On November 17, I was invited by Neeti Banerjee to speak at the annual conference of Talentnomics – a nonprofit dedicated to growing the global pool of women leaders. Quickly.

Thanks to a participant who captured me in the act at the Talentnomics conference! 

David Krakauer, president of the Santa Fe Institute, defined intelligence in terms of simplicity, openness to change, and a learning mindset. Seema Patel, chief of innovation design for USAID’s global development lab, used those concepts to achieve a break-through. Ellyn Shook, CHRO of Accenture, revised the definition of diversity & inclusion in a simple, adaptive, and organic way. All three blew my mind!

First up, David reminded me how powerful reframing can be. As panelists debated the notion of risk and failure at work, David introduce a new name for those actions. By calling them experiments, he removed anxiety and fear. As long as the experiment produces learning, it is deemed a success. An experimental organization learns constantly. Reframe your next risk as an experiment and see what happens to your blood pressure and energy.

Seema described how doctors, nurses, locals, materials scientists, and development specialists came together to redesign the hot and heavy Hazmat suit for use in tropical climates where Ebola had taken hold. It was a costume designer who held the key to the redesign, reducing the ‘points of contamination’ along with the time to change out of the suit. Seema said, “She cracked the problem, but I had no idea how she came to be invited to our meeting!” Next time you hold a creative brainstorming, figure out who your costume designer might be.

Ellyn, featured in the photo below, is leading a massive change program at Accenture to achieve the firm’s mission of becoming a truly human company for the digital age. You may have seen Accenture’s video. If not, search for #InclusionStartsWithI. I did and found 31 million impressions. Not bad for social change! Accenture changed their definition of D&I by adding a B for Belonging—feeling valued and able to be my authentic self. If you have time, watch their video on inclusion. If nothing else, it will inspire you to make your difference today.

Ellyn Shook inspires with a clean & clear definition of diversity that I’m adopting.

As for me, I shared centered leadership with this group. I left with ideas and an approach for breaking through the hard problem I’m undertaking now: breaking through to advance more women leaders. My good luck prevails: Neeti, David, Ellyn, and Seema will help.


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