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Starbucks’ Optional Diversity Training Empowers People like Roseanne

Clearly communicated policies and values build corporate diversity success — treating people right is not an option for a well-run company.

By making yesterday's diversity training optional, Starbucks revealed top management indecision about its own principles and how to treat customers.

Do you think Roseanne would attend diversity training, or skip it? Who needs it more? And let's be very clear — diversity training is not "sensitivity" training; it's competency training. Your bigotry, biases and offensive opinions expressed in the workplace (or on your Facebook page) drain productivity of other employees and sour your brand with customers.

I've read several articles opining that diversity training doesn't work. I agree with the general sentiment — I've seen several diversity training courses and read a few books about diversity training that were terrible. My favorite was an online learning course that made a bald, pudgy, middle-aged white man the butt of every joke. Foolish.

It is policy and culture that dictates the baseline for employee behavior; training can only supplement good culture — and considering the workplace is a fluid movement of people coming and leaving, training is important to help people maintain a consistent knowledge of the company's policy and culture, as well as try to mitigate destructive "facts" some people pick up from childhood and Facebook.

Two examples from companies I know well:

Johnson & Johnson: Company culture is established by policy — J&J behavior is defined by "the credo," a one-page statement of values that works very well as a decision-making matrix. The first line of the credo is: "We believe our first responsibility is to the doctors, nurses and patients, to mothers and fathers and all others who use our products and services." No company is perfect, but in my almost 20-year experience observing J&J, top management has consistently felt that race and gender are inclusive in that statement — in other words, all doctors, nurses and patients — all mothers and fathers.

It is so important to the current CEO, Alex Gorsky, that he had the credo etched in glass and mounted in front of his desk, floor to ceiling. You can't mistake where Alex stands.

Over the 18 years we have been conducting the DiversityInc Top 50 competition, Johnson & Johnson has always been competitive. This year they were number one and Gorsky received our inaugural Global Inclusive Leader Award.

The other example I have for today is Marriott. I have never seen corporate culture and policy better understood by every frontline customer-facing employee than the nice people who work at Marriott. Marriott has an excellent values webpage.

My favorite Marriott story is when we had Bill Marriott Jr. speak at one of our events. It was in the middle of the campaign for California Proposition 8 ("proposition hate"), which was an anti-gay bill up for popular vote. Mr. Marriott is a devout Mormon, and his church came out in favor of Prop 8. I did not know if he was going to address it from our podium, but he did. I'll never forget his emotional voice telling us that his public opposition to Prop 8 did not make him popular in his own church — but he asked, "How could we treat our customers and employees like this?" Obviously you can't without the kind of ethical dissonance that destroys cohesive culture.

I will add one more thing about Marriott. I am vice chair of the board of National Organization on Disability (NOD). Gov. Tom Ridge is chair. Tom had a very serious heart attack while staying at a Marriott hotel in Austin, Texas. He told me that he made it to the phone to call for help — and woke up six days later. Marriott employees raced to his room and saved his life. That's the result of Marriott's empowerment and respect of their frontline people — and clarity in standards, values and ethics.

David Rodriguez, Marriott's chief human resources officer, has devised and implemented a series of Marriott funded benefits to their hourly workers, the best I have ever seen. They cost money, and they can't directly measure the benefit from their investment, but as David has told me, Marriott's executive leadership (led with personal witness by CEO Arne Sorenson) is convinced that doing the right thing by their frontline workers will result in better customer service (resulting in better business, customer satisfaction and loyalty). This philosophy is codified in their stated policy and values webpage.

It certainly worked for Gov. Ridge, who would be dead if the person on the other end of the phone had not felt empowered to take immediate action.

I wish Starbucks well, but this training was a waste of time. By not addressing ethics and values, starting at the top of the company, Starbucks made a strategic error in making the training optional. This is not a small mistake; it is a symptom of a failure of corporate culture that first emerged with the #RaceMatters catastrophe in 2015. I believe it is reflected in the fact that their stock price has been skating sideways ever since the #RaceMatters failure. If #RaceMatters is truly important to you, is diversity training optional?

The Conversation (1)
John Hoade30 May, 2018
Starbucks’ Optional Diversity Training? This needs to be mandatory so they capture all of their employees and have them sign the Training Roster, that way they can't claim they were not trained.

Johnson & Johnson: New Year, New Vision: The World's Next Great Medical Discoveries

Tom Heyman helps the company goal to change the trajectory of health for humanity a reality through his work as the head of Johnson & Johnson's venture capital division, which invests in dozens of companies each year. He shares what's on his radar for 2019.


Originally Published by Johnson & Johnson.

By Kate Rockwood

Hear the name "Johnson & Johnson" and a couple of things probably come to mind: It's one of America's longest-operating companies, and a long-time maker of such health and consumer products as baby washes and OTC medications.

What many people don't realize, however, is that the company also has a long history of supporting impactful next generation innovations—Johnson & Johnson has been making strategic investments in pioneering companies since the 1970s.

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Ask the CEO: Crisis at the Border

"Here's the real crisis at the border: children are dying," writes DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti.

A photo of Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin who died while in the custody of the United States Border Patrol in December 2018. / REUTERS

After watching the president conclusively prove he can read off a teleprompter, I struggled to stay awake as the 146-year-old couple (Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) robotically read through an uninspired response.

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Johnson & Johnson: 12 Simple Tips for Making 2019 Your Healthiest Year Yet

There's no better time to kick off a wellness regimen than the new year. To help inspire you, we compiled a month-by-month guide of our top expert-backed tips for everything from combating allergies come springtime to getting better shut-eye in 2019.


Originally Published by Johnson & Johnson.

Anyone who has ever committed to getting healthy knows there's an essential ingredient when it comes to success: having a plan.

To help you achieve your wellness goals all year long, we're highlighting our favorite health and wellness tips from Johnson & Johnson-affiliated experts for every month of the year—so you're primed for success in 2019!

1. January

Kick off 2019 on a calm note by trying out meditation, which has been credited with helping to reduce stress, improve sleep and lower blood pressure, among other health benefits. Intimidated? No need to be: The Inscape app can help you learn to focus and center yourself in the comforts of your own home.

Learn more: Meditate to … Boost Your Confidence? You Can With These 3 Modern-Day Meditations

2. February

Winter doldrums got you down? Indulge in some aromatherapy, which has been proven to have rejuvenating qualities. Specific scents have also been shown to increase alertness and promote feelings of calmness.

Aromatherapy could be particularly helpful if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a more serious form of winter blues, since people with SAD tend to have a more acute sense of smell than those who don't have the disorder.

Learn more: Secrets of a Scent Scientist: 6 Unique Fragrances That Can Boost Your Mood

3. March

Combat daylight saving time-induced sleepiness by getting in some early morning sun. One simple idea: Soak up some rays first thing in the AM by sipping your coffee on the back porch to help regulate your circadian rhythm, aka your body's internal clock.

Learn more: 9 Simple Ways to Survive Daylight Saving Time

4. April

Spring is here! And so are allergies. But taking a few simple precautions can help keep sneezing at bay.

Case in point: Even if it's not sunny, put on shades when you leave the house. Pollen can enter your body through your eyes, so sunglasses—particularly the wraparound kind—can help decrease your exposure. And while you're out and about, park your car away from pollen-raining trees.

Learn more: A 24-Hour Guide to Improving Your Allergy Symptoms

5. May

The best Mother's Day gift you can give yourself? Sleep! A simple way to set yourself up for success: Research published in Early Child Development and Care found that when babies and toddlers with sleep onset problems were given 15-minute massages prior to bedtime for one month they began to fall asleep sooner than children who didn't receive massages.

Bonus: While better sleep is certainly a boon for you, it's also a brain-builder for babies.

Learn more: The Brain-Boosting Secret Every Parent of a Baby Should Know

6. June

Your first order of business as the mercury rises: protecting yourself from harmful UV rays.

In order for sunscreen to really do its job, you need to use it properly. This means applying it at least 15 minutes before heading outdoors so it can fully set on the skin's surface and provide maximum resistance against the elements, including water.

There's also a formula for how much you should apply: The rule of thumb is to use 1 ounce, which is about the size of a golf ball, for your whole body, covering all exposed skin with an even layer of sunscreen.

Learn more: 5 Things We Now Know About the Safety and Effectiveness of Sunscreen

7. July

The longer days of summer are prime time to beef up your workout routine, but if you're struggling with joint pain, it can be tough to embrace what the great outdoors has to offer. Consider checking out Health Partner for Knees and Health Partner for Hips—digital tools that can help you navigate the condition and get back to being active.

Learn more: Health Partner: The Digital Tool That Can Help You Navigate Your Knee, Hip or Weight-Loss Journey

8. August

Did you know that Contact Lens Health Week falls in August? Make sure yours are in tip-top shape by cleaning them well.

The key to keeping reusable contact lenses germ-free is to rub them between your fingers (wash your hands with soap and water first!) when you clean them with a disinfecting solution recommended by your eye doctor. With this move, you're literally rubbing away microbes and other deposits. Then give them a good rinse with the solution.

Learn more: 5 Things Your Contact Lenses Wish They Could Tell You

9. September

Do you have a child with autism? Help your kid prepare for another year in the classroom and set up a safe space in school by reaching out to your child's teacher before the school season starts to identify a place she can go for a few minutes if she feels overwhelmed or tired.

Learn more: 13 Ways to Help Prep a Child With Autism for Back-to-School Season

10. October

Taking care of your teeth and gums offers more reward than just a healthy smile: Research suggests your oral hygiene may also have an impact on your overall health.

So, during National Dental Hygiene Month, take a look at exactly how good a job you're doing by capturing a video of yourself while you're brushing. Why? One study found that people who recorded their toothbrushing sessions for just two weeks increased both their accuracy and number of brush strokes, helping improve their overall technique.

Learn more: 9 Tips to Boost Your Oral Hygiene Routine

11. November

Burning the candle at both ends this busy holiday season?

Commit to better sleep with this easy tip: Create a simple bedtime routine where you put down your smartphone at the same time each night and do something low-tech, like reading a book. It also helps to make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and quiet—an ideal environment for shut-eye.

Learn more: How to Manage Common Energy Pitfalls Every Decade of Your Life

12. December

Get ahead on your New Year's resolutions. One important habit to get into, especially this time of year: practicing gratitude.

Research has consistently uncovered that feeling grateful can improve both your physical and emotional well-being. One study done at the University of California, Davis, for example, found that people who routinely count their blessings report better moods, healthier coping behaviors, fewer physical symptoms and overall more life happiness than those who don't.

Learn more: 4 Total Wellness Resolutions for 2019 to Start Tackling Now

Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky Reflects on the Legacy of the Company's Historic Mission Statement

Our Credo challenges everyone at Johnson & Johnson to put first the needs and well-being of those they serve, in everything they do.


Originally Published by Johnson & Johnson.

What helps set Johnson & Johnson apart? One legendary document written in 1943. As Our Credo celebrates its 75th anniversary, Gorsky sat down with author and Wharton professor Adam Grant to delve into the past, present and future of the company's guiding belief statement.

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Johnson & Johnson: Black Panther Actress Danai Gurira Champions Initiative to End HIV/AIDS

She called attention to women across Africa participating in clinical trials for a vaccine.

Actress, playwright and activist Danai Gurira hit the red carpet at the Mandela 100 Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg before making a powerful and emotional speech at the event spotlighting the women across Africa who are participating in a clinical trial of a Johnson & Johnson vaccine that could help to prevent HIV. "Today, we are much closer to preventing HIV– and that was something none of us could ever have imagined." #makeHIVhistory.

Johnson & Johnson and UNICEF Celebrate #WorldChildrensDay

To celebrate World Children's Day, Johnson & Johnson opened its doors to hold a "press conference" for kids by kids.

Originally Published by Johnson & Johnson.

On World Children's Day, Johnson & Johnson announced the expansion of its global partnership with UNICEF by committing $10 million to support its health programs. This commitment will allow frontline healthcare workers to be properly trained with the most innovative tools to ensure life-saving care to women, newborns and children living in the most vulnerable communities worldwide.

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