Inside-Out & Outside-In Diversity & Inclusion offer you a collective advantage to achieve contagious success  

By: Bill Van Eron Tuesday May 14, 2019 0 comments Tags: Bill Van Eron

Van_Eron_headerBy Bill Van Eron

Ecosystem Value Strategist

Headwaters Marketing and Innovation

van-eron-5.14.19-column-photoPeople aren’t born in a box, nor are they drawn to boxes when the higher value is breaking out of them. So why do so many organizations box in their employees true potential? Job descriptions lessen contributions employees make, especially if first & second level management protect the status quo & minimize vital new thinking. Many heard the call to hire people better than us, yet conduits to enable their new thinking are rare. Our mission  is to flip that all  around so  people and all orgs can shape lives and work that matters.

Researchers state talent recruitment is a top CEO priority. But the best magnet to attract talent is a pattern to enable an entrepreneurial culture to take off so more diverse attributes are factored in, and feel inclusive inside and out. A positive reputation is your best asset when you have the right value compass.

Leaders don’t have all the answers in this new norm of high change. Just say no to chaos as trust relevance & success abound where you enable people beyond outdated structures & job descriptions.

We add a focus on attributes and help catalyze champions, just as I did for HP and others as a designer with a reputation of market synthesis, creative thinking and attention to others across the ecosystem. I was happy as a designer, yet as I think back to how often HP functions; HR, Finance, R&D, Sales, Leadership, Channels, and market influencers engaged me as I earned their trust, that’s the secret sauce to success all orgs have to master today. See, apply and recognize attributes beyond the job description. The ability to ask great questions, internalize needs most miss, add new thinking…the list is long, offers high value & underutilized. Jobs with high repetition may soon go to AI, so it does you all a service to develop strong soft skills, and inspire that people-powered org now key to success, if not always.

Silos and left brain dominated cultures inadvertently bog organizations down at a time where objectivity & integrated right & left brain thinking is increasingly vital if you want relevance with that great product you created. Silos often recruit silo solutions. That inadvertently creates closed internal cultures and widespread today. All things human are interconnected and vital. Left brain dominated cultures, processes, and businesses rarely have strong right brain skilled people in their C-Suite to  a major  disadvantage we now address. Left brain orgs (I.E. technology, medical, financial or science and of late, construction and most orgs) fall into one dimensional thinking, mechanized structures and expect success versus earning  it where it matters to those who rank your value across your success ecosystem. Yes, success, without a doubt, is tied to internal & external ecosystem values. Right brainers add trust, relevance and do so with inclusion and diversity as organizational aces in their hand.

Quick story: When growing up and entering my design career in the most competitive NYC marketplace, no matter what one chose as a career, embracing the process of diverse idea sharing and open dialog is why more people became successful. When I joined friends or strangers, experts or newbies, the power of open dialog and shared reasoning shaped a value that equated to realizing the life in our values as connected to an open mind and continuous learning. We see leaders at all levels of an org fail to challenge their certainties and core assumptions. Sure there is always some value in what an invested and objectivity seeking person derives, and this validates that while increasing success and internal & external buy in. 70% fail at this – Gallup.

Diversity & inclusion should not just be internal applications as external sources also matter. The values I discovered amongst editors, analysts, resellers and industries all fueled higher brand relevance.

No matter what we believe, we always have to test the waters so others soon support new waves. I was pleased to attend a Microsoft and CMO Council-hosted webinar on the topics of transformation and innovation. Several companies that collaborate on a solution were validating all the things I championed long ago and today, are now on leaders and solution providers priority radar. The AHA! was when they all concurred that leaders do nod in approval when they hear concepts - diversity, inclusion and others, such as trust, culture and more that is vital as a connected system for success. But they rarely know how to implement without access to earned experience. Too often they pick one, such as trust,  yet fail as all things human are connected.

The solution providers added that finding someone with that experience who achieved great success is the ultimate value. That made my day. I had long applied what today’s thought leaders and theorists advocate today as essential decades later. I feel fortunate to have advanced my experience as I connect with others on this path to enhance organizational effectiveness as a values-based business model, culture and enabled business humanity. As a person who escaped ego trappings, I am happy for those that act on this.

Let me share perspectives we apply that fuel original yet proven actions for each attribute: 

  1. Diversities value goes deeper than just ethnicity: Growing up in NYC, I loved diversity as a source of life, values, relevance and new stimulus. Yes, ethnicity is often the first thought people have, accept that we all have gifts as human beings that ethnicity, values and experiences contribute to. I.E., Today’s requirements to earn trust, show empathy, enable others, sense the value system, reveals more women have that leadership advantage. When we are committed to others, respect their thoughts, ideas, viewpoints & build that into the system to leverage and recognize, what is learned has reasonable application that then encourages more learning – the actions that follow show inclusion, pride, diversity, passion & strength.
  2. With regard to attributes: Once you understand the ecosystem – internally and externally – with regard to how new and how vital that will be, you have a direct light on the pulse of what matters. Various employees can champion those values. Other attributes; the ability to ask great questions; be a topical resource; add value to ideas and business actions, and many more. The more people think like owners, the more invested they become in your success. Imagine catalysts, like 1000 points of light synthesizing needs where in customer-facing positions. Be a catalyst for adding value to whatever you look at with objectivity, possibility and systems thinking. The list is significant, ironically at a time where people have to rise to a level AI cannot easily replicate, to yet shape and enable where we shape purpose, relevance and outcomes.
  3. Inclusion: How do you feel when your thoughts are rarely recruited or you fear putting them forward where the status quo rules. Flip that and think how you feel when you know your orgs goals, brand and what success entails and somewhere along that lifeline, your thoughts & actions make a difference. When a top editor said just because you are a large company, does not mean we trust everything you say, I saw his trust as vital so our team invited him to attend focus groups so they could hear what we hear, and they said no one had ever done that for them. Trust rose extremely high as did global coverage. Why be a PR hack, when you can shape value that matters in an inclusive manner.
Bill Van Eron

About the Author: Bill Van Eron

Bill Van Eron, as a professional possibility & systems thinker, sees & and has applied the values that connect us between life, work, brand, trust, enablement…often shaping contagious relevance. It is special to be one -- as I approach semi-retirement -- that learned today’s emerging values early in life & how synthesizing them across any stakeholder relevance ecosystem earns significance all can embrace as higher success. Bill simply seeks to be the sparkplug that fuels the leader in all of us to rise up and matter beyond status quo or personal obstacles. Bill earned the highest regard as HP’s top customer champion, then as HP’s top market strategist. While that always catalyzed greater revenues, it was the collective “we” that made it all happen. Can you say that today? Why not make that call?