For the 2016/2017 Thornton Tomasetti annual report, we convened a group of specialists to discuss the challenges and potential rewards for organizations that seek to increase a wide range of diversities. Here is an unabridged version of their discussion.
Valerie M. Grubb
Can we agree on a definition of diversity?
VAL Most executives and managers tend to think of diversity as a mix of gender and race, but the issue to pay attention to is mirroring your customer base. When I was at Oxygen Media, an entertainment company that targets women, diversity meant hiring men because the company was 70 percent female. The definition therefore depends on the context.
MARTIN In my consulting career, I’ve seen a shift in emphasis from: “Do we have a diverse composition?” to: “Are we leveraging it for better performance?” It’s gone from being seen as a legal concern to a compositional goal to a performance driver.
STEPHANIE Gen Xers and baby boomers define diversity mainly by characteristics like race and gender, whereas millennials focus on cognitive diversity, meaning that even if I have the same education as you, I’m going to have different thoughts and opinions that are informed by my background and experience. Our research shows that millennials think of diversity in terms of total identity – not only race, gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion, but also other things, like opinions, thoughts, background, experience, education – that make people who they are and feed their interests. Those characteristics are what they want in organizations. We’ve termed it intersectionality: the meeting of all of those identities that make diversity what it is. When we bring that to the surface and tap into that potential, we start to see true innovation and a progression in performance.
In addition, there are different perceptions about the purpose of diversity. Older generations view diversity mainly as fulfilling a moral contract – the right thing to do – whereas millennials see it also as a driver of positive business outcomes.
FRANK To give a little historical perspective on Stephanie’s point: people who came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s were exposed to the civil rights movement and the women’s movement, both of which scaled back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, after Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. He changed the discourse at the national level. He said: “We’ve been doing this for a while, and this was not meant to be a permanent solution.” He wanted to shut down affirmative action and cut back the activities of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In many firms, people started to make more of a business case for diversity and less of a social justice case. That has affected how subsequent generations came to see it. Ironically, some laboratory experiments suggest that whites (and white men in particular) respond better to a social justice case than to a business case, because they think it’s about moral right and wrong. The social justice angle is still compelling to people. If you say: “Look at our organization – it’s all white. We won’t succeed as well as we could,” that argument may not work as well as saying: “We’re not giving everybody an equal shot at the great jobs we have.”
All photos by Bess Adler / Thornton Tomasetti
What is the benefit of increasing diversity?
MARTIN We have had these two strands of diversity thinking: about morals and ethics, and about performance. Within the performance strand, the declining life span of companies and the incredible uncertainty in the business environment have raised a new question. Traditionally, we’ve asked: “How good is my game?” Now we need to ask: “How long will this game last?” This is a question about an organization’s resilience, which has a great deal to do with its diversity. Diversity contributes to an organization’s resilience by permitting a diversity of responses. One way to bring down a system – be it a company or business system – is to have the whole system respond in one way (and often the wrong way) to a change in events.
A second way diversity contributes to resilience is by providing grist for learning. If you don’t have genetic diversity in biology, or cognitive diversity in business, you won’t learn. The catch is that you cannot know exactly which sort of diversity you’ll need in advance. It’s only after iterative learning that you discover what diversity you need.
We have to try things, iterate, and get there over time. It means that we probably need to fail a lot on the path to getting there. It means that we can’t mandate a top-down, single way of doing things. We need to say: “Here’s what we’re trying to do. Experiment.” It means managing indirectly. Managing directly is telling people what to do. Managing indirectly is telling people what the goal is and giving them the tools and the encouragement to experiment. It means managing the outcome, not the process. These are simple ideas, but this is not the way most organizations are run.
LAURIE At Columbia University I co-teach a seminar/studio with Jonathan Cole, a sociologist. We have architecture students design a new university focused on the sciences, since those disciplines are going through tremendous change; they require collaboration across disciplines and among individuals who have never collaborated before. We invited scientists, as well as educators in the humanities, to visit the class. One neuroscientist, who was involved in the planning of our new Interdisciplinary Science building, argued for a cafeteria/gathering place as a critical program for the new building. He had worked in the U.K. at a laboratory where there was a tradition of four o’clock tea. The first time he went to tea, he thought: “This is absurd! I have to stop working. I have to have tea and sit with people around tables and talk.” Then he realized he had the opportunity to interact with researchers and scientists he didn’t normally cross paths with. Long story short, diversity really comes down to sitting around a table with people and listening, trusting and sharing. Then you’re accelerating learning. My favorite aspect about my work in architecture is what I call the “$10,000 meeting” – which, on project teams, is probably more like a $50,000 meeting! That’s when the entire project team – or different groups of consultants on the project – sits around the table and talks through a problem or an issue. We work out issues together.
What do you need to put diversity to work?
“Those [more diverse] teams are more innovative because they are more likely to be able to respond where resilience is needed. It’s not necessarily because the individual says something different or brings a different idea. Interestingly, it’s because everybody in the room gets out of the habit of groupthink, or of always following the alpha male. Just having somebody different in the room makes you question your assumptions before you jump in and say, ‘Let’s do this.’”
– Frank Dobbin
MARTIN Diversity contains a paradox, because you’ve got equality of opportunity (an egalitarian idea) and then you’ve got the hard-nosed judgment of choosing the best things that come out of a diverse group (Darwinian selection). That selection is tricky because diverse cultures are often tolerant and non-critical. How do organizations bridge that contradiction? Our research tells us it’s a valuable, necessary and rare skill!
LAURIE In my experience as a practicing architect and teacher of architecture, I see the critical ingredient for diversity and resilience as social trust. In our field, we’re always collaborating. When trust is in play, you’re sometimes giving over your professional expertise to somebody who’s outside your area of expertise. It can be very uncomfortable, but without that trust, there’s no collaboration. Likewise, resilience, curiosity and our need to learn would also be impossible.
MARTIN Coming back to the paradoxes that need to be resolved – if you want diversity to drive performance, you need enough preemptive inclusiveness to get a diverse organizational composition in the first place. Then you need trust so that people can work together, but you need to stop short of groupthink, of homogenization. And you need a critical, discriminating eye to select the best ideas. In my work, I call managing these paradoxes “ambidexterity” – the ability to think different things and behave in different ways at different times. Lots of good research shows that companies in general can’t do this, and individuals find it hard to do. So you have to train people to be ambidextrous and create a culture that promotes ambidexterity. Or you need to be smart about things like team composition and culture to create circumstances where imperfectly ambidextrous people can together create effective ambidexterity. That’s the essence of diversity in fact: reconciling differences in pursuit of a common good.
FRANK There’s a bunch of interesting research about teams with people from different functional backgrounds, like architects and engineers and artists, as opposed to all architects or all engineers. They initially take a little longer to make decisions, but they make better decisions, and they’re more creative. Kathy Phillips at Columbia Business School has studied a team that’s homogenous – all white men – into which she inserts one or two women, or one or two African-Americans. She found that those teams are more innovative because they are more likely to be able to respond where resilience is needed. It’s not necessarily because an individual says something different or brings a different idea. Interestingly, it’s because everybody in the room gets out of the habit of groupthink, or of always following the alpha male.
Just having somebody different in the room makes you question your assumptions before you jump in and say: “Let’s do this.” It also discourages other people from just jumping on the bandwagon right away. It’s a fascinating effect because it suggests that diversity is just good for how a team operates.
Since like tends to hire like, how do you break the homogeneity cycle? How do you hire the first Latina, for example?
VAL Look for candidates where you wouldn’t normally look. When I worked for an aircraft-engine manufacturer in Indianapolis, I also led our engineering co-op and intern program. When I took over the program, we had 99 percent white men, and by the time I left, three years later, almost 20 percent of our students were non-white or female. We made a concerted effort to recruit from places that had never been on our radar. When we went to the mainstream engineering schools, we were competing against many companies for a small minority pool, so instead I focused our recruiting effort on historically black colleges and universities and other minority institutions, where there were more potential candidates. One of the lessons we learned is you can’t bring in one person from Mississippi, for example, because they have no one else like them in the middle of Indiana. We learned to go after two or three students from these schools. Now each had a friend there, someone who understood how different this is. Our retention rate wasn’t 100 percent for the pioneers, but it significantly improved after we recruited in pairs or threes.
LAURIE The same is true in academia. You can’t bring in just one person, because there’s no discussion or support system. Leadership may not be attuned to the fact that “there’s no diversity here!” So it’s up to all of us to be on the case.
STEPHANIE The unspoken need here is that you have to start with your leaders. There’s bias inherent in almost all processes, often unconscious. We don’t realize people are missing from the table, or that our hiring managers are going to the same schools. We might see a name on a resumé and make a snap judgment that could reduce that person’s chances to be considered. It’s critical for leaders to recognize and tackle bias.
FRANK It’s true that any successful diversity initiative needs support from the top, but successful programs are not command-and-control. Too many diversity programs are based on the idea that we need to change the rules about how people come in and move up in the firm, and the way to change the rules and eliminate bias is to put bureaucratic controls on managers so they can’t just hire their buddies; they have to hire people who are objectively the most qualified.
In our research, we look at more than 800 companies over 30 years, and at changes in diversity, hiring and promotion practices and how they affect subsequent managerial diversity. The managerial ranks are the hardest nut to crack. In the ’60s, ’70s and even today, a lot of firms used command-and-control procedures: they put in mandatory paper-and-pencil testing, with the idea that hiring managers would have to use the scores to hire at least from the top three people, if not the very top person. Leaders saw that middle managers were discriminating and thought: “We can do something about that by making it against the law for them to hire somebody who doesn’t have the highest score.” This approach turns out to have serious adverse consequences for all historically disadvantaged groups – and not because those groups do badly on tests. We know that white women do better on these paper-and-pencil tests than white men. In our interviews, we discovered that managers sabotage the test. They make only people they don’t know take the test. Their buddies don’t have to take it: “He won’t be a problem; I’ve known him for years.” This is one way in which a command-and-control system has been ineffective.
We also see that civil rights grievance procedures, which are in place at virtually all Fortune 500 companies, have adverse effects. When you establish an elaborate grievance procedure, five years later you have significantly fewer white women, black men and women, Latinos and Latinas and Asian-American men and women in management than you would have had if you hadn’t done anything.
These grievance procedures are put in place to protect people, and to hold managers accountable when they don’t promote the right person or don’t give someone equal pay for equal work. But it’s apparently largely through retaliation that civil rights grievance procedures have adverse effects – reducing the numbers of all historically disadvantaged groups in management. This is discouraging, because these kinds of procedures are popular among firms.
The third example is conventional mandatory diversity training. When people feel that diversity training is being forced on them, they rebel and sabotage the system, and firms see significant decreases in managerial diversity.
LAURIE In the AEC industry, we have a pipeline problem. There are not a lot of blacks attending architecture schools, but there are historically black colleges that have architecture programs. Some of our faculty at Columbia have reached out to build relationships and bring them to the table.
FRANK Our research shows that going to historically black colleges is one of the most effective things you can do. We look at companies that specifically recruit women and specifically recruit minorities, and most of those are recruiting at historically black colleges. Companies that do special recruitment for these groups see huge increases in management diversity. Ironically, many executives I interview say: “You know, that looks like preferential treatment, so I don’t want to do it, because I think there will be backlash.” In fact, our statistical analyses show that’s one of the best things you can do for three reasons. First, as Val suggested, you tend to get more than one person at once, often from the same school. So they have a support system. Second, managers who go out and find minorities become champions of the people they find. They generally search until they find someone, and they feel these people are their responsibility. We hear people say: “You know, I recruited these two Latinas from an accounting program at Penn State, and I’ve never really known any Latinas, and they’ve done really well in general, especially in the math courses, but they needed a little polish. I helped them out with that, and I helped them get to know the right people.” Third, a formal mentoring program is hugely effective to ensure that everybody who comes in has some kind of a sponsor. None of these methods are top-down!
VAL Objective criteria are essential to overcome unconscious bias. Once you establish clear-cut requirements and responsibilities for a position, it expands people’s thought process and they look at different candidates. Instead of: “I like this guy; he went to my school,” it becomes: “Who is the most qualified based on the objective criteria for success in this position?” It does require you to train your managers how to think (and recruit) differently.
FRANK Going through your own thought processes is a much more effective way of initiating change than command-and-control. When somebody on the team asks: “There wasn’t a woman in that whole pool we could have hired?” that signals that you’re thinking about it, that you’re noticing. When people around you notice what you’re doing, you’re going to think about your own thought processes. We’ve seen in a bunch of experiments headed by Phil Tetlock, who’s at Wharton, that people are very sensitive when they realize others around them are thinking about their decisions. It helps if managers think their colleagues are wondering: “What’s the makeup of the new cohort going to look like?”
How else can the AEC industry address the pipeline problem?
“One of the lessons we learned is you can’t bring in one person from Mississippi, for example, because they have no one else like them in the middle of Indiana. We would go after two or three students from these [historically black] schools. Now each had a friend there, someone who understood how different this is.”
– Val Grubb
STEPHANIE There are near-term and long-term considerations. Some of our engineering clients are going into their communities and starting in grade school to attract girls and kids from minorities to engineering. That’s a 20-year effort.
When it comes to the ceiling, we’ve found that a more effective tool is sponsorship, not mentorship. Deloitte has a mentorship program, and you can ask someone to be a mentor. Yesterday someone asked me to be their mentor, and I immediately thought: “I want to talk to you more because I want to understand how I can not just mentor you, but how I can help position you. I know you well enough. I’m willing to put my reputation on the line so that you get a stake in the game, and you actually get to move up.” This has to happen for women and minorities to crash that ceiling.
MARTIN If you ask what my firm’s doing, it’s doing a lot of things, iterating continuously, but if you ask me what’s working, that’s a complex story! [Laughter.] Often things that were working stop working, and things that worked elsewhere don’t work here. But that shouldn’t be a surprise – that’s how complex adaptive systems behave. They are unpredictable and path-dependent. In general, a bottom-up, empirical approach is important for nurturing diversity. If you become too doctrinaire and simplistic about diversity and conclude that “this works; this doesn’t,” that itself may become a bottleneck.
VAL Isn’t this where we’re going with millennials? Aren’t they forcing this kind of flexibility?
STEPHANIE Millennials sometimes get a bad rap, but we have to give them credit because they’re challenging the status quo, which is clearly not working well enough when we look at our progress on diversity and inclusion. Millennials want a higher purpose in their work, they want a connection to why they are here. Beyond that, they want to use technology as an accelerator for how they can achieve flexibility and predictability, how they collaborate and innovate, and how they express this concept of inclusion. It doesn’t matter if you’re in China and I’m in the United States, we can communicate and collaborate on things. I can FaceTime. I can be there. I don’t have to put my career on hold because I decide to start a family. I have enough flexibility to still continue my work and career progression.
MARTIN It’s important to think of a diversity program within a larger ecosystem. The problem with some programs is that they focus on my firm’s program and stay within the boundaries of my firm. We sometimes forget to ask: Who are my clients and how are they thinking about diversity? How do we help solve their problems? In service firms, you have the opportunity to influence your own industry ecosystem by your actions – and to be productively influenced by it.
FRANK We have private-sector employers’ federal data from 1971 until now, so we can see exactly what’s happening in different firms. When we do a side-by-side comparison of firms, we see that when one firm hired some African-Americans into high-profile positions who can serve as role models, 20 years later it’s a completely different firm than the firm across town that never hired those first African-Americans. This approach strengthens retention. If there are two insurance firms in your town, and one has three black top executives, and you’re a black entry-level manager, you’re going to switch to the other firm. We find in our statistical analyses that when you put one African-American or one woman on the top management team, African-Americans and women start coming up in management.
You can have diversity, but if you’re not listening and giving people opportunity, they won’t stick around. How do you bring about inclusion?
STEPHANIE My colleague Christie Smith says that leaders have to be not just change agents but activists for human potential. That means acting for inclusion. We have to engage our entire workforce in finding their purpose, and that purpose should have a clear tie-in to the business. Our people want to solve our toughest challenges, and they want to work across all aspects of diversity, which they expect to find in the organization. Inclusion for them is about bringing everyone together to solve a problem.
MARTIN I think of inclusiveness as everything that’s required to put diversity to work. This includes affiliation, visible models of success, flexibility of career paths and many other elements. For many firms, these define the frontier more than mere compositional diversity. For example, we at the BCG Henderson Institute test for cognitive diversity. Then we train people to become self-aware about their dominant style, and to be able to broaden their style. This takes diversity back to the level of the individual.
But it’s dangerous to oversimplify by reducing diversity to three principles or two metrics. You have to take the complex adaptive system as a whole and just see what works and continue working at it. When you ask somebody in charge of diversity about what works and what doesn’t, their answer will be either artificially simplistic or unsatisfyingly messy. I think unsatisfyingly messy is much preferable, because that’s the reality!
Legislating the precise behaviors doesn’t work, because you get compensating effects. You get fear of mistakes. People become obsessed with compliance, not substance. You get dysfunctional innovation in the form of workarounds to any top-down policies.
FRANK Diversity requirements have done some good. They have significantly increased the number of minority contractors. But you’d like to redesign the system to be more in line with the way Martin thinks about the world, to be more about goals, and to be more adaptive. It’s hard to imagine what that kind of legislation would look like, and it’s hard to imagine getting any legislation through at all right now.
When companies put in legalistic diversity training and formal grievance procedures, all disadvantaged groups suffer adverse consequences. But one of the most effective things you can do isn’t to hire a diversity manager, but put together a task force of people from different departments. This has a huge effect on all minority groups and white women, and it’s cheap – maybe $10,000 in people’s time. You’re not necessarily putting in new programs, just having a group of people brainstorm about the firm’s particular challenges and study the data. Is the problem recruitment or retention, for example, or promotion – or some combination? What could we do about it? Not what would the consultants tell us to do, but what can we think of? What are the strategies we know about? In our statistical analyses, just having a group of people think about it regularly in an informal situation – nobody’s the boss, it’s a team – is hugely effective. When I talk to executives and companies see this, they can’t believe that you could move the needle as much as you can with just a group of people who sit down and try to think about what the issues are and come up with some localized solutions.
MARTIN Establishing enabling rules and interventions, as opposed to legislating behaviors and targets, is a promising emerging approach. A simple but powerful enabling rule would be, for example, requiring a compulsory dissenting opinion. If you simply introduce one new rule – such as “every proposal has to have a serious counterproposal” – it changes everything. It doesn’t tell you who you need to hire, but it means that people start to get fired for not disagreeing with their boss. You begin to need truly diverse thinking. People self-discover that they need different types of people on their teams to do this.
In realizing the changes to make diversity happen, a useful change-management philosophy is a concept in Japanese diplomacy called gaiatsu. It means external pressure. In postwar Japan, whenever the Japanese government thought they couldn’t push through change under their own steam, they would essentially encourage the Americans to pressure them on the issue. They would generate and embrace external pressure to create internal change. So if there are new customers, or customers who want new things, this is extremely motivating – because it’s baked into the highest-level metric in the organization: the business purpose of customer service. It is often better to frame the thinking not as: “What does my company need to do?” but: “What are my clients struggling with in this domain?”
How do you measure success in a D+I program?
“Leadership may not be attuned to the fact that ‘there’s no diversity here!’ So it’s up to all of us to be on the case.”
– Laurie Hawkinson
MARTIN When I worked on sustainability, the holy grail was for the word “sustainability” to disappear as it gets baked into business as usual. I can see the same thing for diversity, since it affects many dimensions of business – expansion of recruiting pools, retention, diverse career paths, affiliation networks – just for starters. Maybe a desirable end point would be that the word “diversity” goes away too, because it becomes baked into everything we do. Today, certain things BCG does that affect diversity come under the “diversity program” banner. But a lot of them don’t. We have a program called “One BCG, Many Paths.” The idea is diversification of paths to success. Even though it’s not under the diversity program banner, it contributes in an important way to diversity.
FRANK I measure success as the percentage of underrepresented groups in management. And a homegrown task force can really move those percentages. People have told me: “I didn’t want to be on that task force, but they asked me to, and either I or my co-lead in the department had to go, so I went. Then I wanted to get off the damn task force, so I needed us to figure this out so we could show that the needle had moved.” So they measure success by retention rates. They look at recruitment. They start doing exit interviews to find out why people leave, and they start trying to fix the problems that cause people to leave. In the 1990s, the CEO of a professional services firm looked at retention and decided to do something: “Look at all the money we’re blowing, training women who won’t stay. This is a bottom-line issue, because we have these people who are not making us any money for the first two years, and by year four they’re gone.”
STEPHANIE Data-driven people say: “Give me clear linkages between diversity or inclusion and the business.” And talent data is readily available in most organizations, so that’s a great place to start. We usually start there with our clients, but we also help our clients start to create those linkages. What does an inclusion key performance indicator (KPI) look like? How does it affect the business? How can we create metrics and KPIs that are not punitive? We want KPIs that are achievable, something that leaders are committed to so they don’t say, “I’m going to get rated on this in my performance review! Let me figure this out, put something in there. I’m going to do it as a check-the-box.” How do we prevent that? Some of it is talent KPIs, and some of it depends on an organization’s maturity and ability to start collecting data so people can draw those linkages. Then we use dashboarding to make all the information accessible and visible.
Just talking about diversity metrics can help change the conversation. There’s a risk the conversation can become punitive, because the question arises: What do you do if you fail to meet these measures of success? The discussion has to be grounded in your values and strategy, and have a long-term focus. There needs to be accountability, to get every leader involved in driving this, not just of the chief diversity officer or an HR person. Often this is a new approach, since the top metrics in most organizations are either financial outcomes or productivity ratios.
What’s the most important advice you’d offer any organization seeking to improve its diversity and inclusion?
STEPHANIE Know that you have the ability to be a leader in this space. The decisions you make each day can impact not just your business, but the people around you. You might realize that you’ve been on autopilot for much of your decision-making, and if you stop yourself once to consider the impact – if you do something a little different – that could change the game. That one behavioral change can have a powerful trickle-down effect.
LAURIE Most of the methods we’ve talked about are not top-down leadership, but about advocating for human potential wherever you are. It’s about becoming an activist force for human potential. And that begins by building social trust.
MARTIN Two suggestions: First, don’t stop at compositional diversity. Include variation, selection and amplification at all steps of the evolutionary learning cycle. Second, don’t think about this as a Big Brother model of change, coming only from the top. Like Laurie says, start where you are: with you and your team. If every team were doing that, you’d have a very adaptive organization. Trying to fix everything at once – and relying on somebody else to lead – is a bad way to get started.
FRANK Huge positive effects consistently come from interventions that try to get everybody involved in making diversity their responsibility: mentoring and sponsorship programs, active recruitment at colleges and universities, referral programs, task forces. When we interview people, they say: “Yeah, I wasn’t a proponent of diversity until I got involved in recruitment,” or: “I was a mentor to a Latina, and now I’m onboard with that.” A common problem is that firms “hive off” diversity management – delegate it to people or groups who are already diverse and have drunk the Kool-Aid. Their programs are often sort of painted on top – not integrated into everyone’s life, not a part of how everyone thinks about what their jobs are.
VAL Diversity and inclusion are not one-and-done. Fail fast to move forward. If one program or concept doesn’t move the needle, or take you in the right direction in terms of increasing your workforce diversity, try something else. Stay flexible and be willing to innovate.
Frank Dobbin is professor of sociology at Harvard. His Inventing Equal Opportunity (Princeton, 2009), which won the Distinguished Scholarly Book Award from the American Sociological Association, charts how corporations have sought to promote workforce diversity since the 1960s. With Alexandra Kalev, he is developing an evidence-based approach to promoting diversity that was featured in the summer 2016 issue of the Harvard Business Review (“Why Diversity Programs Fail”). With Kalev and Soohan Kim, he is studying the effects of diversity on corporate performance, and with Jiwook Jung and Ben Snyder, he is analyzing the effects of board diversity on profits and share price.
Valerie Grubb is the principal of Val Grubb & Associates, Ltd., which she founded after holding a succession of leadership roles within major corporations, including NBC Universal, Oxygen Media, InterActiveCorp (IAC) and Rolls-Royce. She is an innovative and visionary operations leader with an exceptional ability to zero in on the systems, processes, and human capital issues that can hamper a company’s growth. Valerie graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Kettering University and obtained an MBA degree from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. She is the author of Clash of the Generations: Managing the New Workplace Reality (Wiley).
Laurie Hawkinson, AIA is a partner at Smith-Miller + Hawkinson Architects, a New York City-based design studio. Her notable collaborative projects include the North Carolina Museum of Art outdoor cinema and amphitheater, the Los Angeles Arts Park competition, and the Seattle Waterfront Project. She is a Professor of Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and serves on Columbia University’s Professional Schools’ Diversity Council. In 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed her to the NYC Public Design Commission, the city’s design review agency. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a professional degree in architecture from The Cooper Union.
Martin Reeves is senior vice president at Boston Consulting Group in New York, where he leads the BCG Henderson Institute, the firm’s think tank for new ideas in strategy and management. He is the coauthor of Your Strategy Needs a Strategy (HBR Press, 2015), numerous HBR articles and two TED talks. Since joining BCG in 1989, Martin has led a broad range of strategy assignments in the financial institutions, consumer, industrial goods, health care and technology sectors. He has a particular interest in adaptive strategy, strategy for multi-business systems, sustainability strategies, collective learning and innovation, biological approaches to strategy and the topic of trust. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, holds an MBA degree from Cranfield University and did postgraduate research in biophysics at the University of Tokyo. He lived in Japan for eight years and plays the Japanese bamboo flute.
Stephanie Turner is a manager in Deloitte’s Survey Research and Analytics Center (SRC) with more than eight years of experience helping clients drive higher organizational performance through analytics, solution development and thought leadership. Stephanie also leads analytics for Deloitte’s Inclusion Center of Excellence, where she helps clients unleash the full potential of their workforce through targeted solutions and measurement. Stephanie holds a Ph.D. degree in industrial/organizational psychology, with a concentration in diversity, inclusion and organizational development.
Thanks to Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), for his assistance in developing the discussion outline and recruiting participants.
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