An upbeat and proactive plan to address and resolve issues surrounding diversity at the corporate level.
A comprehensive guidebook to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the workplace.
Debut author, organizational psychologist, and executive coach Cox begins her overview of DEI with stories of executives who’ve come to her over the years, worried that their own efforts in these areas have met with less success than they hoped. To these executives, and implicitly to her broader readership, she points out that the most accurate way to gauge DEI progress is through the reactions of “the stakeholders who matter the most”: the employees. “If employees can’t see and feel meaningful DE&I outcomes,” she writes, “they will not believe their leaders are building an inclusive organization.” Cox breaks down the historical underpinnings and current variations on respect, equity, diversity, and inclusion (REDI, her preferred term for DEI) as they apply to “targeted groups” affected by diversity and inclusion issues, including women and people of color. Cox proposes a five-step approach to REDI, involving understanding one’s own beliefs about its central concepts, connecting with people whose experiences one doesn’t have, and facing REDI anxieties—a “combination of avoidance and social awkwardness” that Cox describes as “the hallmark of many workplace interactions between leaders and employees of color.” She also highlights the importance of modeling “the REDI way like the organization’s primary change agent (which is what you are)!” Using a combination of data, statistics, and personal stories from her own life and those of people she’s interviewed in the business world—including her own anonymized clients—the author lays out various forms of workplace bias and a number of ways to identify and resolve them.
Over the course of this book, Cox wisely decides to ground her narrative in both anecdote and analysis, and, as such, her accounts of her own experiences as a Black female professional are blended well with those of other interviewees. In particular, her discussions of “unconscious bias” in businesses may enlighten any readers who might believe company DEI officers are unnecessary. She also strongly asserts that investors should pressure corporate boards to improve their diversity: “You must create and maintain an environment in which traditionally underrepresented groups do not face systemic hindrances and are unequivocally safe to voice the injustices they experience.” Over the course of this book, Cox adopts a tone that’s firm but patient and persistently encouraging as she asserts that vigilant REDI measures benefit each and every employee, as when she writes that “Systemic bias affects all people in the system (in the organization) and its effects, though persistent, may not be readily observed or redressed.” Throughout the work, her explanations of bias—its various origins, its expressions, and its possible resolutions—are carefully pitched to reach the widest variety of readers. The personal elements of her points will likely make them relatable and thought-provoking to a wide range of readers, particularly those in her clear target audience: corporate executives and diversity officers.An upbeat and proactive plan to address and resolve issues surrounding diversity at the corporate level.
Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022
Page Count: 312
Publisher: Page Two
Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2022
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Jonah Berger ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 7, 2023
Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.
Want to get ahead in business? Consult a dictionary.
By Wharton School professor Berger’s account, much of the art of persuasion lies in the art of choosing the right word. Want to jump ahead of others waiting in line to use a photocopy machine, even if they’re grizzled New Yorkers? Throw a because into the equation (“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”), and you’re likely to get your way. Want someone to do your copying for you? Then change your verbs to nouns: not “Can you help me?” but “Can you be a helper?” As Berger notes, there’s a subtle psychological shift at play when a person becomes not a mere instrument in helping but instead acquires an identity as a helper. It’s the little things, one supposes, and the author offers some interesting strategies that eager readers will want to try out. Instead of alienating a listener with the omniscient should, as in “You should do this,” try could instead: “Well, you could…” induces all concerned “to recognize that there might be other possibilities.” Berger’s counsel that one should use abstractions contradicts his admonition to use concrete language, and it doesn’t help matters to say that each is appropriate to a particular situation, while grammarians will wince at his suggestion that a nerve-calming exercise to “try talking to yourself in the third person (‘You can do it!’)” in fact invokes the second person. Still, there are plenty of useful insights, particularly for students of advertising and public speaking. It’s intriguing to note that appeals to God are less effective in securing a loan than a simple affirmative such as “I pay all bills…on time”), and it’s helpful to keep in mind that “the right words used at the right time can have immense power.”Perhaps not magic but appealing nonetheless.
Pub Date: March 7, 2023
Page Count: 256
Publisher: Harper Business
Review Posted Online: March 23, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023
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by Daniel Kahneman ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 2011
Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...
A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.
The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.
Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011
Page Count: 512
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011
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