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How To Turn Moments Into Momentum

As I reflect on the tremendous work of Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement, I am dedicating this post to those who have been and continue to be inspired to stand for justice, equality, inclusivity, and opportunity. This week’s reading and listening are thematically centered on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The various authors, speakers, and interviewers provide a panoply of perspectives and thoughtful, nuanced points of view on race, class, institutional power dynamics, corporate social activism, sustainable and scalable behavior change in service to gender equality, and the many dimensions of inclusivity and how to successfully foster it. There is no shortage of excellent research and thought-provoking commentary on these timely topics. I hope you get as much out of them as I did. I wish you all health and peace during these continuing trying times.


Getting Serious About Diversity: Enough Already with the Business Case. “Leaders may mean well when they tout the economic payoffs of hiring more women and people of color, but there is no research support for the notion that diversifying the workforce automatically improves a company’s performance. This article critiques the popular rhetoric about diversity and revisits an argument the authors made 25 years ago: To fully benefit from increased racial and gender diversity, organizations must adopt a learning orientation and be willing to change the corporate culture and power structure.”

Why Ben & Jerry’s Speaks Out. “How does a large company with a diverse customer base choose when and how to take a prominent stand on highly politicized current events? An interview with Matthew McCarthy, Ben & Jerry’s CEO, and Christopher Miller, head of global activism strategy, on its swift and strong responses to the murder of George Floyd and the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, why it believes in multi-issue corporate activism and advice for organizations that want to become better social advocates.”

The Forgotten Dimension of Diversity: Social class is as important as race or gender. “Workers who come from lower social-class origins in the United States are 32% less likely to become managers than those who come from higher social-class origins. That represents a disadvantage even greater than the one experienced by women compared with men (27%) or Blacks compared with whites (25%). Social class disadvantage in the workplace prevails in every major economy around the world. In discriminating against people who come from a lower social class, we’re discriminating against a majority of the workforce—a grossly harmful indulgence, especially when you consider what happens if you don’t discriminate…GDP is higher per capita in countries where more managers come from lower social-class origins.”

What Companies Who Want More Diversity Can Learn From the BBC. “The 50:50 Project has managed to achieve what most organizational diversity and inclusion efforts do not: meaningful and sustained behavior change in service of greater gender equality. How did they do it? By implementing a salient, simple, and grassroots-driven intervention based on insights from behavioral science and behavioral design.”

Be a Better Ally. “How can white men be effective allies to those employees? First, by taking responsibility for their own behaviors, educating themselves about racism and privilege, and getting and accepting feedback from people in underrepresented groups. They can also become confidants to and sponsors of women and people of color and insist on diverse hiring pools and practices. They can vigilantly watch out for bias at work, intervening decisively if they discover it. Last, they can work to build a community of other allies against racism and sexism.”

How To Support Black Entrepreneurs: Hire And Wire. “#hireandwire is a movement amongst the startup community to take action by hiring black employees and investing in startups led by black entrepreneurs. If we as a community are going to hire and invest more intentionally, we need to stop blaming the pipeline problem and the denominator problem and start innovating our talent and deal sourcing practices.”

To Increase Diversity, U.S. Tech Companies Need to Follow the Talent. “If the tech industry wants to address its longstanding issues with diversity in its ranks, tech companies may need to go to where diverse talent lives, not the other way around. So, where should these companies look? Crunching data on where Black, Latinx, and female STEM graduates live; where lower cost of living removes certain barriers to entry; and where digital infrastructure is reliable and affordable enough to be conducive to remote work, this article identifies six states — Georgia, Texas, Delaware, Virginia, Connecticut, and Maryland — that rank high on the Tech Talent Diversity score and are outside the traditional tech clusters of California, New York, and Massachusetts.”

TED Talks/Podcasts

TED@BCG: How To Foster True Diversity and Inclusion at Work (and In Your Community). “When companies think of diversity and inclusion, they too often focus on meeting metrics instead of building relationships with people of diverse backgrounds, says Starbucks COO Rosalind G. Brewer…Brewer invites leaders to rethink what it takes to create a truly inclusive workplace — and lays out how to bring real, grassroots change to boardrooms and communities alike.”

TEDWomen2020: How To Turn Moments Into Momentum. “Inspired by the rising movement against racism in the US, WNBA champion Renee Montgomery made an unexpected decision: she opted out of her dream job. As she says in this stirring talk, she wanted to “make it felt,” and that meant turning her attention from the court to the community. But you don’t have to be a basketball star to make it felt; anyone can turn important moments into meaningful momentum. How will you?”

Knowledge at Wharton: How to Be an Inclusive Leader. “Wharton Dean Erika James and AT&T’s Corey Anthony speak with Wharton’s Stephanie Creary about inclusive leadership during a time of crisis.”

HBR’s Race At Work: Former Goldman Sachs Partner Edith Cooper: Recruit, Retain, Mentor. “What we can learn from Goldman’s former head of Human Capital Management about addressing race at work and retention strategies.”

Blog Posts

Tim Ferriss: Forget New Year’s Resolutions and Conduct a ‘Past Year Review’ Instead. “I’m often asked about how I approach New Year’s resolutions. The truth is that I no longer approach them at all, even though I did for decades. Why the change? I have found ‘past year reviews’ (PYR) more informed, valuable, and actionable than half-blindly looking forward with broad resolutions.”

Ryan Holiday: Here’s How to Give Thanks—Not Once a Year—but Every Day. “What is in more desperate need of appreciation and perspective are the things you never asked for, the things you worked hard to prevent from happening in the first place. Because that’s where gratitude will make the biggest difference and where we need the most healing.”

Arts, Music & Culture Corner

‘Calvin and Hobbes’ said goodbye 25 years ago. Here’s why Bill Watterson’s masterwork enchants us still.”

“As another year comes to a close, KEXP is looking back at some of the best records of 2020 – as voted by KEXP listeners.” [KJ – KEXP Seattle is an excellent source of music IMHO, that is as interesting as it is varied.]

“They Can’t Leave the Bay Area Fast Enough. As a tech era draws to an end, more workers and companies are packing up. What comes next?”


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Kevin Jordan

Kevin Jordan is an International Coach Federation-certified executive coach who serves as a strategic advisor, mentor and facilitator to executive leadership teams and private clients to achieve peak performance and agility resulting in sustained engagement and value. Drawing upon a career as a leader and consultant, Kevin is able to work with clients on personal and professional development, relationship optimization and team and leader dynamics. He has deep expertise and experience developing and realizing strategic vision through a relentless focus on optimized business operations. He is also skilled at building sustainable culture and workforce engagement through the power of people and organizational partnership, as well as delivering results and value with high performing teams during periods of intense change.

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