Category Archives: Teams & Leaders

Developing diverse teams and leadership

Leadership in Crisis – by Robyn Lebron

One of the hardest things you may have to do over the next few days, weeks and months  is to BE the Leader that holds the light and strength for everyone around you.

You have all learned by now that certain people have special spirits, and people are drawn to you for your leadership, your courage and your inner strength.  This will happen even more right now, when there are so many searching for answers. In order for you to do that, you need to understand that these experiences will cause you to blossom into the leaders you are meant to become!

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Diversity and Speech Part 10: Harmful Speech 2070 – by Carlos E. Cortés

This is the second of three columns in which I make fifty-year projections concerning the following question: as a nation, where will we stand in 2070 when it comes to the contested interplay of diversity and speech?  These three columns are based on a public presentation on diversity and speech that I gave at the December, 2019, Speculative Futures in Education Conference at the University of California, Riverside.

In my previous column I argued that the internet has dramatically altered the diversity-speech discussion, particularly when it comes to hate speech.  As an easily-accessible mechanism for spreading hate, including through troll storms and doxing, the internet has developed into a true weapon of terror.   

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Future Digital Workplace and Job Skills – by Frank Feather

Technological revolutions always transform the workplace, especially the job skills and talents required to perform.

By 2025, about 40% of today’s skills will at least change, if not be made obsolete and replaced by new skills. On average, in some 60% of jobs, at least a 30% of their activities can be automated.

Hence, most jobs will change or be replaced, and more people will need to work alongside technology. Digital technology also changes how and where work takes place.

Digital Workplace Revolution

In the broadest sense, we are moving from a centralized to a decentralized workplace system.

  1. Old Centralized Workplace:
  • The Industrial Revolution moved work from the farm into centralized factories of mass production, starting with textiles and then spreading to other products.
  • The Services Revolution, based on computers and information processing, simply copied the centralization model and moved work into what I call “paper-shuffling factories in the sky.”
  • The Digital Revolution changes all of that again. Things get digitized and decentralized.
  1. New Decentralized Workplace:

In the digital era, most things, if not everything, get reversed. You don’t need to “go” places:

  • You do not need to go to the library; search engines bring the information to you.
  • You do not need to go to shops; online shopping networks place the products on your screen and bring them to your doorstep.
  • So it is with work. The vast majority of office workers (I would say 80% at least) do not need to go to office towers to do their work. Work comes to them.

The digital revolution brings the work to their laptop or other device, anyplace, anytime. So much of today’s service sector work will become decentralized to telecommuting remote workers. This is a slow process that has been ongoing for some time, because traditional managers don’t know how to manage remote workers. But it is expanding rapidly in developed economies.

Digital Skills Revolution

These workplace changes require new skills. The 3 main talents needed are as follows:

  1. “High-Tech” Intelligence

This refers to the ability to transform data into business and customer value. It requires the ability to evaluate information credibility and how it should be used.

Digital technology will be commonplace in every workplace, from farm to factory to the service sector: retail, education, healthcare, travel, entertainment, and professional services.

Employees need skills to work with advanced tech, from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Robots of every kind. They need to become tech-savvy about AI and how Machine Learning (ML) and Deep Learning (DL) will help them to be much more productive on their jobs and to deliver superior value to customers.

2. “High-Touch” Intelligence

The more the world becomes high-tech, the more it needs to be high-touch, or human. Employees need to know their own emotions and those of others, to foster a team-based, human workplace culture.

The world also is increasingly a “global village,” and organizations are increasingly diverse. As part of high-touch or emotional intelligence (EQ in addition to IQ), employees need to respect and embrace diversity and work together to eliminate every form of discrimination: ethnicity, gender, age, language, religious and political beliefs.

Customers also comprise the global village and they increasingly expect all of this to be reflected in organizations.

3. Self-Management Skill

Collaborative teamwork and interpersonal skills are essential to help organizations achieve their goals and boost customer satisfaction. Due to fast-evolving tech changes, people must commit to adapt to change and to learn necessary new or updated skills as an ongoing process.

Management skills of various kinds will be increasingly important for all employees, not just senior executives. People need good time management skills, self-motivation, continuous re-skilling, sustained creativity and innovation, team project skills, and discretionary decision-making abilities.

As well of course, self-management is very important for any kind of remote work.

Conclusion

The above trends will continue to evolve through the 2020 decade and beyond. And technology will impact every job in every profession, not just those covered here in general terms.

The key is to anticipate and prepare for change, and re-skill or up-skill yourself so that you are not caught out by it.

Remember, the future belongs to those who get there first!

Diversity and Speech Part 8: Managing Diversity – by Carlos E. Cortés

Carlos Cortez
Carlos Cortez

This is the eighth in a series of columns based on my research as a former fellow of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement.   In these columns I have discussed what I call the diversity movement — the composite of individual, group, and organizational efforts to reduce societal inequities that penalize people because of their actual or perceived membership in certain social groups.   In particular I have focused on the intersection of diversity and speech. 

After analyzing the past half century of the diversity movement, I concluded that the movement actually consists of four separate but intersecting diversity strands: intercultural; equity and inclusion; critical theory; and managing diversity.  My past columns have sketched the parameters of the first three strands.  In this column I will focus on the fourth strand, managing diversity.

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Why Inspirational Leaders Follow A Path Of Gratitude – by Andrew Scharf

When innovative thinking is at the helm, you can be sure that at its core is inspirational leaders. Real leaders have our back, and stand up for doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. At a time when we are surrounded by the forces of darkness and authoritarian strong men, we owe to ourselves, our communities, our countries and the world to stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight to preserve the freedoms many of us have come to take for granted. Make your voices heard. Democracy dies in silence.

Innovative leaders shape positive behavior, communitarianism as well as business practices. Under this form of stewardship, optimism and gratitude prevail.

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Experiencing Diversity Through the Marine Corps Training Process – Reginald Hairston

The Marine Corps’ purpose as stated on its webpage is to, “Defend the people of the United States at home and abroad. To do that, we make Marines who win our Nation’s battles and return as quality citizens.”  To the casual reader, the first half of the purpose, which is to defend the United States, is stated in simple terms and easily understood.  However, it is the latter half of the purpose that bears some investigating and begs the question, “What does make a better citizen mean?”  To answer this question, I want to take you on a journey through the process of becoming a Marine, the transformation that occurs and the life-changing impact of being immersed into a sea of diversity creates. 

Citizens from every walk of life you can imagine arrive by bus to one of three locations.  Young men and women who have signed an enlistment contract arrive at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina or Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.  Officer candidates receive their initial training at the Officer Candidate School located in Quantico, Virginia.  For the purposes of this journey, we will focus on the experience of the recruits who matriculate through one of the training Depots.

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Breaking Down the Walls to Disability in the C-suite – by Louise Duffield

Overcoming obstacles to the integration of disabled people in the C-Suite should be at the top of every board agenda. Often, I hear about diversity, but diversity efforts alone do not  deal with the challenges facing disabled senior executives or aspiring leaders. These challenges can be addressed, and leaders have a responsibility to turn around the stigma surrounding disability in the C-suite.

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Effect Change in One Brief Conversation – by Keith Weedman

Unexpected Introduction

Keith Weedman
Keith Weedman

When I provided an introductory session for highly skilled Toastmaster Ant Blair, my goal was to earn the privilege of providing him a program that blends training on how to effect change in one, brief conversation with coaching. Ant was quite engaged during his training. I was feeling optimistic about the outcome. Then at the end of his session, something totally unexpected happened. Ant was the one to effect change in one, brief conversation.

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Nurturing and Humility in Leadership – by Deborah Levine

I have been puzzled by colleagues congratulating me on my humility. What are these folks talking about? People who knew me years ago would definitely be amused by that. At best, I was described as “Sweet but Stern.” At my boldest, I was told that I could terrorize entire cities. Community leaders had a white-knuckled grasp on their chairs when I tersely announce my intention to speak off-the-record. Not even a voice from the back of the room calling out, “Oh ho, this should be good!” slowed me down.

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The Challenge of Unconscious Bias – by Deborah Levine

Unconscious bias training is an admirable project but may often be ineffective. The fuzzy, vague term of unconscious bias is often applied indiscriminately, but unconscious bias isn’t a one-size-fits-all term amenable to a one afternoon of training. Yes, it can refer to the incident where the police were called to arrest two African-Americans waiting for a meeting at Starbucks. But it can also mean only smiling at customers that look like you, rejecting resumes from diverse applicants, and promoting the employees who resemble the current leadership team. If we want to address unconscious bias effectively, we need to first be aware of how the senses, emotions, and brain interact to create unconscious bias. Second, we must go beyond awareness of our biases to sensitivity to their impact. Lastly, we need to develop a system that internalizes wise decision making with ongoing reinforcement of that competence.

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