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Marc Abraham: How do we collaborate inclusively?

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Marc Abraham: How do we collaborate inclusively?

  1. 1. How do we collaborate inclusively? Marc Abraham± @MAA1 Online PM Day, 17 September ‘21 ± All views expressed in this talk are my own and don’t represent the views of my employer
  2. 2. @robinson*
  3. 3. Diverse teams are more likely to create inclusive products …
  4. 4. … as they bring a wide variety of backgrounds + perspectives
  5. 5. Diverse teams are more likely to create inclusive products …
  6. 6. @socialcut*
  7. 7. Tell me! Do you see these as diverse teams? Why (not)?
  8. 8. @myleon*
  9. 9. It depends!
  10. 10. 1. 1. Diversity definition 2. 2. Psychological safety
  11. 11. 1. Diversity definition
  12. 12. The variety within a group of people, with differences in:* Social identity - E.g. gender, race, ethnicity Background / personal attributes - E.g. education, mindset ‘Other’ - E.g. location, language, available infrastructure * Annie Jean-Baptiste, “Building For Everyone”
  13. 13. Different perspectives to create inclusive products:* Apply an inclusive lens Consider a more diverse customer base Reduce areas of exclusion * Annie Jean-Baptiste, “Building For Everyone”
  14. 14. Diverse teams are more likely to create inclusive products …
  15. 15. … but
  16. 16. “There is an unambiguous and meaningful benefit to having people from different backgrounds on your team only when psychological safety exists”* * Liz Fosslien and Molly West Duffy,”No Hard Feelings”
  17. 17. 2. Psychological safety
  18. 18. “A shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking”* * Amy Edmondson,”Building a psychologically safe workplace” (TEDx)
  19. 19. @alexisrbrown*
  20. 20. @channeytangho* Fear of collaborating with others Not feeling empowered Lack of trust, people posing a threat Uncertainty about expectations Ego or hierarchy getting in the way Inherent bias blocking people out Feels unsafe to take risks No room for research or experiments
  21. 21. What are we accountable for? Who makes the decisions? What are our guardrails? How can we best challenge? Do we have a shared language? How do we live up to our values? @naomi_august*
  22. 22. Creating a psychologically safe environment
  23. 23. What psychological safety is NOT:* Being ‘nice’ A personality factor Another word for trust Lowering performance standards
  24. 24. Psychological safety exists in an environment where people are safe for interpersonal risk taking; people being able to speak up or challenge without any repercussions
  25. 25. Key components Trust Empathy Purpose Transparency
  26. 26. TRUST
  27. 27. “So what is trust? We could say that a person or organisation trusts another when both sides have reason to expect that neither will take advantage of the other, and, whenever possible, will even do things that advance the other’s interests.” Brigitte Jordan (Xerox)
  28. 28. EMPATHY
  29. 29. “Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” Oprah Winfrey
  30. 30. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis
  31. 31. Tracy What is Tracy’s professional world like today? What excites Tracy about her role? What does she dread? Why? How does Tracy feel about collaborating with you? @mimithian* What is Tracy’s world view? What has shaped it?
  32. 32. PURPOSE
  33. 33. “The bigger the vision, the easier it is to have a goal driven culture, as each “goal” is simply a step towards that bigger mission.” Melanie Perkins (Canva)
  34. 34. @mcnoble* A strong vision feels aspirational, focuses on a customer need and highlights how your business or product is going to be different from the competition
  35. 35. “To become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings” (ASOS) “To create a better everyday life for the many people” (IKEA) “To entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling (…)” (Disney)
  37. 37. “Radical transparency fosters goodness in so many ways for the same reasons that bad things are more likely to take place behind closed doors.” Ray Dalio (Bridgewater)
  38. 38. And …
  39. 39. … Try + Learn
  40. 40. “When the bosses make the decisions, decisions are made by politics, persuasion, and PowerPoint. When you make decisions through experiment, the best idea can prove itself.” Scott Cook (Intuit)
  41. 41. Experimenting Collate assumptions Challenge Assess impact Challenge Agree hypothesis (Dis) Agree and commit Try, learn, and iterate @carolinehdz*
  42. 42. Where to start (remotely)?
  43. 43. Questioning ‘Why?’ ‘Big questions’ ‘Devil’s Advocate’ ‘Wicked Questions’ @art_maltsev*
  44. 44. @neonbrand* Engaging 1:1s ‘Water cooler moments’ Giving + receiving feedback Checking in Liberating conversations ‘What do you think?’ Perspective taking
  45. 45. Collaborating Inclusively Having a cognitive diverse team is a great starting point but offers no guarantees for truly inclusive products Creating an environment where people can safely take interpersonal risks Play our part in such environments by displaying empathy as well as establishing trust, transparency and shared goals
  46. 46. Marc Abraham @MAA1 Thank you! * all images can be found on