How to Respond to Employee Activism

Many employees want to do meaningful work and they want their employer to either support or align with their values and identities.  When that doesn’t happen, employees generally have three choices: leave the organization, try to bring change within the organization, or just shut up and deal with it.  The last option is probably the worst  for the employer because it leads to lowered employee engagement. I recommend providing a relief valve that allows for employees to express themselves when they rise up against a decision or organize themselves to advocate for… Read More

Employee-Initiated Organization Development

Organization development and change doesn’t always start with formal organizational leaders.  As part of a larger study, I looked at how organizational members can seek change by working together to bring policy changes in their organization.  In the case study, I examined a nearly 20-year effort by employees in the University of Illinois System to attain domestic partner benefits. Throughout the effort, the group of employees used different “social organizing strategies.”  In other words, they brought people together using different organization methods differing goals, and differing motivations. Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation,… Read More

How to Approach Diversity-related Change?

In workplaces, community groups, and other settings, we oftentimes seek to make things better for people from diverse backgrounds.  Sometimes we will benefit directly from those changes and sometimes we’re working with others to attain changes that will benefit society or an organization in general. Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy development and strategic planning, group facilitation and action planning, and program and initiative development. … Read More

Four Principles in Educating For Diversity-Related Change

How do public sector employees successfully seek LGBT-friendly changes in their workplaces?  I conducted a case study of a 20-year effort to attain domestic partner benefits in one large state university system.  The public sector has always lagged behind large private sector employers in offering employee benefits and other policies that are equitable for LGBT people. Part of that study looked at how employees educated the public, state officials, other employees, administrators, and board members to support the changes. The four most relevant findings for others seeking such changes in public sector organizations… Read More

What the Research Says on LGBT Workplace Issues

Issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in workplaces are common diversity topics today.  It is widely accepted in many workplaces that LGBT employees should be made to feel as welcome and included as anyone else.  Workplace inclusion, employee affinity groups, and LGBT-specific diversity initiatives are commonly addressed by U.S.-based HR and diversity practitioners. Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy development and… Read More

Workplace Incivility and Diversity

Some individuals experience incivility at work based on others’ perceptions of whether they are different from the norm.  Incivility, the often-unintentional violation of social norms, can occur as a result of perpetrators’ unconscious prejudice.  Such activity can result in decreased employee satisfaction, increased likelihood of looking for another job, and decreased mental and physical health. Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders get results through using innovation and creativity processes, strategy development and strategic planning,… Read More

Business Opportunity among Older Population

I just read this article in the New York Times, which describes the design of products that are friendly for older adults, but also appealing to younger consumers.  The article mentions that products such as exaggerated large button phones aren’t appealing to many older adults or younger people. It’s nice to see that business needs are driving product developers to design products that are friendly to this population. Rod GithensRod specializes in innovation, design, and strategy through his consulting work and as a professor at University of the Pacific.  He helps leaders… Read More