now it’s lacking. The people who lead and found these organizations are showing us possibilities and opening up new worlds at immeasurable speeds. They are creative, brilliant and “think out of the box.” However, If they want to move us faster, and extend their reach and influence even more, they need to live, hire, and discover the genius in people “who are out of the box.”
Those who use their positions, organizations or political power to demean people who are different than them, and threaten the families and livelihood of people who criticize them should not continue to be rewarded, nor be excused.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
6- Let other people share their expertise, talent and experience, even when their ideas differ from yours. You may find their idea is better.
It's easy to talk about being open to other ideas, but it's not that easy to do it in practice.
Smart leaders know what their strengths are and they know how to find people who are smarter than them in areas where they are not.
Breakthrough innovation occurs when a good leader knows how to bring together a diverse team with different experiences, skills and ideas. Just having a diverse team isn't enough. It takes that smart leader who knows how to bring out the genius in others, and isn't afraid of that genius.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
5-Learn and recognize the different ways in which people are intelligent and contribute to the organization. Stop being stuck in recognizing and respecting only one type of intelligence (yours.)
So often in my diversity and inclusion programs, people will make comments like,"I have no problem with people who are different. I respect everyone."
First of all, if you think that diversity and inclusion is about having no "problem," then that is the problem. People who are culturally intelligent are curious about people who are different. They want to learn about others.
When someone thinks of diversity as "having no problem," it means everything remains the same. "We all just do our jobs. there is nothing to be gained or lost by working with a diversity of co-workers."
If you think you "respect everyone," visualize what they means to you. How do you show respect? How do you react to people who disagree with you, or people who are intelligent in a different way? It's easy to say you respect everyone when they're all like you, but be conscious of how you react when someone doesn't agree, or does something in a different way than you.
Become aware of whether or not you are a "my way is the best" type of person.
Research the different ways people are intelligent, and the different ways people learn.
Friday, October 24, 2014
Here is the 4th Way to Foster Breakthrough Innovation Through Diversity Leadership.
4- Be introspective and get real about your biases and assumptions. Your behavior that results from those biases and assumptions can impede participation and innovation.
Ask yourself, “Whom am I not seeing? Do I greet all of my employees or just the ones who are like me? Do I walk past any employees without saying hello? Who am I not hearing from in team meetings, and whose opinions am I minimizing, due to bias about work level, function or salary?”
Your bias and assumptions about people different than you mean that you give credibility to people most like you, and minimize the contributions of others. When employees feel unacknowledged and invisible they lose their motivation, and feel alienated from the organization.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
2-Be informed about your employees but don’t micromanage. Acknowledge the progress no matter how small, made by people on your team.
Research by Theresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer shows that employees are motivated when their managers are aware of and acknowledge even their small wins.
Be specific! Don't just say "Good job." That means nothing and is like a generic greeting card. Compliment them on what they did and the results they got. Encourage them to keep going by letting them know you have faith and trust in their abilities.
This applies to individuals and whole teams. Be aware that some people thrive on individual acknowledgement and others want the recognition to include the whole team.
A good diversity leaders pays attention and is cognizant of these differences. Good diversity leaders know that everyone wants to feel included, and be successful, and that when that happens, they are more creative, willing to take risks, and think innovation.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
In this business era of speed, competition and globalization, innovation rules all. You never know where the next great product, process or profit builder will originate.
Good Diversity Management and Culturally Intelligent Leadership can make the difference between repeatedly hearing mediocre ideas from the same people, or mining the hidden genius in your organization for breakthrough ideas.
Conversely, not knowing how to access that genius or motivate employees to be creative will eventually make you and your products commodities, competing for lower prices.
I've found ten key ways good diversity management can foster innovation. Here is number 1.
1-Be conscious of the way you communicate with employees. Ask yourself, “Are they comfortable talking to me about their work, asking questions, and giving me suggestions?” If the answer if no, you need to find out why, and if yes, then keep getting better at it.
Innovation can often come from the lower levels, but if you don’t know how to communicate with everyone, they won’t share ideas, nor will they feel invested in the organization.
Make a habit of interacting with the people on your team whom you may not know well, or with whom you are least comfortable. Identify the reasons for your discomfort, so you can move through it.