As the CEO of Herrmann, I’m proud that one of my first actions in taking on the role was to become a signatory of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge to take meaningful action towards creating more inclusive workplaces and to participate in the Day of Understanding.
This past November, on the invitation of our cherished client partners at PWC, I had the good fortune to attend the Closed-Door Session along with CEOs, CHROs and Chief Diversity Officers from more than 300 other leading companies. I was inspired by the honest reflection and earnest desire to cultivate meaningful change within our organizations and across our society.
I also noted a consistent theme in talking to other CEOs during and after the session: that courageous, engaging conversations are required to drive D&I change, and that understanding cognitive diversity is a powerful enabler for these courageous conversations.
In the words of Larry Fink at Blackrock:
I think one of the areas of diversity that we don’t talk enough about is diversity of mind. We don’t spend enough time asking: Do we have an organization with diversity of mind?
The most important component of good management, good leadership, and good stewardship is making sure that you have diversity of mind. Using analytics is about trying to make sure you have diversity in the composition of people in mind and in background. Having a more diverse team of people will lead less to groupthink and more to a diverse conversation.
Larry’s point about a more diverse conversation resonated with a need I heard during our CEO Action Session. One of the key commitments that all of the CEO Action signatories make is to hold an organization-wide Day of Understanding in February 2020. As you think about your own work, not only toward planning your organization’s Day of Understanding but also dedicating yourself to building a more inclusive culture, how will you cultivate an environment where a diversity of thinking is welcomed?
What is so powerful about this idea is that by creating a culture that understands and embraces cognitive diversity, you can build a foundation of trust that enables courageous conversations about D&I. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to plan your own Day of Understanding within your organization and to include cognitive diversity as a core component of your approach to building a more inclusive environment. We’d welcome the chance to share ideas to help you do so. Feel free to reach out to set up some time to discuss how you’ll move the needle for your company.
Thank you for all that you already do to make an impact on diversity and inclusion in our workplaces and our communities!
This post is part of a series where our leadership talks about our commitment to participating in the CEO Action Day of Understanding. This post was written by our CEO, Karim Morgan Nehdi.
Interested in more information on Diversity and Inclusion?
Keep the conversation going with us! Watch our D&I webinar, The Bias In The Brain: Whole Brain® Thinking As A Remedy To Cognitive Bias! Click here.
Ann Herrmann-Nehdi and Dr. Gillian Oakenfull, Faculty Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the Farmer School of Business at Miami University, take a deep dive into current and future D&I trends.