As April and Autism Awareness Month come to an end, I thought it would be a good time to discuss inclusiveness and all the buzz words that go around with it. I believe there is a big misconception about being inclusive. Some think it should be done because it’s a current trend or maybe even because being diverse is the “right thing to do”, which it is, but that’s not the reason to do it. The reason to be inclusive of a diversity of thought is to win! When we surround ourselves with people who look like us, have similar background and think like us, we will hurt our chance of winning. I learned from our Senior Director of Human Resources, Daphne Ursu that “Diverse companies – enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow – improve team performance by approximately 30% and – increase revenue by 19 percent.” If you are a leader who has the ability to make the table bigger, I encourage you to look for a diversity of thought when adding chairs and make sure those new teammates aren’t just faces, but they are also voices empowered to insert themselves into discussions and debates.
What if you’re not a leader and you’re a salesperson? How can inclusivity help you win? My answer would be to seek out different voices who have different backgrounds than you. Maybe they aren’t in sales, and getting their perspective will push you to try something different with your next customer.
I want to shout out Caleigh Fisher, GKB’s Director of Teammate Experience, Tom Frazier and Good Karma Brands. GKB recognized Autism Awareness month in April, educating teammates through podcasts and a lunch & learn where Craig Karmazin interviewed Tom Frazier for our whole company.
One of my favorite things I heard during the lunch & learn was from Cale Zomer who explained Autism in this way: “It’s like putting IOS software into an Android phone – it might not always make sense what comes out, but there will be some amazing things that do, that we never thought were possible”. As we look out into the future of our companies and our careers, let’s all make sure we learning from the amazing things that will come from using IOS on Android.