Marketing to whom? deepSEE Blog
April 9, 2012

Since the only other language I can speak is pidgin Hebrew, and half our office is fluent in Spanish, I decided it was time to learn that noble language. I found this video online about the Pimsleur Method and got all excited about it. For some reason I’d always thought of Pimsleur as kind of stodgy, but this was hip and entertaining, and I ended up with the message that learning a language is no big deal—anyone can do it, and even have fun at the same time. That’s what the Gen Xer in me likes to hear, so I signed up, got the introductory course, and started learning.

A few weeks later I got the follow-up course in the mail, the big guns, the Pimsleur Approach Gold Edition, and it looked anything BUT hip and entertaining. Arriving in a faux-leather box complete with a “passport” and 16 CDs, it was obviously designed to appeal to an older Boomer who wants to travel the world, either for business or pleasure. I actually had a moment of confusion when it arrived—I thought maybe it was a mistake, the second message was so radically different from the first.

The intro course had been eight CDs, though packaged in a single, thick CD case. No big deal—if I decided to go the distance, I’d just download the rest of the courses. Well, I’ve looked all over Pimsleur’s website, and I haven’t yet found a download option, and there’s no way I’m going to try and jam a box full of CDs in my car somewhere. That’s why we have MP3 players, right? Also, I know at least two Gen Yers, interested in both language and travel, who would look at this box and say, “I don’t even have a CD player; what am I supposed to do with this?” Good question. I don’t think Pimsleur knows, either.

This is a classic example of an organization trying to reach out to a diverse group of consumers with no integrated strategy to deal with the differences involved. It’s good to diversify your customer base; in fact, it’s necessary. But organizations that don’t recognize the fundamentals of interacting effectively across difference are only going to alienate those they’re trying to reach in the first place. Effective organizations allow the differences to guide the message or, as a recent participant in a discussion on Public Radio said recently: “You’ve got to let the customer tell you how they want their message delivered.” Amen.

Cultural Moment
Join us in Puerto Rico for ISDIP!
April 5, 2012

We are going to Puerto Rico for the International Society of Diversity and Inclusion Professionals first annual conference April 23-27, 2012. Sara Taylor will be presenting the session, From Best to Better Practice: Moving beyond Inclusion to Create Higher Performance. Will you be there?

From Best to Better: Moving the D&I Practice Forward
March 19, 2012
Sara Taylor

I think we deserve some credit. We in the Diversity and Inclusion profession have taken an unknown, unidentified practice and shaped it into a discipline that adds incredible value to our organizations and we’ve done that in just a few decades! Yet, as a young profession, I think we have a long way to go to reach our full potential. There is much that is yet to be solidified, researched, discovered or invented, which creates an exciting environment for us.

So, how do we get there? We take full advantage of the few opportunities to network, learn and question together with our D&I peers, particularly at conferences like the Multicultural Forum happening this week in Minneapolis, MN. We need to squeeze events like this dry and come away satiated with new information and perspectives. deepSEE has been involved in this particular conference for over a decade and I can’t speak highly enough of it. If you plan to attend, join us at our booth in the resource fair or at our session, “From Best to Better: New Practices for Organizational Success across Difference” on Thursday afternoon.

Way to go JCP - deepSEE Blog
February 21, 2012
Sara Taylor

Way to go JCPenney! I just saw the CNN interview with Ronald Johnson, JCP’s CEO. He speaks of his response to the group “One Million Moms” and their campaign against Ellen DeGeneres and JCP for choosing her as their spokesperson. Johnson is an example of the kind of courageous leader we need at the helm in today’s organizations. He did a values check and it was simple. He said JCP values integrity and DeGeneres is “probably the highest integrity person that is in America these days.” Simple. She continues to be their spokesperson. It really can be that easy!

Most CEOs still buckle when a controversy involving Diversity hits them. What we need is more bravery and sincere support at the helm. So I praise you for that, Mr. Johnson. But I also have to say that I humbly have a critique for you. You also mention that JCP still operates from the perspective of the founding name of the company from 110 years ago, “The Golden Rule,” and also believes in that philosophy to treat others as you would like to be treated. I respectfully suggest that this may in fact be an ineffective approach. Please consider this: you have different perspectives, needs, values, etc. from those around you and therefore, what may be respectful to you may not be respectful to them. They may actually prefer that you not treat them as you would like to be treated. Consider instead, the Platinum Rule and treat others the way they want to be treated. That approach, matched with your courage to stand behind Diversity will make you even more effective as a leader!!

Effective anti-racism campaign? deepSEE Blog
February 10, 2012
Sara Taylor

What would happen if we approached Diversity or anti-racism work with the goal of being effective versus being “right?” I asked myself that question again today as I read the Minneapolis StarTribune headline about the anti-racism campaign initiated by a community group in the small city of Duluth, MN. They are initiating critical conversations with their billboards about white privilege, but they are also stirring up quite a bit of hate and defensiveness. Does the community group have good intentions? No doubt. Are they drawing attention to the issue of racism? Of course. But, are they being effective? I would say definitely yes with a certain sliver of the population and definitely not with another sliver of the population. So, if I were grading them, I’d give them an “A” for courage, another “A” for initiating conversation, but a “C” for effectiveness.

When we put out messages or do Diversity work that makes a percentage of the group even more defensive, we have only been successful at further polarizing the issue. If we instead approach people where they are in a no-blame, no-shame way and push them to a deeper level of understanding then we have been not only courageous, but also effective. 

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