The Superpower of Inclusive Leadership Revealed

As a leadership consultant, I help leaders to be thoughtful and strategic about designing inclusive organizations. There is intense discussion, debate, research and experiment going on in this space. I challenged myself to identify the single most impactful lever – or a superpower – to implementing inclusive practices in organizations. I recently shared what I came to realize at the TechInclusion Conference in Seattle, and now I want to share my insight with you here.

Inclusive leadership is made out of two equally challenging parts, “inclusion” and “leadership” – so, let’s first explore some key characteristics of each of them.

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Why Do Diversity Efforts Fail?

So, you’ve read the research and know that diverse teams perform better. You diligently hire for diversity, knowing that doing so will increase the intelligence quotient of your team and thus make your company more competitive and cutting-edge…right?

Well, not necessarily. If all you’ve done is hire for diversity and then sit back and wait for the magic to happen, you will probably be disappointed. Your team will fail to meet your expectations and Continue reading Why Do Diversity Efforts Fail?

A Lesson on Leadership, Or How I Got Lost in HEL

Last year I was invited to speak about organizational culture leadership at an annual convening of customer service leaders of the Worldwide Airline Customer Relations Association (WACRA) in Helsinki, Finland.

Helsinki airport

I was ecstatic about this invitation because it not only allowed me to speak about a topic I love, but it also provided an opportunity to see my family in my native Finland.

For some 27 years I’ve been an expatriate Finn who travels back to the country of my birth once or twice a year. Continue reading A Lesson on Leadership, Or How I Got Lost in HEL

If culture eats strategy for breakfast – what’s for dinner?

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to participate and present at the annual conference of the Worldwide Airline Customer Relations Association (WACRA) in Helsinki, Finland. WACRA has been convening for seventy years – with the exception of 2001 when the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened. While #WACRA16 was hosted by Finnair, the audience consisted of customer relations and service leaders from almost thirty airlines around the world; Delta, Southwest, Virgin breakfast on FinnairAmerica, Bangkok, Emirates, Qatar, Qantas and Cathay Pacific, just to name a few.

Continue reading If culture eats strategy for breakfast – what’s for dinner?

Adaptability, Creativity, and Diversity — Winning the Innovation Game

“Innovation! We need more innovation!”

I hear this call for innovation not only in my conversations with leaders in big corporations with R&D units, but in companies of all sizes, and even in established institutions like universities. People feel the pressure to produce like startups, constantly creating something new and launching it with a “bang.” Expand! Go global! The constant demand for ‘more and faster’ drives companies to seriously search ways how they can accelerate innovation. IMG_1056

As a humanist, I believe that the innovativeness of an organization is a result of the creativity, diversity of thought and adaptability of the people who work there. It’s the leader’s job to create a culture in which these three key elements of innovativeness are encouraged, expressed and exhibited both at a Continue reading Adaptability, Creativity, and Diversity — Winning the Innovation Game

Living in the time of war

It happened on a beautiful, bright autumn morning. I thought I would never be able to function again when I was living through the shock of September 11, 2001. It took a while but I did.

They happened on some ordinary days when our kids went to their schools. I thought I would not be able to recover from the anguish of the school shootings. Each time it took a while but I did.

It happened at the end of a workweek, on a Friday when I was looking forward to going out to eat and to a movie. I think I will be feeling sad and sick to my stomach for the rest of my life because of this attack on Paris. It will take a while but I know I will recover.peaceFrance Continue reading Living in the time of war

Is Culture of Innovation De-humanizing?

The last Sunday’s New York Times article describing the almost inhuman culture at Amazon created a firestorm of debate about what is going on in companies behind their doors. It has raised questions about how innovation is created and facilitated through leadership, talent and the working environments. Some wonder whether innovation thrives only in highly competitive and even callous environments. CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos was quick to react to the allegations of the de-humanizing culture there by stating that the company described was not the Amazon he knows. In the times of “talent wars” for the best and the brightest in software and big data engineers, the reputation Computer and phoneof a company is the key attractor of employees. This is why employer review companies like Glassdoor are blossoming and stories like the one by the NY Times can be devastating. Continue reading Is Culture of Innovation De-humanizing?

Treasure hunting gems of leading innovation

I‘m the first to admit that I don’t know much about anything but I know quite a few incredible people who do! And that is what makes my life interesting and exciting.

Realizing that I’m surrounded with leaders who are doing amazing things in the world I decided to begin a treasure hunt for gems of wisdom regarding innovation and leadership from their point of view.

Leadership and innovation are broad concepts, meaning different things depending on the industry and organization. Therefore, they are also very rich for research and insights. In order to capture stories about extraordinary experiences, I’ve been interviewing CEO’s and Executives representing many different sectors because innovation happens everywhere and in many forms.Work-together

This is my effort to explore, chart and share how innovation is being defined by CEOs, and what leaders consider as the crucial human elements to stay innovative in the rapidly changing world. In other words, my interest is in exploring the human side of innovation.  The gems I will share here will be a convergence of quotes and perspectives from Continue reading Treasure hunting gems of leading innovation

Unsuccessful unsubscribing

In the era of knowledge economy we are bombarded with invitations to download information products or attend events – whether in-person conferences or online summits and webinars –  and subsequently be signed up for innumerable e-mail newsletters.

As a person passionate about culture and leadership, I’ve been a participating in the world of coaching, consulting and delivering trainings for years. And I frequently – albeit irregularly – send out my email newsletter inviting people in my sphere to read my blogs or participate in the events I’m involved in. Over the years I’ve also subscribed to receiving information from a wide variety of interesting causes, organizations and stats

Here is what I have noticed, though: just in Continue reading Unsuccessful unsubscribing