Check out all episodes on the My Favorite Mistake main page.
My guest for Episode #207 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Kim Crowder, the Founder & CEO of Kim Crowder Consulting, one of the country’s leading executive, leadership, inclusive marketing and communications firms.
Kim and her team work across industries serving global organizations. From leaders and executives at Adobe to Smugmug, the American Library Association, HarperCollins Publishers, and more, Kim and her team provide executives and leaders with actionable tools to build healthy, people-centered workplaces long term.
She is a certified DEI and Six Sigma Leadership CEO, strategist, speaker, and consultant featured or quoted by Forbes, The New York Times, CNN, and Business Insider, among countless others — she's a sought-after commentator and voice.
In this episode, Kim shares her favorite mistake story about not “honoring red flags” during the process of interviewing for a job. Did she experience “micro-aggressions” or just flat out aggressions? Why does Kim say this was her favorite mistake in terms of the growth it provided for her?
We also have a wide-ranging conversation about the NFL's dearth of head coaching jobs for Black men (and are the opportunities they get equally good?), and the reaction to Angela Bassett's reaction at The Oscars earlier this year.
Questions and Topics:
- Unwillingness to talk about money, or negotiate salary – could they have open dialogue on other things?
- Attacking you for reporting the problem instead of addressing… the problem
- That next job – I bet you were really on guard for red flags?
- The need to account for past experiences of employees from marginalized groups?
- Stay away from saying “toxic?”
- Is it easier for white men to admit mistakes? Do we have a certain amount of privilege?
- Low # of Black head coaches in the NFL — equality of the opportunity and also the situation?
- You provide support for “The Onlys” in organizations – tell us about that
- Hiring / Promoting Black men or women is not enough?
- What does it mean to use data-driven approaches to understand team member experiences over time?
- “We call social media the new accountability partner”
- Being authentic at work — you recently wrote about a double standard related to Angela Bassett and her reaction to losing out on the Best Supporting Actress Oscar
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- Full transcript
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Video (Full Episode):
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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)
Mark Graban (0s):
Episode 2 0 7, Kim Crowder, certified DEI and Six Sigma leadership CEO.
Kim Crowder (6s):
But the reason why the, that is my favorite mistake is because it is what led me to what I'm doing today.
Mark Graban (17s):
I'm Mark Graban. This is my favorite mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes because we all make mistakes. But what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth in professional success. Visit our website at myfavoritemistakepodcast.com. For more information about Kim, her firm, and her work and more, look for links in the show notes or go to markgraban.com/mistake207. As always, thanks for listening.
Mark Graban (57s):
Hi everybody. Welcome back to My Favorite Mistake. I'm Mark Graban. Our guest today is Kim Crowder. She's the founder and c e o of her firm, Kim Crowder Consulting. It's one of the country's leading executive leadership and inclusive marketing and communications firms. You can learn more about Kim and the, there's such a long list of things that she and her firm does, as you can learn email@example.com. But Kim and her team work across industries serving global organizations. They've worked with organizations including the American Library Association, Adobe Harper, Collins Publishers and more. They provide executives and leaders with actionable tools to build healthy people-centered workplaces long-term. So I'm happy we can explore that today. Kim is a, a certified DEI and Six Sigma leadership consultant.
Mark Graban (1m 42s):
She's a strategist and speaker. She's a, a sought after commentator and voice in publications like Forbes and New York Times, cnn, and countless others. So, I'm glad, Kim, that you and your voice are here. How are you today?
Kim Crowder (1m 55s):
I'm great. Thank you, Mark, for that introduction.
Mark Graban (1m 58s):
There's so much we can talk about related to the way you help organizations. A lot of really interesting topics. But I think the first interesting topic, as we always do here, is to ask the question that we always lead with. Kim, with all the different things that you've done and you're doing, what would you say is your favorite mistake?
Kim Crowder (2m 16s):
Yeah, my favorite mistake is, you know, this is interesting cuz the mistake actually happened before I was full-time in my organization. It actually happened in the workplace that I was in two workplaces actually ago, right before I moved into entrepreneurship. And we're gonna talk about that. I know, but the reason why the, that is my favorite mistake is because it is what led me to what I'm doing today. Hmm.
Mark Graban (2m 44s):
So was the mistake that, that job in totality or can, that's the, you you've set the stage. What was the, what was the mistake?
Kim Crowder (2m 53s):
Yeah, I think the, the biggest mistake was not honoring those red flags that I had internally as I was starting to, to do two things. One, get in, get interviewing into the role, right? Noticing some things, some things are not feeling like great. But I still was like, well, it's more money. It's a better position, it's a better title. I'll have, you know, I'll be in the C-suite. I'll have that responsibility and ignoring that. And so that is one of the things today that I am staunch, I'm a staunch supporter of trusting yourself to learn it the hard way.
Kim Crowder (3m 33s):
I bought that. Right. You know, my grandmother used to say the best senses bought sense. And so I bought that sense based on those experiences.
Mark Graban (3m 41s):
Yeah, I mean, what, what do you remember as being the primary red flags?
Kim Crowder (3m 47s):
Yeah, there were a couple. The first one I would say is when I was brought on the unwillingness to talk about money, the unwillingness to negotiate salary, to me that feels like a red flag for any organization where there's no give or where the conversation is really stopped, you know, immediately. And what that says, what that said to me was, can there be open dialogue back and forth? And you learn that pretty early, cuz that's a conversation with hr, right? You learn that pretty early, whether, whether or not that's available. So that was one. And then the, the second one was, at that time, the c e o, who was my direct leader, came to me and said, we are moving someone into your department who's been somewhere else, and they're likely gonna have a, a problem with being in your department.
Mark Graban (4m 40s):
Like, so you're like, why?
Kim Crowder (4m 42s):
Right. Right. And so that also should have been for me, like a red flag and going, why would they move that person into my department? Why are they comfortable with my suffering? Right? If that person doesn't wanna come and, and so why am I being put, you know, being made responsible for this person? And then later on they became extremely problematic. And depending on how much we get into, you'll see that, that led into a series of events that really left me in a place of, of, of, I would say P T S D from that work, from that workplace. Yeah.
Mark Graban (5m 19s):
Well, I mean, it, it seems, it seems odd or unusual or not ideal that they weren't giving you input about bringing someone into your department, that they were just thrusting that person upon you.
Kim Crowder (5m 31s):
Right. And so what, what it was is that this department was pretty much just five people. It didn't matter necessarily, their skillsets totally across the board. It didn't matter that, that, that area wasn't their focus. It was like, we just are putting five people into your department. Now, what ended up being, what some would see as a challenge, I got to experience working with the four people, right? The four people who were, who were part of that, minus that one person who were able to grow in their roles, who brought a lot of institutional knowledge. And so I was able, as a leader to sit back and say, what are the strengths that are available, their connections in the community, their creativity, and how they may think about things very differently from me.
Kim Crowder (6m 18s):
And so we created a strong department despite that. And so I got to understand not only organizational change, right? What does it mean to change a department, but also what does it mean to develop your team in ways where you might need to be innovative about what that looks like? And so I didn't have a right, I did not have the option of who was in my department, but I did make it work. What ended up being with that person that I mentioned is after two years of, you know, really it being extremely challenging, going to hr, having them ally it back to me, as in you need to take care of it, was that I was finally able to get this person out of my department by frankly going to the board, going to the board of directors and saying, I just cannot work like this.
Kim Crowder (7m 4s):
I started to feel unsafe because this person was yelling at me, okay. Or would not, would not take accountability and res res responsibility for things like being laid on projects or costing the department a lot of money because of a mistake that they had made. And so having to navigate all of that and then finally have that person move out into the department after that, we brought in a a another person and it was fabulous. Yeah.
Mark Graban (7m 32s):
Well, yeah. So you, you answered, I mean, I was gonna ask, you know, how how did things go with that person who supposedly wasn't going to be CO or what were, or who wasn't comfortable working for you? I mean, I, I was, I was about to ask if there were microaggressions, it sounds like it was just aggression,
Kim Crowder (7m 51s):
You know, you know that language, that word microaggression always sort of, it, it's like a, a slow turning of a knife. And I'm gonna gonna tell you why, because that micro makes it feel like it, they're small when in fact they're not. Right? It's like a thousand cuts, you know, like death by a thousand cuts. And so I do like to call it, as you mentioned, aggressions because that's what it really is. But in this particular situation, it was not only was I experiencing that aggression from that person, it was also what happened is, is it played out in that the c e o and the HR person then started to do those things too, because they had become tired of me bringing the issue back to them.
Kim Crowder (8m 36s):
And so when you talk about this as a favorite mistake, what it did do was provide me with the sensitivity and the nuances of what it means to be a woman of color, a Black woman in the C-suite, and all the ways, ways that that could show up, whether or not an organization supports you or doesn't. And all of the, the, the micro behaviors, right? All of the behaviors that play a role into whether or not those folks are being supported, but also not just that, how that impacts the whole team, the whole leadership team, because then you employees notice and lose respect.
Kim Crowder (9m 17s):
It, it diminishes trust, but also it wastes a lot of time. Like if we're gonna talk about from the, you know, six Sigma perspective, right? Or we're talking, this is just waste, it's wasting time, it's wasting energy, it's wasting money, and it's having an employee who is, is ill fit or role really cost everybody, everybody else angst. And so when I, when that person was moved out and I, I talked to my, I didn't even bring it up to my team, but I had team members say, it's much better here Now with that person gone. And that was information I did not have, I didn't realize that my team was suffering as well. And so that is the challenge of two things, not getting rid of a a person or moving a person out who needs to be moved out, right?
Kim Crowder (9m 58s):
When companies push back up against that or leadership pushes up against that, the impact that has organization wide. And then also for me, myself as a leader, sticking by that for two years in ways that it started to diminish who I was in some ways. Yeah.
Mark Graban (10m 14s):
So was there anything ever overtly said, or even like strongly implied, was this, was this person's problem with you, a matter of race and or gender?
Kim Crowder (10m 29s):
I would say, and Here's the challenge with the idea that it, it, that Overtness happens, and Mark, I'm sure you know this, is that there are certain rules you can play within as part of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for what decides, you know, discrimination actually is. And what we know is the reason why the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission misses in ti in time, so I'm being a little critical here, is because of nuance, right? This idea that it has to be so avert that the only way that equal Employment Opportunity Commission can come in is if somebody labels it and calls it, you know, uses the exact language when in fact we know that in workplaces, that's not how it typically shows up.
Kim Crowder (11m 15s):
And also sometimes you will have HR folks who will step in and say, Uhuh, something's wrong here. But when you have a, a group that is unwilling to break ranks or someone who is unwilling to step out and have the courage to say, mm, I see this is happening and this is not right. Unfortunately, group think takes up, takes over and so does group behavior. So whether or not people actually believe that it is right or wrong, unless they are willing to move forward and be uncomfortable and stand with someone who is the only, then they are also creating, creating harm, whether they mean to or not even in silence.
Mark Graban (11m 56s):
Sure, sure. And I, and I I didn't mean to imply that like overt statements are the only Sure, sure. Way a problem like that would, would present itself or that it's not a problem if it was never overt. But it sounds like there's a layer to the story where it sounds like unfortunately the organization was more attacking you for reporting the problem instead of addressing if we will the root cause to use language from Six Sigma in lean circles here. Right,
Kim Crowder (12m 25s):
Right, right. And that, you know, what's interesting, mark, is this person's behavior reverberated within the organization. They had a reputation already about who they were. And so really what I'm getting down to is the goal of the work that we currently do, or what I would've loved to have seen then is to have leadership that was not only equipped, but held accountable for creating work environments that were healthy because the work environment was not healthy. I know people like to use that terminology toxic. I try to stay away from that language because it feels a bit disconnected from the actual behaviors that create workplaces that are emotionally, mentally, physically dangerous for groups of people.
Mark Graban (13m 13s):
So then from, and I, I don't mean to wrap that part of the story, if there's anything you wanted to add about it, but then I'm curious to hear the part of the story of finally, you know, you, you realized there were problems, the red flags were manifesting as problems deciding to leave and then being on guard interviewing for that other then full-time employment to, to look for red flags or, I'm just curious to hear kind of that part of that process before we talk more about your entrepreneurship journey and what you're doing now.
Kim Crowder (13m 47s):
Right. And so moving on to this next place, you, I have to be honest with you, mark, at that time period, I was really, it felt like shell shock. I was like sort of like going through the motions of just knowing I needed to move on, not quite sure what that looked like. I start interviewing, I got a next role and it was this new position and it had this big title and it had big money attached to it, right? And I was like, yes, I'm moving up. But what I didn't do in that process was be honest with myself about whether or not I wanted to take that job.
Kim Crowder (14m 29s):
I just wasn't honest about it. And so what I found was once I got there, one, I was too emotionally taxed to really be able to jump into the role and take it on in the ways with the ferociousness that I do usually for roles. But also I was just mentally drained. I didn't have a lot of creativity and ideas to bring to the table. And in that last point, I did started to notice there were cracks in the, in the, in the foundation there. Not in the other ways, but in some other ways. And what happened was after six weeks, I was called into my then boss's office and was told that I was not a good fit.
Kim Crowder (15m 10s):
And I'm like, well, I knew that. Like we both know that. But what was interesting is I was told it's really hard to find people of diverse backgrounds with a proper skillset. And so for me, it felt like com more of a confirmation that the work that I knew in my heart that it was time to do was deeply necessary because these were the beliefs and the beliefs that we got action that was happening in workplaces on a daily basis.
Mark Graban (15m 43s):
So it sounds like the red flags, if red flags had appeared during interviewing, you probably would've learned from the last time. And so yeah, no, not good. But then when, when, when they start appearing at some point, and you are already knowing, I mean, was it, did it seem like, it's, sounded like there were different reasons of that not feeling comfortable for you. Was it un, I don't know if the right word I'm gonna ask anyway, unreasonable or unfair? Like what was your reaction to them making it about you? Not just being a person who didn't fit, but Oh, it's hard to find people with minority backgrounds who can fit.
Kim Crowder (16m 24s):
Yeah. I'm gonna tell you what, mark, when somebody says something like that to you, there is a moment where it's like a, a, a a a moment where your mind doesn't connect with what is happening. Cause it is, and, and it's hard, you know, it's, it's like a glitch in the system because sometimes you don't even notice you've been harmed until afterwards, especially in a situation that is high pressure when someone is saying, you're going to lose your livelihood. And so in that moment, I don't think I understood how problematic that was until I went to lunch with, I went and picked up for an up right after for lunch, and I said it out loud to them and then they responded back and I was like, oh, that's really problematic.
Kim Crowder (17m 11s):
And so this idea that people are supposed to connect immediately, it may not happen until after a situation just because your mind cannot even gather what it, you know, gather you, you sort of go into protection mode and your mind maybe can't connect with what's happening.
Mark Graban (17m 27s):
Yeah. So Kim, I mean, you, you, you raise an interesting point or you know, I think, you know, from my perspective as I won't give a laundry list of labels, but you know, a white male, straight Christian background, like I am the majority in the United States right now, and historically, so like, there's a certain sense of, I think I've come to understand a sense of privilege where if I make a mistake, if I get fired or where that reflects badly, I think, you know, on me, the individual, I don't have that burden of thinking, well, that's gonna reflect badly on all straight white men. And, you know, and, and, and you know, it seems like in, in recent years, you know, there's more open conversation or I'm trying to better understand that sense of burden that a woman might feel a woman of color, somebody in an L G B T Q group might feel a burden of being a representative for, for other people.
Mark Graban (18m 24s):
Can you, can you sort of talk about that dynamic, whether it comes to, let's say, making or admitting mistakes? Yeah. How does that affect your perspective?
Kim Crowder (18m 33s):
Yeah, that's a great question, mark. So here's two things I'll say about that one, and I'm just gonna go back to, to the way you walked through that. When we talk about majority in this country, I think when we look at the numbers, I think actually women, white women are probably the larger group. But what we do know about white men is white men tend to more power, particularly when we talk about business decision making, that sort of thing, right? And, and so this idea of, as a Black woman to say, can I make a mistake? There was a really great article in the Washington Post and it talked about the NFL and it's specific, are you familiar with this? Mark?
Kim Crowder (19m 13s):
You may or may not be.
Mark Graban (19m 14s):
Oh, I think I saw you post about this online about Black head coaches.
Kim Crowder (19m 19s):
Yeah. Black head coaches and how Black head coaches are often brought in when there is a gap in winning where there are major problems on the team, right after the, the team has had a a bad year, then they say, okay, great, let's give the Black coaches a chance. And what we find is even, even when we look at the records of what those Black coaches have been able to achieve against white coaches who've been putting those same positions, they're usually fare better, but they're usually the ones who are asked to lead the most.
Mark Graban (19m 55s):
Kim Crowder (19m 55s):
And I think that that, that, that is an important correlation here. And also when we add into my personal story about what my then supervisor believed about me and about people like me, is that it's really hard to find people with diverse backgrounds, with the proper skillset. I don't know if it's so much that yes, we do feel the burden, but there's a cause for that, right? That that burden comes from the treatment and the beliefs of people who often have the decision making power. And so I do think that that is an, you know, like when we talk about this, that's an important part of the conversation. Do we have, I felt the burden of proof for Black people, for Black women, absolutely.
Kim Crowder (20m 40s):
I felt that pressure, the only thing that is relieved that pressure is being an entrepreneur where I've been really comfortable with being an individual, and that has taken time. But I do think, unfortunately, for people who are in corporate America, particularly leaders, so you think about being the only, I use that language where you are the only in those C-suites where you are the only, as a mid-level manager or a VP or SVP or whatever that role is, the impact of that, right? And it's not just, you are not making this up that, that, that this, you know, people are feeling this way and projecting that onto you.
Kim Crowder (21m 23s):
And so the burden of that is tremendous. And it's also highly unfair because the question is, is, you know, when we, if we're honest, why don't white men feel that burden of proof as well? We saw recently with the SVP, with what happened with Silicone Valley Bank and the story that came out where the person said, if they weren't so focused on diversity, and it was like out of 13 people where maybe four people, three,
Mark Graban (21m 50s):
Four people, I I I I heard about some of that criticism. Yeah.
Kim Crowder (21m 53s):
Right? And so even though most of that board were white men, how did it end up landing that that small group, group of people would be in with some way impact what happened? And so this is what I mean by, you know, having this, the, this unfair projection of of value of ability, how that impacts actual people and the ability for organizations to be able to reduce reten, to increase retention rates, to have that innovation as part of it, but also have different backgrounds and folks represented who can speak to things before they become a major issue out in the media, for instance.
Kim Crowder (22m 38s):
Right? But not having even enough space so that even if they are in those positions, they're either not being treated fairly or they're not being listened to. Sure.
Mark Graban (22m 48s):
And well, so preface, I followed the N F L more than I follow banking. You know, back back to the coaching thing for a minute, I, you know, I did a quick check. The NFL has never had more than seven Black head coaches out of 32 teams. The number I think has gotten as low as one in recent years, or like three, like, it's, it's not, it's not only but it's few. And I, I, I'd be curious to dig in and say, do Black coaches tend to be given crappier situations to come into, you know, think of like the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson and Scandal and all sorts of problems and sent, sent, you know, suspended not there.
Mark Graban (23m 39s):
The team was a mess. Well, they hired, they hired Loy Smith who had been successful previously. And it was almost like you, like they hired him like, here, write out this awful year and then, you know, they fired him. And like that, that doesn't seem, I I, I'd be curious, I mean, how much equal opportunity is there, and then how much equal patience is there Yeah. To turn it around as opposed to if Bell Belichick retires at some point right. Coming in to replace him, that's a, a totally different privileged situation. And if, yeah, it'd be interesting to see what happens there. What, what, what are your thoughts there around that kind of like, inequality on the opportunity?
Mark Graban (24m 19s):
And you, you've, I I know when you've written and talked about the only, it's not enough to promote women, no, maybe the same thing applies. It's not enough to just hire a handful of Black men,
Kim Crowder (24m 29s):
Right? Yeah. You have to have an environment that supports their thriving in those roles. And so one of the, you know, mark, we, we talked about this really, I, you know, at the top of me telling my story where I have a leader coming in saying, not only are we gonna give you a team that does, is not connected to the skillsets necessary, but we're gonna put someone in your department who we already are fully aware is problematic, and we want you to fix it. Right? We want you to be the magic key to, to make this happen. And on top of that, in your, you know, it wasn't just that it was, when I came and wanted to make decisions or changes, the amount of work that I had to put in to prove that I was qualified enough to make that decision was tremendous.
Kim Crowder (25m 16s):
And so we really have to look at it from a nuanced perspective about how identity impacts experiences in the workplace. And you just mentioned that when we think about coaches and their experiences and what happens, and then they are, they are, you know, asked to ride out bad years and then immediately blamed for those bad years and then are asked to exit, right? And think about this. It's not just that one thing. It is, what does that mean for their next opportunity in a next role? And what's interesting, mark about that, about this head coaches and only seven, is that the NFL is full of Black men,
Mark Graban (25m 55s):
Kim Crowder (25m 56s):
Right. Who better than to be able to make those deep connections and to provide direction and understand the experiences of Black men than Black men or other Black people. Now we're seeing Black women as part of, you know, being coaches, and I love that in sports, but it, but when we just talk about it from a business perspec, from a business perspective, from a data gathering, from a, you know, making great business choices, it doesn't make business sense. Right? None of this makes business sense because it, it is not yielding the outcomes that we would expect for any business, which is why we talk about data as a decision making tool for organizations as they're, for executives and leaders, as they're making decisions that they need to be well acquainted with the data.
Mark Graban (26m 43s):
Right? Well, there, there's, there's data, and I wanna make sure we're not abusing data. If somebody had an agenda in a league to prove Black coaches weren't as effective, you would hire a bunch of Black coaches into really dysfunctional situations and then you would look and say, well, look at the compare the win loss records. Yeah. Yeah. Clearly it's not, but, but that would be an abuse of the data, I think. For sure.
Kim Crowder (27m 7s):
For sure. You know, one of the things I, I just made a post recently that says consider the source. So when we're thinking about the data in general, consider the source, and I I, I'll give you an example. I remember someone sent me a bunch of data about workplace initiatives around equity that work, right? Are diversity, I would say, and one of them in particular was mentoring. And that people really love this idea of mentoring and, and as a workplace initiative. And while I'm not saying mentoring doesn't work, I'm saying that that is not systemic. That is a one-to-one approach. It does not fix the systems of why people need mentoring at that level.
Kim Crowder (27m 48s):
And so we tend to like the bandage situation, right? And so when you consider the source of that, my question was, was who was a part of that sample set that said, this is what works. I don't have, I just don't have enough information, was that that sample set, and even in and of itself, voices who are impacted by that issue. And so that's when I say, you know, we have to be really careful about the ways that we use data, the ways that we think about data, because as you mentioned, mark, it could be abuse whether or not it was meant to or not. I'm gonna wrap this up real, real quick story. I remember being in an organization where we were working on qualitative data as research and creating the sample set of people who were going to, we were gonna ask some things so that it guided what questions we asked to the larger group, right?
Kim Crowder (28m 41s):
And I started to question, well, who's in this sample group? Who's getting to determine what questions are going to be asked to a larger group? And is that group in and of itself taking into account diverse identities and experiences and backgrounds? And I remember, frankly, people were not happy that I was asking a question at that level, because now we're talking about systemic, right now we're talking about the systems of where things are rooted. If we're gonna do research, great, but who's the data set? And so that's why while I, why I say consider the source, it's so important for us to be critical thinkers about data and not just accepted as face value.
Mark Graban (29m 21s):
Yeah. So kind of exploring a little bit more in the, in this realm of data driven, what, what, what are some ways, I know, I know you've written, I've heard you talk about this using data driven approaches to understand team member experiences and, and do you try to stratify those team member experiences to look at how different populations within a company are being treated or what they're experiencing?
Kim Crowder (29m 45s):
That's absolutely right. So that first approach is starting to look at the, the, the quantitative data, right? What are we seeing as trends in the organization? What is, what are those trends? Meaning for women around things like promotion? Are there certain women who have more access to being promoted? Are there folks who the turnover rates are high? We worked with an organization where we found that they were losing 9 million, close to 9 million a year. We feel like that was conservative because of their high turnover rates. Here's, here's what this ends up looking like as a 360, right?
Kim Crowder (30m 24s):
That number exists. Then you start to look at which groups are impacted by that. What we found was that a, the high, a high percentage of folks that were leaving were people of historically ignored racial backgrounds in women, Black people were leaving that organization turn, being the turnover rate was 101% per year.
Mark Graban (30m 43s):
Kim Crowder (30m 45s):
Right. Yeah. Yeah. And then when we started looking at their online blueprint, their online footprint, better Business Bureau one star indeed.com, people were saying, you know what people were saying in indeed.com. And so what I'm getting at is this follows you as a holistic 360 viewpoint of the organization. It doesn't just end at that point. And then when we talked about qualitative data and we started talking to people who had exited the organization, their exit interviews, that's where you really get that, the how and the why and the what, right? You really get to dig down, and I, I wanna encourage something really quickly because people often, when we talk about quantitative and qualitative data with qualitative data, people wanna say how many, because we wanna look at it the same way you look at quantitative, but I say, don't ex, you know, like exit that thinking and really look at them as two different types of information.
Kim Crowder (31m 46s):
Because qualitative data could mean that we are just digging deep into one person's employment journey and finding out their impact, but also a particular group. So it's not always about how many, it is about what is the information that we're finding out based on those experiences that can be used to make change. And at the end of the day, those changes impact everyone within the organization for the better.
Mark Graban (32m 8s):
Yeah. And so when you're, you're looking at team member experiences, I know one thing you help companies with is, is trying to, you know, deal with a crisis that that's created when their behaviors not lining up with stated values. Are there red flags? Are you, are you trying to help them find red flags or detect these problems before it becomes some sort of big public mess to help try to prevent some of this? Not preventing the exposure, but trying to prevent the problem from getting really bad.
Kim Crowder (32m 37s):
Right? And so my background and my team members also have a background in communications, crisis communications as well, marketing. And we've seen organizations that have bombed, right? Or have been ousted in the media because of their practices. Big companies like Amazon, we've seen Dove, and this is their marketing practices, you know, and so that can impact any organization. I wanna start there because often companies may think who well untouchable, that cannot happen to us. We've also seen whistleblowers, right? With Thanos, for instance, ISOs, theos, Theranos, Theranos. And so we call social media the new accountability partner because at any point someone can blow a story out of the water.
Kim Crowder (33m 22s):
We've seen some things happening with a, a, a professional women's membership group on LinkedIn. Now it's, it, it'll be an article in the New York Times. It hit Forbes, right? This exploded because of the practices that they had behind the scenes. And so the ways that we like to work with organizations is thinking about what are your practices? What are your processes, what are your systems? And then let's play that all the way out to what could that mean for your reputation and your, what's the brand risk here? Because it's not only about just that internal brand risk, cuz your team members that matters and people who are applying for jobs talk or they Google, right? People are really intentional right now about where they're going to work.
Kim Crowder (34m 5s):
But also could that impact the organization's reputation and in impacting the reputation? Does that change people's desire to purchase from you? Does that change? Investors willing to invest in the organization's, people kind of don't wanna be connected to a sinking ship or an organization that e that is not living out their values. And so we help organizations really connect the dots all the way out to the end so that we can help executives and leaders make decisions about the ways that they build workplaces now. Yeah.
Mark Graban (34m 40s):
Well you can learn more about, you know, Kim and all that work that she and her company firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll put links in the show notes. I I was gonna ask maybe one other, one other topic real quick, Kim, I saw you post recently, again, I'll make comparisons. I follow the N F l far more than I follow the Oscars. I did pay attention the year when there was a mix up and they announced the wrong best picture winner that drew my, that was a mistake. That would be fun to explore in an episode sometime. But you, you wrote about something I had not seen live, but a criticism that was being directed towards the actor Angela Bassett and her reaction on camera when, when she lost out best reporting as actress to Jamie Lee Curtis.
Mark Graban (35m 29s):
Is there anything can kind of tell, tell us in a little more detail what happened there and why some of the reaction to that is, you know, troubling or problematic?
Kim Crowder (35m 40s):
Great question. So I'm gonna start off with a study. You know, as I mentioned, I am a data nerd. I like my research. Yeah. And there was a study with teachers that was taken and what they, what happened was is that the teacher's eyes were followed as they were teaching a classroom. And what they found was that those teachers looked at Black boys the most and that they often ignored Black girls. And so when we th and, and so what I'm talking about here is this ability or this desire and that that shifts and changes because as we talked about the, the, the impact of making a mistake from someone of a historically ignored background or something people perceive as a mistake, right?
Kim Crowder (36m 35s):
Can have a greater impact. And so when we talk about Angela Bassett, I don't, you know, if you're not familiar with Angela Bassett's career, this woman is a life force. She's a powerhouse. Every time I watch, there's a clip from the new Black Panther to where I just get chills where she talks about losing her family and, you know, haven't I given you everything? It's one of the lines that she says, and she plays this beautiful queen, her, now it's, it's like the second, the second the sequel. The women really carry the movie. They did in the first, to some degree we had chat with Bozeman, but this time there was a lot of focus on the women in this movie. And over the years we've just watched Angela Bassett do tremendous things, right?
Kim Crowder (37m 17s):
So what happened was, is that this year, Jamie Lee Curtis, who was in everything everywhere, all at once, which I've also seen was they were in in the same category. And Jamie Lee Curtis won.
Mark Graban (37m 31s):
And her film was also named Best Picture. I mean, it won many awards, right?
Kim Crowder (37m 35s):
It did. It did. And what we saw on Angela Bassett's face was disappointment. It was, it is the most human reaction. You know, organizations often ask people for authenticity and that was the most authentic moment.
Mark Graban (37m 52s):
She wasn't acting,
Kim Crowder (37m 54s):
She wasn't acting, she was just being a human being. How many of us have been disappointed when something didn't happen? But how many of us have had a camera pointed at us? Right? And so that,
Mark Graban (38m 6s):
And, and I, I can think of times when I've reacted not just with a disappointed face, like, you know, not winning some sort of workplace recognition of the year thing where I've, I reacted badly and in hindsight it was a mistake,
Kim Crowder (38m 20s):
Right? And I don't know that she don't do that. Yeah. It's not a mistake necessarily, it's just a human, a sadness. It's a human reaction, right? However, the response was tremendous. And it was an expectation that no matter what, that she should have been, people use words like grateful for the opportunity that she should have been more professional, that she's a store loser, right? All of this language directed at just her natural reaction that she probably couldn't control about not winning. And I, I talk about, I frame it in that way because often one of the things, again, I'm bringing it back to organizations, they bring your authentic selves to work.
Kim Crowder (39m 7s):
And what we find is that when those of us from historically ignored backgrounds do such, the consequences are much higher. And it is not that language is not for us. And so one of the things that I work with executive leaders, my team and I is saying, these colloquialisms sound really great, but they don't work for everyone because the, the impact of that is so high. 60 in the six over 60% of discrimination that is experienced in the workplace is retaliation. So if I say something, if I am direct about something that happened, folks know that they can't really raise their hand. Cuz retaliation is such a, a major piece of that, which is why I love the ability to come into the organization and sort of stand in the gap and be able to hold leaders and executives accountable in some ways to those numbers.
Kim Crowder (39m 58s):
If we're going to say that data is important, if we're going to say these are our lived values, then we should be okay proving that, right? And having measurements of success. And I wanna be clear that this is not just about people of historically ignored backgrounds who are racialized. This is about in general, creating a workplace where people feel comfortable, where people can be as innovative, as creative, as forward thinking as they want to be because they know that they can bring that forward. And the way to do that and unlock that in other people is to provide spaces where they're not having, having to deal with all of that in the process.
Kim Crowder (40m 41s):
And so, I, I just want organizations to remember as we're talking about something like Angela Bassett is, you know, there's ways you can look at the data and say, have we been maybe sending people to HR for things? Are there, who has more pip reviews? Who is receiving the highest level of promotions? Who is on and not on projects that create visibility and experience so that those folks can move up? All of that tells the story as to the type of treatment that people are experiencing in the workplace. And then you compound that with the qualitative data where people are sharing their exact experiences and you can put numerical value to those, right? So you can get an understanding of the themes and ways that that shows up.
Kim Crowder (41m 23s):
All of this tells the story and leads back to things like what happened to Angela Bassett. Where can your employees from historically ignore backgrounds fail forward? If they, they need to, can they express really motion or not? Or will they be penalized for that? And so I really think, I just think it's important to talk about nuance. We can't talk about workplace culture on a flat surface. It really has to be layered and rich and texture in order for us to create healthy workplaces. Yeah.
Mark Graban (41m 51s):
So I want thank you for, I mean, you, you masterfully kind of connected that to broader workplace issues and situations, but I still wanna just drill slightly deeper into like when I saw reaction to your post on LinkedIn, not a place for nuance, generally speaking, I guess LinkedIn comments, news, article comments online. That's not where you're gonna find a lot of nuance. But I mean, my, this might be a mistake to say it this way, but what I saw in, you know, in reaction to your post people being critical of Angela Bassett were faces older, whiter, and just as male as me. And I'm like, why?
Mark Graban (42m 32s):
Like, why are they so triggered? They would tell people don't be triggered. Why are they so triggered to the point now where they're making comments on a online, public social media platform? And you know, I'm kind of thinking, well, they're saying she should have showed more grace. Well, they're not showing her any grace about her, their perception of she should have acted differently. But, but, but here's the thing that made me think of, and you know, I'll, I'll bounce it back to you here. The have, have you seen Chris Rock's latest Netflix special?
Kim Crowder (43m 6s):
I have not seen it. I've heard about it, but I haven't seen it.
Mark Graban (43m 10s):
The title of that special I think is fitting here. The title is Selective Outrage. And I would love to see who poured through all of the Oscar's footage to find a white man who reacted this, have the same reaction in the same situation as Angela Bassett. What, what, what, what's, what's their, if it's not an agenda or a motivation, it's something triggering them to go after the Black woman.
Kim Crowder (43m 39s):
Yeah. Right, right. And if we're really honest, that happens. We often don't talk about, there's a story and I, I have to, I don't have the full connection. And remember the names involved at the Oscars where a, a native woman came out and spoke. She was it Marlon Brando that she accepted the award on behalf of, I cannot remember exactly. And this was, this
Mark Graban (44m 3s):
Is going back to like the seventies
Kim Crowder (44m 5s):
Yes. Many years ago. And she accepted the award and she said something about supporting native communities and one, another actor had to be held back, a white man from jumping on her. And we don't talk about these issues as problematic for certain communities. They only become heightened when the impact touches those of us who have been historically ignored because our, we're, we're we're, how do I say this? We're looped into categories, right? So this Black woman should be grateful for this experience because what, like, answer that question and then when you answer that question, ask why over and over and over, why do you, why do we feel that we have one ac like some sort of control over her body, how she reacts, but why isn't she allowed the, the full myriad of the human experience?
Kim Crowder (45m 10s):
And so I think that that is a, a question for people to ask and your right in that the, these issues have not been brought up and brought to light for white men in particular. And that is unfortunate, mark. And I'll, I'll tell you why we don't, what we don't talk about is the high levels of suicide rate for rates for white men. What we don't talk about is ACA alcoholism for white men. What we don't talk about is a higher propensity for white men to commit mass murders. And so when we talk about all of this, it is killing all of us. This, this addiction to power and this dehumanized viewpoint of each other is not doing any of us favors.
Kim Crowder (45m 53s):
And which is why we love data. Because now when you look at data, you have to be conflicted up, up, take that data and conflict be conflicted up against your beliefs because are you going to beli believe the data? Are you going to hang onto your beliefs despite the fact that they don't support what the actual data says? And so that is the power of data as a baseline for executive and leadership decision making.
Mark Graban (46m 20s):
Yeah, we've been joined again here today by Kim Crowder. Kim, tell us real quick about the podcast that you're launching later this year.
Kim Crowder (46m 28s):
Yeah, we are launching a podcast later this year to talk about what does it mean to create healthy workplaces and are there ways that we can redefine leadership as we've known it in order to make that happen. I'm really excited to talk about that, excited for the folks that are going to listen and make changes, but also excited to tell the stories of people who have experienced those workplaces that have been status quo, but also talk to leaders who have made actual change and move things forward so that we can, again, having examples, seeing examples is always helpful so that it can unlock freedom and courage and, and daringness in folks to be able to lead workplaces courageously in a way that really supports their people first.
Kim Crowder (47m 13s):
Mark Graban (47m 14s):
So I encourage people, go to kim crowder consulting.com, you can sign up for Kim's newsletter. I'm sure you will hear about the launch of the podcast. And, and Kim, thank you, thank you so much for sharing your favorite mistake story and thank you for exploring, you know, some of these important Topics and insights today.
Kim Crowder (47m 31s):
Thank you, Mark. It has been my pleasure.
Mark Graban (47m 33s):
Well, thanks again to Kim Crowder for being a fantastic guest today. To learn more about her for links and more look in the show notes or go to markgraban.com/mistake207. As always, please follow, rate and review the podcast. Thanks. As always, I want to thank you for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive. I've had listeners tell me they started being more open and honest about mistakes in their work and they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems because that leads to more improvement and better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me my favorite mistake, podcast gmail.com.
Mark Graban (48m 16s):
And again, our website is myfavorite mistakepodcast.com.