For over three decades, organizational development research has shown that teams made up of individuals with a range of training, expertise, and demographics (including gender and racial/ethnic identity) develop better solutions to problems than more homogeneous teams do. This research has also shown that leading and participating in teams made up of individuals with greater diversity is more challenging than working with teams of more homogeneous backgrounds. And yet, organizations often assume that people know how to collaborate and bring together a team of peoples’ unique strengths, skills, and experiences in a productive way. And you know what happens when you assume!
The good news is that fostering collaboration across difference is a leadership practice that can be built and which our industry and world needs more of if we are committed to equity and inclusivity. Our June 11th webinar will explore frameworks and real-life examples of the leadership practice of collaboration with Diana Seung, Executive Vice President of Merchandising at Backcountry.com, and Alison Gold, Founder of Optimistic Anthropology. Diana and Alison promise a curious and interactive conversation featuring real life examples of how they’ve fostered collaboration, practical frameworks they draw from, and plenty of time for questions.
About the speakers:
Alison Gold is passionate about sharing her unique combination of skills and experiences as an anthropologist, cross-sector changemaker, culture-builder, strategist, emergent learner and experience designer with individuals, organizations, and collaborations. She founded Optimistic Anthropology in 2017 to help organizations and cross-sector collaborations shape their knowledge, processeses, and cultures to make a more positive world for all people. To date, her clients have included Camber Outdoors, KaBOOM!, USA250, UCSF, and The World Bank. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Alison spent over 15 years working in nonprofits, philanthropy, and government where she staffed, advised, and developed original research and curriculum to support teams focused on addressing complex social and economic issues. This work has allowed her to work on issues ranging from emergency preparedness and response and health to racial equity and inclusion in National Parks and urban poverty. Before launching Optimistic Anthropology, Alison spent seven months on a “life sabbatical.” She visited four continents, 11 countries, and 10 US states with the goal of learning something new every day and exploring how she wanted to have a positive impact in the world. Alison holds a degree in anthropology from Columbia University and business and nonprofit management certificates from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where she was a UPS Foundation Fellow.
Diana Seung joined Backcountry in 2016 as the EVP of Merchandising and leads the merchandise buying efforts for the softgoods, hardgoods, and bike industries along with managing the development of their owned brands. Before joining Backcountry, Diana worked at The Children's Place as the VP of Ecommerce Merchandising, Planning, and Global Marketplaces and developed their in-house ecommerce capabilities. Prior to that, she held several buying and planning roles at Gymboree, Ann Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale's. She holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University.