Helping people, organizations and communities find greater clarity and advantage relative to authenticity, diversity and inclusion.
joe gerstandt brings new clarity and fresh practices to diversity and inclusion work.
joe has worked with Fortune 500 corporations, small non-profits, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits, and blogs at joegerstandt.com. He is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum and his insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, The Diversity Factor, The American Diversity Report, the Corporate Recruiting Leadership Journal, Associations Now, other print and on-line journals and he co-authored the book Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships.
joe grew up on a family farm in NW Iowa, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, attended Iowa State University and then spent 6 years working in management and business development for technology and communication companies. He then made a career change and went to work for a grassroots non-profit organization where he found himself drawn to issues related to diversity and inclusion and then became actively involved in that work.
Today, joe believes that we can ill afford to continue applying a 20th century approach to an increasingly critical set of 21st century issues. A strong advocate for resetting the diversity and inclusion conversation, joe sees diversity and inclusion as poorly understood and often misunderstood. His keynote messages and interactive workshops bring greater clarity, energy, and application to diversity and inclusion work.
joe lives in Omaha, Nebraska (the middle of everywhere) with his patient, kind, patient, loving and patient wife, two daughters, a son, a dog, and a guinea pig.
ZEN AND THE ART OF INCLUSION
Inclusion has, in the past decade, become an incredibly popular word in the workplace. It is not at all difficult to find leaders, organizations and communities quick to tell you how incredibly inclusive they are. What remains difficult to find is the leader who can explain what that actually means. Inclusion remains, in most organizations, a vague, abstract concept. It is no wonder so many organizations struggle to determine how to get there and what to measure along the way.
If you sincerely want to move toward a more inclusive employee experience (for your benefit and theirs), then clarity is one of your very best friends. Joe shows leaders how to build diversity and inclusion efforts that succeed, starting with a strong foundation of clear, concise, common language and logic.
• Greater clarity about what inclusion means and how it informs individual, group, and organizational performance.
• Identify fundamental barriers to inclusion.
• Take actionable models and definitions back to your organization to better inform your inclusion efforts.
WORKING WITH HUMANS
We have traditionally organized work from the perspective of what the organization needs or what management needs. This approach frequently results in practices that actually stymie performance. Cubicle farms anyone?
What if you built your organization and organized work based on what employees need to perform at their best? Fortunately for us, we have a much better understanding of human performance and what drives it today than ever before.
Drawing on insights from fields such as social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, organizational behavior, and behavioral economics, this session looks for opportunities to redesign aspects of our work with the humans in mind.
There are, in fact, lots of opportunities at work to replace what we think should work with what actually will work. For some strange reason, we continue to be surprised that a couple of people dominate the conversation during a meeting or that we have “silo issues.” Pretty predictable, also pretty easy to solve when approached in the right way.
- Challenge some of the fundamentally flawed assumptions we make about human beings.
- Examine examples of how behavioral design can be used to deliver better individual and shared outcomes at work.
- Be introduced to a basic model of human behavior to use in designing work.
- Direction to additional resources on human behavior, performance, and behavioral design.
Leaders play a critical role in providing an inclusive employee experience, and research suggests that the wrong kind of leadership is one of the biggest barriers to inclusion. Not only is inclusion poorly understood, and often misunderstood by managers, inclusive leadership is simply not the path of least resistance. Even if we see the importance and value of inclusion intellectually, in the moment it makes life a lot easier if everyone just thinks and acts in the same ways. Inclusion is hard work and is about much more than having good intentions. Being an inclusive leader is not about “getting it,” “embracing it,” or having a killer business case for it…you have to actually do stuff, and Joe will help you figure out what that stuff is.
Starting with a simple, but actionable framework for understanding inclusion and what it means to be included Joe outlines a basic toolkit for inclusive leadership.
- A more tangible understanding of what inclusion is and how it can impact performance.
- Exploration of dynamics which make inclusion difficult, including practices of traditional management.
- Be introduced to a basic toolkit for inclusive leadership consisting of knowledge, behavior, and practices.
DIVERSITY + INCLUSION = INNOVATION
We still seem to love the idea of the lone, possibly eccentric, mythical genius who drives innovation from their lab, their garage, or an exotic mountain top, but innovation almost always has social origins. Innovation often emerges from the intersection of different things, different world views, different industries or professions, different ways of thinking. If we are as serious about innovation as we claim to be, then we must be better at mixing diverse things together in inclusive containers.
Thanks to the research of Scott Page, Ron Burt and others, we know that there are very direct lines between cognitive diversity (diversity of thought) and superior decision-making and problem solving.
Having greater diversity of thought involved in a conversation also can make it more difficult, so knowing how to do it well becomes a pretty big opportunity for advantage.
- Introduce the concept of cognitive diversity, what it is, and why it matters.
- Review research and examples of how cognitive diversity makes a difference.
- Consider individual and group practices for more effectively leveraging diversity of thought toward greater innovation, improved decision-making and problem-solving.
While everyone has been busy fighting the “war for talent,” much has changed regarding how we do work. With every passing year, we do less work by ourselves and more of it with others, yet our language and efforts around talent are still focused on the individual level. If we do still care about talent, a very timely question is; do you know what makes a talented team?
Thanks to both academic and field research, we can identify many of the key practices critical to a team actually aggregating the talent and resources that they have access to. While so much of our efforts around talent are focused on individual abilities and competencies, at the group level those things really do not matter much, but how the team works together takes on great importance.
- Introduce the concept of psychological safety.
- Learn what it means to “do conflict well” and why it matters.
- Leave with a menu of group practices to drive more
INCLUSION BY DESIGN
Inclusion is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the world of work. Ask 10 people in your organization what inclusion is, why it’s valuable, and how we capture that value, and you are likely to get 10 different answers, most of which will not make any sense.
It is incredibly difficult to measure progress toward, or hit a target you cannot define. This interactive workshop clarifies for you your target and how to hit it.
Joe walks you through a process for designing and delivering a more inclusive employee experience for your team, your organization, or your community.
- Develop strong foundational language and logic to inform your inclusion efforts.
- Work through a design process to clarify what an inclusive employee experience means for your organization.
- Identify key leverage points and priorities for delivering a more inclusive employee experience for your organization.