Episode 42: Diversity and Inclusion

Gloria Witt Headshot.jpg

Diversity and Inclusion, what does that mean? How is it defined – is it Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual orientation, Religious affiliation, Generation, Disability, Personality type, Thinking style? What does it mean for leaders? How is diversity turned into organizational strength? What are the economic and demographic implications? How is embracing diversity and inclusion a powerful catalyst for success? If you have ever asked these questions, you won’t want to miss our next Voltcast – Illuminating Leadership, as hosted by Voltage Principal Consultant Lee Hubert. Our guest will be Gloria Witt, Founder and CEO of Define Success Coaching and Facilitation Services, LLC

Gloria Witt is the Founder and CEO of Define Success Coaching and Facilitation Services, LLC. She is committed to developing executives and managers that are known for their ability to produce measureable results. Gloria launched Define Success Coaching and Facilitation Services following a 32-year career within the energy industry where she specialized in talent management, leadership development, and performance management. Gloria is an experienced certified executive coach, expert facilitator, and trainer. She improves the lives of executives and managers by helping them hone their leadership practices, skills, and communication. As a trainer and facilitator, she partners with executives and thought leaders to design custom solutions to boost performance. She has a degree in Communications with minors in Sociology and Economics from Randolph Macon Woman’s College and a Masters of Business Administration from Capella University. Reach her at gloria.witt@define-success.com


Lee: Hey good afternoon this is Lee Hubert, the principal consultant at Voltage Leadership sitting in for Jeff Smith today. Jeff and Beth and the kids are on a very well deserved vacation so we're glad he's enjoying that and having such a good time with his family. We're really glad that you could join us here today. It is just a beautiful day here in southern Virginia.

It's about 73° degrees, low humidity, the sun is shining everybody smiling. This is VoltCast Illuminating Leadership from Voltage Leadership. I wanted to make sure we get give a shout out to the people from all around the world that joined us. We do get people that join us from Pakistan, from India, from China, from Saudi, from UAE, pretty much every state in the United States and we so appreciate you tuning in.

We're getting really great ratings and it wouldn’t be possible without you so we really do want to thank you for that. Once again I'm your host, principal consultant Lee Hubert sitting in for Jeff Smith. You can reach me by email that’s Lee, Lee@VoltageLeadership.com. Our website is VoltageLeadership.com. You can like us on Facebook at Voltage Leadership and you can connect with us on LinkedIn. Please look for Jeff Smith Voltage Leadership Consulting or Lee Hubert at Voltage Leadership consulting or you can follow Jeff on Twitter @VoltageLeaders.

Once again this is VoltCast Illuminating Leadership. I am so happy to have my friend and colleague Gloria Witt joining join us today for really engaging and important topic. We’re going to be talking about diversity and inclusion. I wanted to welcome Gloria to the show. Say hello Gloria.

Gloria: Hello everyone and thank you so much Lee for the invitation to be on your show.

Lee: Our pleasure. We're pleased to have you and just a little bit about Gloria. I wanted to give you some details about her background. Gloria is the founder and CEO of Define Success Coaching and Facilitation Services. She really is committed to developing executives and managers at all levels to get them to produce measurable results.

That's a good thing. She launched Define Success Coaching and Facilitation after a 30 plus year career in the energy industry where she specialized in talent management, leadership development, and performance management. That's a good thing and I know we have the energy industry in our background. We'll talk a little bit more about that in a second so if you're interested in finding a really excellent trainer and facilitator please do reach out to Gloria.

She partners with executives of all types and thought leaders to get at custom solutions to help them boost their performance of their organizations. Gloria has a degree in communications with a minor in sociology and economics Randolph-Macon College in Virginia and a Masters in business administration from Capella University. I'm really pleased to have my friend and colleague Gloria Witt join us today.

Gloria: Thank you.

Lee: Like we said today we’re going to be talking about diversity and inclusion, a big topic you know.

Gloria: Big topic.

Lee: You know depending on people's point of view, what generation they’re in, you know how they’re wired at the factory. There's a lot of different ways to approach it. Lest I forget I did want to give a shout out to our CEO Jeff Smith and the co-authors of the book Aha to All In. I bought the new book.

This is the book co-authored by Jeff Smith, the CEO at Voltage Leadership. I'm reading it. I'm about halfway through. It's really a good read.

It's called Aha to All In and Life Lessons From an Unexpected Entrepreneur. It is the story of interactive achievement, how Jeff and Jonathan Hagmaier and William Long and other folks involved got to their success story. It really is an inspiring success story. If you're so inclined and I hope that you are please check out the new book co-authored by Jeff Smith, Aha to All In and the link to do that is on the Voltage Leadership website.

Back to the topic at hand. We’re talking about diversity. The first segment of today’s show I'd like to have us set up some definitions and you know diversity what does that mean?

How is it defined? Is it about race? Is it ethnicity? Is it gender? Is it orientation? Is it some type of religious affiliation? Does it have to do with the generation you're in? You know physical challenges? Your thinking style? Personality? What do you think of that? How would you define diversity?

Gloria: I would say diversity is all of the above. It's the full scope.

Lee: I would too. It's ironic in away the subjectivity is subjective. It is in the eye of the beholder. My worldview is not necessarily the same as somebody else's worldview as opposed to somebody else's worldview. Me being a boomer generation, you know I come from that worldview.

I am who I am. That's all good. I've learned over the years and I've attended different diversity initiatives and have been involved in bringing some insight where you know there's pluses and minuses and lessons learned along the way. I would agree with you that it is all of the above and we’re going to explore some of these questions about what does it mean for the workplace?

What does it mean for leaders? I've got some thoughts about that and want us to be thinking about how we turn diversity into organizational strength. Because I'm not sure everybody thinks in those terms.

Gloria: Okay.

Lee: I also want to drill on just little bit about what are the economic and demographic implications for business right? How do you embrace it and make inclusion a success in an organization? You all want to have your pens and papers handy because we’re going to be talking about some tips and tools and take away for you all to utilize today. One of the things I wanted to kick off Gloria is I want to get your thoughts about how diversity might provoke thought in people meaning that is at top of mind? What are your thoughts about how people approach it?

Gloria: From an organizational perspective I would say I was recently reading some articles and it was a study that was completed I believe it was by Deloitte that said that when they measured interest diversity and inclusion programs in an organization only about 20% of companies that were interviewed was ready to actually intentionally handle diversity and inclusion as a strategy.

Lee: Interesting.

Gloria: I thought that was very interesting.

Lee: We use that word intentional and intentionality a lot. I'll talk about that more in a minute but keep going are there other thoughts that you have.

Gloria: I think from an organizational perspective it makes sense for organizations to focus on diversity and inclusion simply because again as recently McKenzie did a report and basically said that when you evaluate organizations that were engaged in diversity and inclusion the results were 35% better than organizations who were not intentional about it so just makes business sense. It's not just a checkmark. It's an actual strategy. It’s a strategy that's intentional to make it happen.

Lee: Excellent well let me add on to that because like I say we use that word intentional so it’s 20% are really being proactive and intentional about having you know a real diversity and inclusion program at the workplace. That means 80% is not.

Gloria: Exactly.

Lee: Or a big chunk of it is you know lip service. Over the years I've attended various diversity programs that were aimed at specific things and I'm going to focus on the leaders here.

Gloria: Okay.

Lee: You folks listening now know here's a time to listen up. When you sit in that leader chair, whoever you are, he or she wherever your world view is in my perspective I think there's things that you abdicate. Now in the workplace everybody overlaps somewhere and Jeff Smith our CEO and I had this dialogue 10 years ago. You know we wrote a module called the translators and that meant translating the strategic intent of the organization to actionable items and you know making sure that you are all productive and happy and making sure everybody was doing the things. Well not everybody looks at everything the same way right?

Gloria: That's true.

Lee: If I know that there are certain things that people will bring with them that's native on their hard drive. They may or may not be aware of it, but those are the things that I'm talking about abdicating. First thing I'm going to point out. We abdicate noise. What does that mean? When we look at somebody in the leadership chair I want with intentionality what's best for everybody. I'm not sure everybody does that.

Gloria: No, I would agree because I think you have to deal with this unconscious bias. We all enter relationships from our own point of view and it takes that intentionality to think bigger and to create an environment that's inclusive. I guess I would want to baseline the difference between diversity and inclusion.

Lee: Good.

Gloria: I would steal from a diversity advocate Verna Myers and she defined diversity and inclusion by saying, “Diversity is being invited to that party and inclusion is being asked to dance.”

Lee: Excellent.

Gloria: When we think about leaders and inclusiveness, it's not just a head count or demographic study of how diverse we are with the race, gender, ethnicity, etcetera. It's about how engaged those same populations are represented in different programs systems of the organization. That's intentional.

Lee: I think that's just an excellent point. We're going to be coming up on break in about a little over two minutes. What I'd like us to be thinking about is that baseline and the variances of that because I've been involved in situations over the years where you know sometimes it was about head count. I worked in an energy company and people would come in for an audit and say well you should have X amount of this and you know I meant no disrespect but I said, “Look we’re an energy company we hire draftsmen and engineers and all of this kind of thing. I don't know that I'm able to find that here.”

Let's make that connection between just what the rote thing is about diversity and engaging diverse leaders because I listen to my point you know when you're in that leader chair no matter who you are you abdicate some of that noise and we want to be intentional about growing leaders from every dimension. Get ready to come up on a break and once again this is VoltCast Illuminating Leadership. I'm your host Lee Hubert sitting in for our CEO, Jeff Smith who's on a well-deserved vacation in Stockholm, Sweden.

Gloria: Wow.

Lee: With Beth and the four kids so I'm sure they're enjoying that. We’ll be thinking about diversity and inclusion and will see you all right after the break will see you in two.


Lee: Hello and welcome back to VoltCast this is Lee Hubert sitting in for CEO Jeff Smith and this is Illuminating Leadership. We are so pleased to have with us today Gloria Witt who is the founder and CEO of Define Success Coaching and Facilitation Services. We've been having a really interesting discussion about diversity and inclusion. Just before the break we were base lining how those are different and Gloria you've mentioned the author that you were saying what was her name again?

Gloria: Her name was Verna Myers who coined the phrase, “Diversity is being invited to the dance and inclusion is being asked to dance.” It was noted in a Harvard’s Business Review article from February 2017. Diversity doesn't stick without inclusion and it gets back to this role of the leader and how the leader has to intentionally put together the environment in which inclusion can manifest itself and on a corporate level the organizational structures are particular coming from the influences of HR policies and processes has to be knitted together in such a way that inclusion can flourish.

Lee: Wow you said a lot there. Let's drill on some of that. That's intriguing and this is where the rubber meets the road. I like it diversity doesn't stick without inclusion. Translation lip service, along for the ride.

Gloria: Or headcount.

Lee: Yes.

Gloria: You get the headcount it's a measure.

Lee: Yes.

Gloria: Inclusion is the process.

Lee: Well let's talk about that. Let's get into some ideas and tools that our radio audience may be able to utilize to help instill that process for all the right reasons. In my past we were engaged in something called cultural competence and it sounds like a cliché but really it wasn't. You know again we said in the module we wrote called Translators, everybody comes from someplace.

It's not the same place and it's all different worldviews. All those variables go into determining how that person sees the world around them. Being culturally competent to my point sitting in that leader’s chair. First of all I think it is a competency.

Are you culturally competent or are you culturally incompetent or none competent? I will tell you that firms like our leadership Forbes right. We spend a fair amount of time behind the managers closed-door providing coaching and feedback to people that in developmental mode just for these reasons. People who don't grasp this they engage in what we refer to as limiting behaviors. You are not going to advance. You're not going to achieve your potential if you don't get cultural competency. Tell me your thoughts a little bit about making diversity stick by the inclusion process.

Gloria: Well I think when you describe the cultural competence piece what brings to my mind is generational differences also. The amateurs and boomers view diversity as a measure, compliance. We just got to do it because someone said we have to do it.

Lee: That sounds like boomers.

Gloria: The younger generation now view inclusion and diversity as a state of fact. Without it they will leave the organization.

Lee: Interesting.

Gloria: You end up with a retention issue. You end up with an engagement issue for people of color or differences and from a business perspective you would almost have to sell this concept of diversity and inclusion as a business strategy. It's worth your while to invest. Why does it matter? What can I do when I am investing in?

Lee: Please.

Gloria: Inclusion when I'm designing teams for project where I intentionally take a look at the talent on that team. I'm looking for gender. I'm looking for ethnicity. I'm looking for the way people think. Some are doers and some are analytic. I'm looking at generational differences. Do I have the full scope of four generations on that team because data tells me that if I am inclusive that I'm going to get a better decision, more facts, more innovation, and creativity and probably performance.

Lee: Now let me get this right you actually want companies to perform well and to do all of these wonderful things and have a good outcome.

Gloria: Yes.

Lee: Yes, of course.

Gloria: A tall order, but that's how you do inclusive.

Lee: Absolutely.

Gloria: It's intentional whether it's building your talent pipeline. It's not just knowing how many talents you have in your pipeline. It's about how you develop them? Are you putting them and growing them and stretching them? Do they have sponsors?

Lee: There you go.

Gloria: Do they have opportunities and a clear line of sight to a career path because without that you're dealing with retention issues again? You're in this vicious cycle of people turn over and the population that you want to retain to create diversity.

Lee: Let's drill on that a little bit because that's fascinating and we’ll get to the business case and some the advantages for placed diversity and those kinds of things in just a bit, but I wanted to drill on just little bit about. You mentioned engagement and it's interesting because I'm a boomer and I can relate to what you're saying. I understand there's people you know I can share experience stories that would say yes I don’t—I think these people are culturally tone deaf okay. That's just a statement of fact okay.

I've also been in diversity trains where sometimes it felt like it was open season on white males right. That was kind of that okay it was an act. It wasn't the sticky part of making things inclusion including white males for that matter. Anyhow what I wanted you to do was to think about how we help companies engage for the right reasons. What are some of the best practices for things that they do that help retain, that help fill pipeline that help include?

Gloria: What are some of the things that leaders do? I think it's a matter of really embracing the way each individual person on the team provided you have a diverse team how they share information. Even in terms of personality styles in that Harvard article they were talking about this idea of being able to be your authentic self because sometimes if you are a person of color you feel like you have to assimilate. If I am assimilating, then I may not be bringing my whole self to a particular situation or a solution. A leader's ability to create an environment that will allow each person to be their authentic self then you will get a better result. Studies have shown that.

Lee: Excellent. Well I love it and you know we use a tool at Voltage Leadership and other people use it. We use crucial conversations, other ways to help people understand the breadth and the scope of their cultural competency because it is a competency.

Gloria: It is a competency.

Lee: As you know with crucial conversations one of the components of that is to have the right conversation for the right reason. Meaning that if you didn't chicken out and we want the right outcome what's best for everybody concerned for the right reasons, what would that sound like? My mind goes back to a situation where we had a leader where the person was ethnically from another country and meant no harm in the way he was communicating with people. Actually in his native culture he was showing signs of great respect.

Now some of the folks around him didn't interpret it that way. Let's just say that. He was Spanish, ethnic and just viewed things differently. Some of these folks were from a big city in northern Virginia, which shall remain nameless, but it's initials are DC and you know it's little things like this.

I mean it was not disrespecting anybody, but people were looking for things it was like really? It was like okay you’re kind of wind up here you know the guy wasn't really doing that. In southern Virginia sometimes people around here will call you honey and sweetie and you know. They mean it. There is no offense that's taken.

There’s nothing derogatory whatsoever, but some people will grab a hold of that. They’re loaded for bear going I'm not your honey. Alright I guess you're not right.

The point I'm making is this about crucial conversations you know when you get behind the door and talk about people and their personalities you know let's put in context. Let's say you're giving guidance to an organization or an HR department or manager or whatever the teams you’re coaching. What are some of things that you say to them to help foster inclusivity?

Gloria: I think for me the tool that I like to stress is this idea of just personality differences because you have to give people the breadth to be who they are without judgment. Just because a person does not say and communicate the way you communicate it doesn't mean they're wrong. You have to give them the liberty to really be who they are. That to me is a foundations of teams because most teams begin to unravel because of this lack of appreciation of differences in the way they communicate. Now you won't even get into the race issue and how potentially biases kind of pop-up or stereotypes that we begin to overlay on who a person is and who they're not so you just got to be open and aware that everyone is whole resourceful.

Lee: Sure.

Gloria: We're here for the mission.

Lee: Remember to my point you know we want what's best for everybody.

Gloria: We want what's best for everybody.

Lee: With intentionality we want the best outcome for everybody and you know and if you own that you know how would you communicate? I mean it almost to my point it doesn't matter when you're in the leader chair you forfeit that stuff.

Gloria: You forfeit that. You have to give room to allow people to be who they are because different cultures express themselves differently. I know in an African-American culture you know we tend to raise our voices when we excited. Well I've been around colleagues that say, “Oh Gloria. Are you getting ready to?”

Lee: That's right I’ve seen you on the platform Gloria.

Gloria: Yes.

Lee: You get animated.

Gloria: I get very animated that's because I'm all in.

Lee: That's because who you are.

Gloria: I'm all in.

Lee: That's exactly right.

Gloria: You just got to give people breadth to be what they are and focus on the mission.

Lee: Well you said the words all in and you know we're getting ready to come up on a break in another minute and a half or so. I want us to be thinking about ways we can give people that liberty and were going to talk about some of the advantages of workplace diversity how it profits a company, but back to Aha for a second, All in, From Aha to All In, the book lunch co-authored by our CEO Jeff Smith. One of the things you discover in that journey of interactive achievement was they had the liberty to be what they are. They could have made mistakes.

Now do we want them to be walking around making mistakes, no. The lesson from that and this is one of the takeaways from today's radio show guys is you have to give people the liberty the freedom to be what they are. Let them learn and watch cumulative effect and that includes who they are, wherever they’re from. We’re getting ready to come up on a break in just a little bit. What I'd like us to be thinking about is how you give people the liberty to do that. How we overlap in the workplace and then later on in the show we’ll talk about some of the advantages of adversity in the workplace. Coming up on the break we're here with Lee Hubert and Gloria Witt. We'll see you in two.


Lee: Hello and welcome back to VoltCast Illuminating Leadership. This is the principal consultant, Lee Hubert sitting in for our CEO, Jeff Smith who’s out on vacation with the family this week, which is I'm sure they're having an awesome time. I mentioned earlier in the radio show if you haven't had a chance check out the book that was co-authored by our CEO Jeff Smith it's Aha to All In, the story of the unexpected entrepreneur and the story of interactive achievement. It is great it is a good read and it's inspirational. I'm sure you will enjoy it because I am greatly.

Very pleased again today to have Gloria Witt with us. Gloria is the founder and the CEO of Define Success, which is a coaching and facilitation service here in Virginia. She works with clients and organizations all over the place, helping them to be productive. Just before the break we were talking about ways to make inclusion real. We’re talking about cultural competency.

We’re talking about ways to engage. One of the things Gloria I'd like you to be thinking about for a second, I'm going to share a little story, a lesson that I learned and it's a good lesson. I learned years ago that I don't necessarily have to quote love everybody that I do business with. We have to respect each other.

I want good things with intentionality. I want to be helpful. I want to be you know that's all good and I don't even have agree with people. I don't think people will understand that sometimes.

They get to this place where it's either you have to agree with me or you're somehow wrong or you’re bad and that's just not solved. The lesson I learned was this and we would like your thoughts when I'm done. You know I can understand, I don't necessarily have to agree, but can I understand? That's a question so this person was asking me okay you don't have to agree, but can you understand?

At the beginning honestly the answer to this was no. It took me a while and then probably a little bit more maturity because this was the boomer thing and then the answer was yes. It was a choice and absolutely with intentionality to understand. That gets the point I'm making is if you’re in the leader chair and for you folks listening I'm asking you the same question. You know okay you may or may not agree don't know. It's not a prerequisite, but can you understand? Do you get to understanding? What are your thoughts about that?

Gloria: Well I think your comments ring for me this idea of all almost consensus building. I agree to you know have the conversation, understand that person’s reference point and from there just a person's reality is their reality. You have to kind of accept that, but that still should not derail you from the larger mission of getting the work done. I think you almost have to elevate situations particularly in a business environment to focus on what are we here for?

Lee: I like it.

Gloria: Really buy into this belief that together we’re more and that the diversity and inclusive practice matter. It pays off from a business perspective.

Lee: Interesting together we’re more. I like that.

Gloria: Yes.

Lee: I'm going to say that again so together we’re more.

Gloria: Yes, together we’re more.

Lee: What I heard you saying is without inclusion diversity doesn't stick?

Gloria: That is correct it's just a number. It's a measure.

Lee: It's a cliché. We have a diversity program.

Gloria: We've got a diversity program. We've got X number of people of color. We've got X number of women. How are you using these resources? That is the key. That's a difference between just diversity versus inclusion. How do you put those resources those diverse groups to work on the behalf of the organization?

Lee: Excellent point.

Gloria: Particularly when it comes to leadership pipeline, development opportunities, special project assignments, all of that stuff rest in the hands of a leader if they are intentional.

Lee: The folks in the leadership chair, we're using that word intentionality again, this is a good thing. I'm going to share a story about where people overlap at work and it's interesting because there's this, we're kind of going in that direction and just little bit and that's fine. I want to point out some of the advantages, you know some of the concrete take away advantages of having inclusion. Not just diversity. I was about to say that diversity, but inclusion.

Gloria: Inclusion.

Lee: If you can in your mind’s eye go here with me you know I'm envisioning some circles on a blackboard. There's one circle, a bigger circle, and a smaller one inside of it. The boundaries are on the inside then next to it there's two circles that don't touch whatsoever. Their boundaries do not touch and then there's a third set of circles where there is an overlap section kind of like one section of the Olympic ring.

There's a section where they overlap. I just want to talk about we’re talking about giving people the liberty and the freedom to be who they are. This is kind of where my mind goes to. When you look at boundaries.

That's what these circles are. There are some folks whose boundaries are very close to the vest. They are reactive. They were wired a certain way. It's not that they're good or bad.

It just is. You have to understand that when you're dealing with people that's their default position. Now coach whatever content to be productive and how that fits in with the mission that's all good. Likewise with the folks where their boundaries do not touch, those two circles that do not touch maybe more distant.

I'm comfortable with my more arm's length boundary out here. Again not bad, just is so you have to be meeting kind of keep where they are. In both instances and the point and the take away for the person in the leadership chair about inclusivity is at some point like the Olympic rings those things overlap. Guess what? Now you have Olympians on the same team.

Now independent these athletes are going to function in a certain way but watch what happens when you join those Olympic rings together. Watch the records that are going to get set. Watch the performance measures and metrics that get challenged. The point I'm making is make sure that you understand fully and culturally in a culturally competent way how your people overlap. What are your thoughts about giving people liberty to be themselves?

Gloria: I do think that you have to appreciate those differences because we each bring something special to the team, to the organization, but yet the magic happens when those special skill sets can build on each other to produce something brand-new. That is at the core of inclusion.

Lee: That really does sound like I am going back to Aha and All In. That really is interactive achievement right. Speak to some of these folks. They had freedom to be themselves. They had freedom to quote make mistakes. They had freedom to you know flap their wings professionally as opposed to a lot of structures and you know who that structures I'm talking about where that's not the case. You know you're flying under the radar screen. You know I'm not the early adapter. I think organizations in the long term to your point Gloria will pay a price for doing that.

Gloria: Definitely.

Lee: Because it's lip service. It's along for the ride. Interesting you're talking about the mission of the organization too. I want to cross over into a little bit of some of the practical reasons why inclusion off the basis of diversity is valuable. How do we make inclusion a powerful catalyst for success? What are some of the things that come to mind for you when you're counseling clients to get them into successful inclusion mode?

Gloria: Well I think it goes back to your business results. Do you want to compete in the war for talent? Young people are not that interested in showing up at homogenous work environment.

Lee: Interesting.

Gloria: They expect diversity. They have grown up with diversity. If you want to drive innovation, you're going to need a diverse population of people. If you care about your customer satisfaction, the world is a diverse world and the more people that you populate with diversity and inclusion you can reach a broader customer base ideally.

Lee: Interesting.

Gloria: It just makes business sense to embrace it, harness it, and practice it intentionally to retain your human capital at the end of the day.

Lee: I'm going to add on to that thought because I was reading recently that by the year 2040 or 2042 thereabouts the demographic shifts in the United States is going to change radically.

Gloria: Radically.

Lee: You know maybe you've got more thoughts to share on that too, but it just makes business sense. You say some people will think that's along for the ride. It’s like no that’s your market.

Gloria: It's real. It's changing and we need to be prepared for people of all colors etcetera.

Lee: Well in addition to that to your point about recruiting and retention there's the expectation okay. The boomers are hitting the finish line in droves. The middle from what they can remember it was lots of fun. Glad you guys got a good ride here, but the you know the middle boomers are kind of hitting the finish line now and you’ve got like to the those 1965-1966 because I was born in that timeframe are about eight-nine-ten years out.

Your market is changing so we've got a couple more minutes before the break. What I'd like us to think about is some of the advantages of inclusion based off diversity. I'm going to offer a few and as we get ready to wrap up today’s show after the break let's summarize some of the things we've talked about, the advantages and the things that you would want people to take away from our dialogue today. First thing I'll talk about is increased productivity because you're bringing different skill sets.

Gloria: Definitely.

Lee: You just said it you're bringing different market savvy. What used to be you know father knows best in 1955 duck and cover under a chair is gone.

Gloria: It's gone.

Lee: It's almost as if you're talking in a different language to people now sometimes. You're going to bring increased creativity because in their worldview it's not your worldview. It's different. Just by definition you're bringing more creativity. What I'd like us to be thinking about when you get ready to come up on the break are some of those advantages.

You mentioned attracting and retaining talent guidance you may be giving to your clients as you counsel them. Then how to build synergy on teams because communication is so important. What really matters? Some of these other things that are different, do they really matter or to my earlier point where you overlap is where excellence lives.

That's where those Olympic athletes are not in the non-touching, not in the getting lost in sights of somebody else, but their legitimate mission driven overlap. Then I would like to talk about you know what happens to the customer base as things start to progress demographically. Again, you're listening to VoltCast Illuminating Leadership.

This is principal consultant Lee Hubert sitting in for our CEO Jeff Smith. We've been having a great discussion about diversity and inclusion and it's all good. We'll see you in again in two minutes as we get ready to wrap today's radio show.


Lee: Hello and welcome back to VoltCast Illuminating Leadership this is your cohost Lee Hubert, the principal consultant and Voltage Leadership sitting in for CEO, Jeff Smith who is on vacation with Beth and the kids this week and I'm sure having a grand time. We are so pleased and privileged to have with us Gloria Witt today, my friend and colleague who’s the founder and CEO of Define Success Coaching and Facilitation here in Virginia and we've been having a pretty interesting and robust discussion about diversity and inclusion. Gloria as we get ready to wrap up today's radio program I would like us to be thinking about the tips and tools and practical takeaways that people can apply. What we want people to remember from our time together today? One of the first things that pops up to me and it is the what you said at the outset only 20% of organizations are really actively engaged and are prepared to do this another one is diversity without inclusion doesn't stick. Does not stick. What are some the other ones that you'd like to have people remember?

Gloria: I think to kind of demystify the whole concept, I want them to remember that just a simple premise of diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.

Lee: I love it.

Gloria: It's a simple concept and I think it just takes the mystery away. Just don't have diversity and demographic numbers in your organization. Make sure that you're inviting them to the dance. Invite them to dance, put them in programs. Make sure your leadership pipeline is represented of a diverse population. Ensure in your recruitment practices that your slate has diverse candidates and if you don't then don't even interview them until you get a diverse set of candidates for that particular position.

Lee: You mentioned that point about recruitment and retention as well because the demographics have shifted. What's the message that folks should be taking away from that?

Gloria: The demographics are going to be shifting and there's going to be a lot of different populations in the talent pool. It's not just going to be what we are now. It's going to be completely different, people of color, women, etc. and leaders have to be open to getting comfortable with including all types of people, ethnicities, races, etcetera. I think one of the things you're making me think about today is the expectation of diversity and inclusion especially in the younger demographics.

Lee: It's an expectation and if you don't do this, they’re going to look at you like okay.

Gloria: I don't want to be here.

Lee: Why do I want to work there?

Gloria: Why do I want to be?

Lee: It is an expectation. What other thoughts, tools that things that you would want people to remember?

Gloria: I would say that leaders need to be intentional and in their practices of inclusion when designing teams, when promoting people, when sponsoring certain people, career paths for people of color and women and women I haven't mentioned women. I don't know how I forgot that, but that's a special category I think that also need to be uplifted.

Lee: Well maybe that's another subsequent program we’ll have you back or you know we’ll drill on that because this is a big topic.

Gloria: It's a big.

Lee: We could go a lot of different directions as we were talking about at the break.

Gloria: The other thing is for me it's a business strategy. If you care about recruitment, if you care about innovation, if you care about business results, financials, diverse populations with inclusion get better results.

Lee: Period.

Gloria: Period.

Lee: You made a point earlier about having the liberty or the freedom to be who you are. I think you know there's a lot of workplace cultures that don't do that.

Gloria: Well I would say the Gallup poll tells us consistently for the last what nine years or more that employee engagement is at what 30%?

Lee: Yes.

Gloria: That 70% of the people.

Lee: Yes.

Gloria: Feeling disconnected.

Lee: Yes.

Gloria: I wonder how many of those 70% are in that issue of dealing with diversity and inclusion.

Lee: Yes.

Gloria: Just feeling that can't be themselves.

Lee: Yes, Jeff and I had a discussion on a prior VoltCast if you know six or seven out of people in your workforce are actively not engaged in some horrendously disengaged just waiting for another opportunity to leave you know where is your cultural equity taking you? Meaning that there is none. You’re running on vapors. I'll go back to the Aha story for second.

If you give folks culturally the liberty, the freedom to be who they are. I'm not saying they have to be perfect, but there just seems to be this I don't want to call it pall, but it just goes with the territory. There’s some folks out in the radio audience are going yes, you’re rolling that your eyes. Yes, what are you guys smoking there?

We're not living in the real world. No we do. Gloria and I both worked in the energy business in a bunch of different places over the years and you know there's some takeaways here for this. Consider the alternative program to for diversity and inclusion and meaning that just don't invite people to the dance, but give them an active role to play. Other thoughts you had that folks want to take away from today?

Gloria: Well my thought would be that again looking at diversity from the perspective is not just a measure, but inclusion is your process. How you actually make it. Put those resources to work because once you’ve made that decision to have a diverse population and the next challenge for leaders and organizations is how do I maximize all of my resources and talent to get the bigger outcome. I think be intentional about it.

Lee: Some of the takeaways for the business case we’ve been talking about it will increase your market share. You know you'll attract and retain talent. It just goes with the territory. You'll increase creativity and productivity if you're intentional about it.

We’re not just you know whistling into the into the air here I mean there's a business case for doing this. It's been just a great conversation. I do want to give people the ability to reach out to you if they wanted and get in touch with you directly. How would I go about getting in touch with you if I wanted to reach out to you directly?

Gloria: Well you can email me at gloria.witt@definesuccess, define-success.com. That’s Gloria.witt@define-success.com. You can call me 434-942-4367 or you can check my website at www.define-success.com. I love to interact with you.

Lee: Excellent and as you know we were sharing at the break I'm going to be speaking for a client organization in Atlantic City next month and a bunch of different places and you know that's one of the passions Gloria and I share. We’re both excellent on the platform if I say so myself.

Gloria: Well thank you.

Lee: We do have fun doing it and that's one of the things that people need to understand. If it's great information and great presenters, it has a great end result.

Gloria: Yes.

Lee: If you're looking for somebody who's passionate and has great information you know give Gloria a shout out. I just wanted to do some housekeeping here at the end. You’ve been listening to VoltCast Illuminating Leadership. Again this is principal consultant, Lee Hubert sitting in for CEO Jeff Smith.

I'm so pleased that you have joined us and they’re going to taking away some of the lessons learned for today. You can reach us in Virginia direct at Voltage Leadership by dialing area code 540-798-1963. That's 540-798-1963. You can email me Lee@VoltageLeadership.com or Jeff Smith at Jeff@VoltageLeadership.com. Once again our website is www.voltageleadership.com.

You can like us on Facebook at Voltage Leadership. You can connect with Jeff or Lee LinkedIn Lee Hubert Voltage Leadership Consulting or Jeff Smith Voltage Leadership Consulting. You can follow Jeff on Twitter @VoltageLeaders. I do want to just mention that Jeff's daughter has been accepted at Duke University engineering school and we’re all giggly about that so we've got different kinds of Dukes taking place here.

You've been listening to both Voltage Illuminating Leadership. I hope you have a fantastic week. We’re looking forward to seeing you again next week on Illuminating Leadership. We’re going to be having some excellent dialogue. I hope to see you then. Have an awesome week. We'll talk to you then by now.