Diversity Series: Aligning D&I to business strategy, measuring results and celebrating success with Grady Crosby│Ep. 37

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In the second of four episodes with Milwaukee-area diversity and inclusion leaders, Beth Ridley of The Brimful Life talks with Grady Crosby, chief diversity officer at Johnson Controls. Their conversation touches on how to align D&I efforts a businesses strategy, measuring the results of those efforts and celebrating successes along the way.

Crosby said the number one thing employees can do at Johnson Controls is solve problems for customers. As a result the company needs to have thought diversity and a diversity of people to be able to offer a range of choices to customers

“It’s important because it actually speaks to our sustainability as a viable business concern, unless we’re able to provide solutions that customers need, we won’t be relevant,” Crosby said. “The only way we provide those solutions is having access to the broadest array of though and that means we have to be attractive to talent markets that are out there.”

He added that it is important to have a culture of inclusivity where employees can see themselves contributing and thriving.

“That’s why it’s a business imperative,” he said.

If D&I efforts are just viewed as another compliance effort or another project, it will struggle, Crosby suggested.

“When D&I becomes a part of the fundamental business strategy, leadership then becomes accountable to what’s happening there and has to be held accountable for making sure that it’s just as successful as any other part of your overall business strategy,” he said.

Crosby said it is important to have specific goals and methods of accountability.

“That’s sometimes is difficult because the results here are on a different timetable than a lot of business results,” he said.

While it is important to have metrics, particularly ones defined by the company’s goals, Crosby cautioned against only looking at hiring and representation.

“You can hire your way to diversity, but you can’t hire your way to inclusivity,” he said. “You really have to have both to be successful.”

Ridley’s conversation is the second of four podcasts episodes that touch on best practices on diversity and inclusion. The first episode featured Erikajoy Daniels of Advocate Aurora Health discussing the need for leadership commitment to D&I efforts. Look for episodes later this week with Chris Rowland and DeVona Wright Cottrell.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.