Creating a truly inclusive organization isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. Using gamified platforms like Aerodei to promote DEI can help companies measure the impact of each employee and improve representation, retention, growth, and engagement in real time. In this episode, our special guest is Netta Jenkins, the CEO of Aerodei, a gamified platform for organizations that ignites DEI efforts. Netta is the author of The Inclusive Organization, which Forbes has listed as one of the top four DEI books to read. She explains the benefits of the Aerodei platform and discusses her book and the effective strategies she advises to address the huge gaps in DEI efforts. This is a must-listen for business owners and anyone interested in creating a more inclusive organization. Plus, we have a special bonus for those who purchase Netta’s book. So tune in now!
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Exit Rich Podcast With Guest Netta Jenkins
I’m very excited, and I know you hear me say that all the time, but we have a special guest on a subject that we haven’t brought to the show. We haven’t talked much about it. I think it’s a subject that demands a lot of attention, a lot of focus, and people need to pay attention. Get ready to tune in to Miss Netta Jenkins. Let me tell you a little bit about her background. She’s got about a five-page bio, but I’m reading the short version. Netta Jenkins is the CEO of Aerodei, a gamified platform for organizations that ignite DEI efforts. Explain what that is real quick.
D is for Diversity, E is for Equity, and I is for Inclusion. It stands for DEI.
It’s by measuring the impact of every employee and offering real-time demographic data. Aerodei’s platform organically enhances representation, retention growth, and engagement. Everyone is having a hard time getting and keeping employees. I think this is a huge subject to bring in front of our business owners and all of our audience. Netta is a doctoral student focused on quality systems and management as well as an author of The Inclusive Organization. When I heard that, I’m like, “Isn’t there already a book out there called Inclusive Organization? I guess there’s not. When does it launch?
It launches right in the beginning of June 2022.
We’re going to talk all about our book, and I want everybody to go purchase your book, tell me you did, and then we’ll have some type of bonus for you from Seiler Tucker Incorporated. It’s listed by Forbes as one of the Top Four DEI books to read. That’s impressive. Steve Forbes also gave a recommendation and endorsement on my book Exit Rich as well, so we have that in common. Netta has been advising corporations and audiences of all kinds for many years on the most effective strategies to address these huge gaps. We all know it. Let’s not ignore it. What are these gaps, Netta, that we’re having?
There are a lot of inequities that exist, and we were just talking about it. Many people don’t know the definition of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Oftentimes, I’d like to break that down, especially within the workplace, and I’ll break that down for your audience. Diversity in the workplace, that’s the equal representation of different identities and experiences on teams, and this is the critical part, that offers psychological safety, advancement, and successful solutions within organizations. We want every single employee to be able to advance. When there are barriers that exist. It makes it that much harder for one to grow within their own career.
Equity within the workplace is very interesting. It’s the effective organizational process and structure that provide people of all levels the access and support to participate, communicate, contribute, and grow. For me, it was critical to define each of these terms, especially as it pertains to the workplace so that people can start to apply it to the work that they do. The way that I describe equity is like, let’s say you’re in the engineering department, you’re an engineer. There’s a broken process and you’re working with the product team, but there’s an organizational broken process. That’s going to make it very hard for you to do your work. That process is not equitable. We have to look at diversity, equity, and inclusion holistically.
The last piece is inclusion. Inclusion in the workplace is the ability to share wisdom and power through privilege for the success of all. As human beings, we all hold some level of privilege. For me, when I identify my privilege within the workplace, it’s, “I’m on a VP level. I have many different opportunities and jobs that I’m in.” For the FinTech organization that I work for, I’m VP there, so I have direct reports. Me being at that level, I’m able to provide, not only mentorship and sponsorship, I’m able to advocate for my direct reports when they’re in the room and when they’re not in the room with me. I’m able to also guide them through their career in ensuring that they are able to advance, they have the resources, and the tools to do that.
There’s a level of privilege even based on the level that I’m at within the organization. There’s a privilege from a gender perspective. There’s a privilege from a race and ethnicity perspective. It’s critical that we identify that and then say, “I hold this privilege. How can I share that wisdom with someone else? How can I support them to ensure that they are able to elevate as well because they don’t have this privilege?” It’s a very simple concept.
It’s a very simple concept that a lot of people, not just entrepreneurs, don’t pay attention to. Business owners and management teams don’t pay attention to it. It’s like, “I don’t know. Talk to your car.” You know it’s there but you’re not going to until you need something.
It’s unfortunate because when we think about the workplace, who’s in the workplace? Humans. All types of people from all walks of life, different backgrounds, and different experiences. It’s a mess when an organization or a leader doesn’t stop and say, “How can I ensure that the people that are reporting to me are equipped with the tool and the resources that they need?” That may mean that one person has this resource, but the next person may need a little bit more tools and resources. How are we making sure that people have those resources so that they can advance? What DEI solves for within organizations is essentially saying, “There are inequities and barriers that exist. How do we remove those barriers so that everyone is able to excel?”
It goes back to what you’re saying, oftentimes people think, “That’s not needed. We can get by. I’ve never had that problem.” It’s like, “No, you do have that problem.” There are so many studies that show when there is diversity and collaboration within organizations, you see higher productivity and higher profitability. There are organizations that are thriving, but it’s because they’re fostering a psychologically safe space for their employees. There are organizations that are not thriving as much. You go and read their reviews online and what’s the one thing you see? You’re not treated well. You don’t have the benefits. You don’t have this and that. It goes right back to the core of how and who are you treating the right way.
I’m an entrepreneur. I own many different companies. I’ve always found those reviews unfair. The reason I say that is because anybody can go on there and make a comment. Many of them are accurate. I think there’s validity to many of them. There are also many of them that got terminated for a cause. They didn’t get a promotion or maybe they have to get phased out, and they go on there and blast their former company, employer, and employees because they got upset with something. Employers can’t respond, because if they do, then they’re being defensive, and then they’re being this and being that. You got to go on and say, “I’m so sorry you feel that way.”
It should be a two-way straight where they voice their opinion and experience. Employers can come in and defend themselves too because that can hurt companies in the long run by recruiting more companies with vendors and with giving business, etc. I have always thought that needs to be more of a two-way fair street where employers have the right to make factual comments, too. Employers can’t because they’re at risk with everything else.
There are opportunities though for organizations to share, “Here are benefits. Here are how we impact employees.” I think if they wanted to respond to some of those folks that are sharing the negative feedback. You’re right, people leave an organization. If they didn’t have a good experience, they’re going to share. We have to think about this logically. Oftentimes, whenever I write a review, it is because I had a bad experience. You typically don’t think, “I had this great experience, now I have to write a review.”
I believe that’s true, but businesses we do business with, we shop with, and go to restaurants but I also think that employees have a warped sense of reality sometimes when it comes to doing their job, doing quality work, and this or that. The minute that they get reprimanded for that, written up for that, and maybe even terminated because of that, then they want to go out there and blast the employer. It happens a lot with my clients. I’ll have to do damage control with them and try to get their business back on track. There’s got to be a fair approach to that.
Definitely. I believe in the power of numbers. If I see that there’s a long list of negative reviews as opposed to positive ones, then something’s off there. I go back to the data. Data doesn’t lie. If there’s a particular trend that keeps on coming up, then one would have to logically look at it and say, “What’s happening here?” Of course, like we were saying before, there are going to be those people all the time. If they are not having the best experience, maybe they got fired, laid off, or whatever, they’re going to go on there and blasted.Data doesn't lie. Click To Tweet
I have a perfect example. We sold a company. New management came in there. Old management was still there. They bought a percentage of the company. Old management retained 20% to 30% equity. They blasted the existing owner and went after him because they felt like he made a terrible decision. They hate the new person who bought it and it got out of control. Now, there’s a lawsuit, etc. The previous owner loved them. That’s one of the reasons that the buyer bought the company.
I think organizations, that’s why they have marketing and PR firms. They have to own their narrative as well. If that’s their story, they should be leaning on who that PR person is to say like, “Here’s what’s happening within our organization. Here’s the steps that we’re taking, so that they do own the narrative.”
You got to be very careful because if the sale is not public and it’s private, it’s very difficult sometimes to do. That’s how it happened, especially depending upon all the contingencies, the reps, and warranties. Everything that happens in any transaction. It’s very difficult to control that narrative sometimes. You keep mentioning organization. It’s not just big organizations, it’s all businesses of all types and all sizes. Even a small business that has a few employees affects that small business as well.
You have people in it. At the end of the day, we’re humans. Back in the day, it was easy because many of us were covering who we were. We had the home person, and then we had the work person. Now, more people are saying, “I want to be authentic in my own way.” Not come into the office or doing whatever the heck you want to do. People are saying, “I’m tired of masking who I am. I want to be who I am all the time.” There’s this opening for that. You’re right about that. No matter the size of an organization, even if there are two people fostering a psychologically safe environment, preparing individuals, and educating them on these topics like we’re talking about, diversity, equity, and inclusion are so important.
I agree 1,000%. Before we dive into your book, let’s talk a little bit about you as a child. What were you like as a child, and how did you get into this? You’re not somebody who wakes up one day and say, “I’m going to do diversity, equity, and inclusion and sell businesses.”
I definitely didn’t wake up saying, “I’m going to do this.” I was a very interesting child. I was searching for dinosaur fossils. I truly believed that there was a dinosaur in my neighborhood. I would take my neighborhood friends. That’s when I knew there was a leadership experience that I had. I’m bringing all of my young friends as we search for dinosaur fossils and riding around my neighborhood. My mom is screaming my name to come in. I was a child that loved people and I still do. Sometimes when you get older, it gets harder. I was also a young person that loved to explore and learn. I’m a lifelong learner.
Both of my parents are from Liberia. Having immigrant parents, they stress the importance of education. There were three things that I could become in life. It’s a doctor, lawyer, or engineer. In fact, when I was very young, my mother started to purchase cardiovascular surgeon books for me to read. I had to start reading that. My father was like, “No, she’s going to be an attorney.” He bought me a bunch of law books. In summer breaks, I’m reading Doctorate-level books. I’m like, “I don’t understand this.”
You were reading law books?
I was reading law books.
Is your dad a lawyer?
He’s not. He was a police officer. My mother was a nurse. It’s the immigrant mentality. It’s either doctor, lawyer, or engineer, so they prepared me at a very young age. I grew up in a predominantly White neighborhood. We were the only Black family at that time. We had experienced a tremendous amount of overt racism. There was one experience that I had when I was seven years old.
A White woman walked up to my mother and I while we were in our yard and said, “Blacks don’t belong in my neighborhood.” She spit in my mother’s face. I remember being seven years old, I stood next to my mother, and I literally felt her energy. I felt her thinking, “What do I do? Do I react in the way that I want to react?” We all know what that means. “Do I turn around and just grab my daughter’s hand? Do I scream?” I felt all of this energy.
Did she have a water hose? I would’ve used a water hose.
I’m like, “What would I have done?” In that moment, she took my hand, we turned around, and we walked back in the house that day. We didn’t unpack. I remember going to my room, I got to my knees, I prayed, and then I vowed to never be silent again because I was silent at that moment. I was only seven years old.
I had another incident where I was in middle school when a little White boy said, “I heard your family is from Africa. Let me see how far and fast you can climb up this tree.” He said it while other young people were around. I went back home that day and I was crying. My mother looked at me and she has such wise words. She said, “Netta, I didn’t bring you in this world to cry about things. I brought you in this world to create change.” That is the day I looked at my mom and I was like, “She’s crazy. She thinks I’m Martin Luther King. I’m not some incredible influential civil rights leader.”You are not brought into this world to cry about things. You are brought into this world to create change. Click To Tweet
We’ll not talk about civil rights, but let me tell you, where I came from, it sure came a long way.
It was that moment when it was my mom giving me the power to create my own story, fight, and advocate for myself and for others. That’s what I started to do. I went back, became president of a freshman class and I started to advocate. I took all honors courses. I wanted to understand what was happening and what was being shared because education is so critical. I was challenging teachers. They did not care for that. It’s like, “You have Netta. How great.” That’s how it started. It was me doing that and not even knowing that I’m focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. I went on to college and focused on communications and behavioral psychology. I still did the same thing. Naturally, I’m always advocating and fighting for people.
You didn’t go to law school?
I didn’t go to law school. I thought I was going to be an attorney, but it was a no for me. I landed in the workplace. It was clear the many inequities that existed, the pay gap and pay inequities that existed for women and people of color.
The pay gap is doing the exact same job, same industry, and same task, right?
Absolutely. Even watching people be in the same role, wanting to move up, doing well, scoring very high from a performance evaluation perspective, but never being promoted. You then start to see the trend. You start to see that less people from marginalized groups are being promoted. Why is that?
Are you referring to larger organizations or are you referring to small businesses too that maybe you have some experience in?
I would say all once you have employees within your organization. Even if it’s 3 or 5 employees, you want to then foster and make sure that it’s an inclusive and psychologically safe organization for people to grow and advance. That’s a critical time to start implementing tools and hiring the right people that’ll come in and have that mindset of, “No, we want to foster an inclusive workplace here. We want people to advance and grow. We don’t want to create barriers for each other.” It’s oftentimes what I see, even for a smaller business owner. You start hiring and then you realize, “I’m not hiring people that have an inclusive mindset.” They care about themselves. They don’t care about how others are advancing. They haven’t even focused on those efforts before. That’s a problem.
What age were you when that little boy said that and you talked to your mom?
I was in middle school so I must have been maybe around 10, 11, or 12.
That was a pivotal point for you, right?
You could have went different directions. You could have went, “I’m crying. I’m going to not put myself in that environment again. I’m going to react a different way. I’m going to become a victim and stay a victim.” You can do what your mom said, “I created you to create change in the world.” You’re going to stand up and that’s going to be your path, mission, and vision going forward. You could have taken a whole new path and beat everybody up.
I could’ve done that. That probably would’ve felt even better. You mentioned the word victim and it’s hard because there’s a privilege in having a parent that is going to say that to you and support you. We also have to realize the environment that I was in. I was in a neighborhood and even in a school that was predominantly White. There was a lot of racism that also existed. There were very few people that identified as Black.
When I think about other young people, it may have been very hard, even if their parents had told them to take that step. Think about it. When you’re in the workplace and you’re being bullied within the workplace, it’s hard to speak up for yourself. Can you imagine as a child going through that and not feeling like you have the support to speak up? I wouldn’t even use the word victim. Oftentimes, people don’t even feel safe enough to say, “Here’s what I’m experiencing,” because they don’t have a support system.
When I bring up the word victim, it was out of context because when I said the word victim, everybody has a choice to make. They can have a choice to stay in what Tony Robbins and Les Brown call it the suffering state. They can be in that suffering state where they live in that moment, they’re upset, and it affects the rest of their life, or they can make the choice that you did. You’re right. Not everybody has that parent that’s going to give them that great advice. Not everybody has a shoulder to cry on and somebody to talk to that’s going to give them that sounding board. There’s a choice no matter what has happened to us. We can move on and create change or we can stay stuck. That’s the context of a victim.
We have a choice. Sometimes you still stay stuck, even when you make that decision.
I don’t think you’re stuck. You’ve written a book that we’re going to jump into that created technology.
I want it to be very sensitive to those that are still stuck in situations because there are many people that make the decision to say, “I’m going to address this situation.” Maybe there are repercussions because of that or they no longer have an opportunity or a job. That then prohibits them from feeding their family. This is real life.
That’s a great point you brought up and I’m glad you brought that up because that is true. I’m one of those people. I’m a bulldog. No matter what has happened to me, I’ve had quite a troubled past and quite big things have happened. All people have. Regardless of anything, a lot of people have. You made a huge point. What does somebody do? Who can they reach out to? Can they reach out to you or your organization? What does somebody do if they are feeling stuck in their position or they are feeling stuck in their career for whatever thing it might be? What can they do to get unstuck?
Surrounding and finding a community of people that they can lean on and speak to. Oftentimes, because people may not trust those around them to share or receive that advice, they feel stuck and they still feel in that position.
They could be embarrassed for whatever reason, even though it’s no point of their own or whatsoever. A lot of people feel so lonely, they’re like, “I don’t even have somebody to talk to.”
That’s why I say find a community of people and seek that as well. There are so many diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners and career coaches out there as well that provide this guidance. Invest in yourself all the time. Someone that you can call anytime and say, “I’m having this situation. Can you guide me as to how I actually go about navigating this?” Those are a couple of things that can be done.
Have you built a community that people can reach out to?
Yeah, absolutely. Always. If folks want to reach out to me as well, feel free to.
Let’s tell them that real quick.
You have a community that can offer support.
Let’s dive into your book. How can we ensure that the diverse perspective are represented and valued in decision-making processes within the organization?
A lot of people ask me, “I want to practice allyship, Netta. What do I do?” If you’re working with folks on your team or cross-functionally that you know are adding value and contributing, amplify their voices when they’re not in the room. Share that with their manager and the senior leader. Send them an email, “I’ve been working with this person on this particular project. I would recommend considering their voice on this project or in this decision-making process. They’re great at what they do.”
If I talk about you and all the work that you’ve done, Michelle, and I amplify it with someone else, they’re going to want to find out, “Who is Michelle? What does Michelle do?” The same for me. If you talk about me, people going to want to know. I typically say on an individual level, amplify. If we do more of amplifying each other’s voices within workplaces, we’ll see more people a part of the decision-making process as well.
I’ve always said that it’s always better when somebody else sells you than when you sell yourself. Let’s get into your book. The title again?
The Inclusive Organization.
Give us a synopsis of the book.
The book is a practical book. I wanted folks to say, “I’m reading this chapter and I can now apply it to the work that I do.” After each chapter, there’s a worksheet so people can work through all of the exercises that I’ve provided. There’s a lot to the book. It’ll be very hard to explain everything. One of the things that I like to focus on is the framework as a DEI practitioner within the workplace and organizations. I follow the three Ps.
Within organizations, we should all be focusing on people. How do we attract? How do we retain talent? A part of that comes with employee resource groups. Who’s part of the employee resource groups? How are employee resource group members advancing within their careers? Do they have executive sponsorship that is amplifying the work that they do? How does it contribute to their promotions? What are some of those benefits as well?
I like to look at practice. Practice is the policies within an organization. Is there a reimbursement policy? What does that look like? It’s very interesting because a lot of organizations will say, “We’ll reimburse you.” What if that individual doesn’t have the funds? That’s happened to me before. I didn’t have the funds and I’m too embarrassed to say I don’t have the funds. They’ll reimburse me, but I don’t have the funds to put it up. How do we start thinking about reimbursement policies a little bit differently for folks that may not have the income at that moment? We don’t know experiences. There are people that identify as transgender. What are some of those policies? There are a lot of caregivers. What are those policies? What are some of those benefits?
That’s the practice layer. Taking a holistic overview of policies and how they impact employees within organizations, no matter the size. The last piece is product. With product, how are we measuring the impact of our inclusive efforts within an organization? A lot of organizations, what they do is they will survey. People are tired of the surveys over and over. They’re like, “Yeah, check. I’m great.” Meanwhile, we’re good.
I don’t even do them anymore. Unless you’re going to give me a significant discount on something.
Exactly. It’s like, “$1,000? Yes, I’m doing great.” Is that information even as accurate? That is where I say product is so important. Organizations need to identify, “Are we utilizing a product that measures the diversity, equity, and inclusive efforts of every single employee’s impact? That’s where Aerodei’s platform comes into play. A lot of organizations already are early adopters and excited about this platform because it’s a gamified tool. Not only can organizations now measure the impact of the efforts of every single employee, but employees are having fun with it while they’re driving impact.
Those are the three pillars that I focus on, but there are so many different chapters within the book. It’s fun. It’s like my personality. Definitely, the book is my personality. There are some serious components, but then it’s funny. You’ll be laughing like, “I was reading something serious just now.” I wanted to put some life into the book. I hope folks run out and get it.
It sounds fun. I’m going to tell my team to go get it. You probably should go get a copy of Exit Rich.
You already know. I will.
You know what’s funny is that you said the three Ps. I have the six Ps. You mentioned people. I have people because without people, you have no business and no glorified job that you’re going to work at every day. You mentioned practice. We don’t have practice, but you mentioned product. I found the way that you mentioned product to be very interesting.
When we talk about product in Exit Rich, we’re talking about, “What’s that product, service, or industry that you’re in? Is it still relevant or is it antiquated?” A lot of times, business owners are stuck in an antiquated product or an antiquated industry that’s dying, not thriving. It’s like, “Go back and look as a typewriter. Is that still thriving?” I like the product. What are some products that you would recommend for companies to adopt?
I would have to say Aerodei.
This is not a commercial.
It’s not. Maybe we need to capture this moment as a commercial. Aerodei platform is an exceptional platform that’s a gamified tool. It allows organizations to see their accurate demographic data full reports.
Do you have them on their employees, or also from their clients and vendors?
For their employees specifically but we are rolling out different features as well. Down the line, organizations will see vendors and all the others as well.
What’s your ideal client for Aerodei?
Any organization, mid-size to large enterprise, that has employees. You have to have employees.
You can’t do it with a party of one.
We’re not working with a party of one although, if you want to implement it now, that’s forward-thinking and proactive. I route that person on or that organization on but want to have some employees within the organization. An organization that is saying, “We want to make sure that we have a psychologically safe and inclusive environment for people to advance. We also want to make sure that we’re able to see the results of our inclusive efforts.” Aerodei measures the impact of that. It’s exciting for every single employee within the organization as well to utilize the application. It also then shows demographic data. It’s a safe space for people to self-identify as well.
What’s the minimum employee somebody should have if they’re going to sign up for Aerodei?
I would say at least ten employees or more. Ten is a great number to start off with because that’s an organization that’s being proactive and saying, “You want to start implementing DEI efforts early on that are going to democratize and create an inclusive environment from the beginning.”
How will it impact their company from an efficiency standpoint, growth standpoint, productivity standpoint, and profitability standpoint? Being a value company, how will it impact?
You named it. It’ll definitely increase productivity. I think you need to be a part of this commercial as well.
We didn’t talk about this. We pulled this show. We talked about how both of our cars were stolen. Yours in Boston. Mine in New Orleans. Do not coach me here.
We’re twinning a little bit. It definitely increased productivity, increased performance for employees, as well as profitability. Absolutely hands down. Increase of representation within an organization and retention. I tested this prototype within an organization for two years and the impact was substantial, which is why we said, “We have to bring it to market for other organizations to see how transformational it can be.” We’re excited about it.
Anybody who’s interested in that, reach out to Netta, and she’ll go over the details with you on that. Probably every company should get on board. I’m going to take a different turn here and ask your opinion. Not to put you on the spot, but there’s been a lot of chatter, articles, and publicity on Disney World right now. Some people go think they’re going too far with inclusion and the characters of Disney. What do you think?
I would say to those people that are saying it’s going too far, there is a level of inherent racism that exists then. For a very long time, there has not been representation within characters on TV.
We’re talking mostly transgender with Disney right now. There’s been African-American characters and different types of characters for decades now.
Not really for decades.
Maybe not decades, but as long as my twelve-year-old daughter has been watching.
Even when I was younger, I did not see much representation. I will say that for transgender representation, it’s representation. There are people that are transgender, even from a young age. There are folks that have their children identifying that way. I think it is important for them to see that representation. It’s up to a parent to say, “I want my child to watch this or not.” There’s parental control if a parent does not want their child to see that, but I do think that it’s important to have that representation because within our society, there is representation in that way.
They’re talking about transforming some of the characters into transgender. That’s where a lot of people are saying, “You’re going too far.” We all have a voice and we all should have an opinion, but it’s interesting to me. I wanted to get your take on that.
Representation is critical. If we have representation of that within our society and we see that young children are identifying that way, then we should be seeing that as well. It should be implemented. I think they’re doing it for representation purposes. Also, when we start seeing things like that come up, younger people are typically the ones that are saying, “I don’t see me.” It is what it is.Representation is critical. If we see young children identifying with a particular representation in our society, then we should also be acknowledging it. Click To Tweet
I think a lot of people are saying, “This is a Disney World. This is tradition. This is family-friendly, etc.”
Families are changing.
It’s a point that’s been made over and over again. If you don’t like it, change the channel. If you don’t like it, don’t go to Disney World. I’m not going to Disney World anymore because they don’t have hand sanitizers outside of everybody like Universal does.
That’s not good.
You guys are making all this money and you can’t keep us safe? I just came back from Disney and I just came back from Universal. I think Disney needs a rehaul when it comes to organization. That’s how traffic flows in and out of that, like having a lane for wheelchairs and strollers. If you put them all together, everybody gets tangled.
It’s ridiculous. They have one lane for strollers, wheelchairs, and scooters. They have one lane for pedestrians. One way going this way and one way going this way. Everybody ends up, especially after a show, it’s a mess. I was run over by 4 wheelchairs, 2 scooters, and a woman fell on top of me because she was run over. It’s not like people are trying to do it on purpose. They’re just trying to get out. It’s so congested. I hate Disney. Are you working on a project?
Yes, I am. I’m working with Marc Lore. He is the owner of an MBA team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was the former CEO of Walmart as well, but he is building a brand new city. A brand new city in America has not been built in over 100 years. This brand new city is called Telosa. I’m one of the advisors on the project. I love what they’re doing. I see the impact and the benefits of that. I’m excited for that to come out and be developed. We’re working on it.
When is the city going to be built?
The city should be built by 2025 or 2030, something in that realm. We’re working on policies and thinking through around how we make sure we attract a diverse group of people and ensuring that it’s equitable for all and inclusive.
Where is it going to be located?
They’re still figuring that out. It’ll probably be somewhere out West, but they’re still working on those details.
How many people will that house?
I think they want to bring in the first 50,000. I have to look back at the date, but I think it’s between 2025 or it’s 2030.
I should work on a movie at the same time. Netta, you’ve been an amazing guest. Give us some tips for our businesses. We all need to do a better job. All of us as individuals, business owners, employees, and independent contractors. Give my audience, who are mostly business owners or startups, some tips so that we can do a better job.
As you said, a lot of the people that tune in are business owners from small startups. Talent is important that we get that right and who you bring into your organization. Oftentimes, I tell leaders and business owners, you want to understand what are some inclusive practices that that particular talent implemented within a former organization. How did that impact people on their team? You want to make sure that the leaders that you bring into your organization are equipping people with the resources and the tools to advance. That they too are also asking questions around, “What are some inclusive measures?”
No matter what role you’re in or what level you’re in, we want to know and understand how have people been impactful towards each other within an organization. What are some things that they’ve found on their own? Right now, there’s a lot of talk about remote working or working in an office. Giving employees the option to select. We all have different experiences. Some people are caregivers, some people are single parents. There are so many different situations. Allowing that individual to say, “I’d like to work from home.” Of course, making sure that they get their work done because that’s critical. If they can do it and be impactful, let’s make that happen. If they select hybrid and you do have office space, let’s make that happen. Giving people autonomy is important.No matter what role you're in or what level you're in, you should know and understand how people have been impactful towards each other within an organization. Click To Tweet
The last thing is, as business owners, and I know it all too well, sometimes we get so tied doing everything because you become the marketing person and the CFO. You’re doing everything. We forget that you have some contractors or people that are full-time that are reporting to you. You haven’t taken the time to learn about them and to understand, “Why are they working here? What are they ignited by? What’s the purpose? How can we make sure that we retain them?” Those are questions that we should be positioning early on to ourselves. Checking off like, “Have I actually built a relationship with this individual?”
When you think about it, when you have a small organization, you have the ability to do that. You can talk to a few of the people around you and understand, “What are they looking for? Why do they want to grow?” That will keep you on your toes to understand, “This is how I retain these people. I’ve built a relationship and we’ve garnered a level of trust and respect.” Those are my three.
Jeff Hoffman was very good at that. He’s the founder of the Airport Kiosk and Priceline. I was about to take Constant Contact, but that was Alec Stern. Anyway, they have been on my shows. I’ve known Jeff Hoffman for years. His big thing when he interviewed, no matter how big his organization was, he did interviews because he wanted to find out what makes people tick. It’s not always about the money. Usually, when he asks employees, “What’s the top five?” Money is usually 4 or 5, sometimes not even in the top 5. Culture is up there. Ability to grow within the company. Learning is always at the top. Money is always at the bottom.
What he did is he took an extra step and I think everybody should pay attention because we’re doing this as well, but really finding out, “What is that employee trying to do?” When Jeff Hoffman did this, he found out that, this one employee lived in a tent their whole life. Their mom and dad never had a home. He was living in an apartment. His whole goal was to get his mom and dad a home. The whole team knew what his goal was and what his struggles were, so they all came together and bought this gentleman a home. That can be for any human.
This other guy, his mom was going through cancer and they don’t have the money or insurance for radiation. They all pulled together money and paid for radiation. People on a much deeper level. Not just have the employer involved, the CEO, or the CFO, but have the whole team. As a team helping a team is what makes big things happen, not only for the company but especially for the individuals.
Like Bob Proctor always said, “Your revenue is not dependent upon your company. It is the vehicle and source of what you get paid, but it is not. What you want to make does not come from your company. It’s the source. It’s up to you how much money you want to make and the habits that you develop.” Any other last-minute tips? Let’s say business owners are like, “I didn’t even think about any of this stuff.” A lot of them are at that place. What should I do? Probably contact you, right?
Definitely, I’m always up to support. You can head to NettaJenkins.com if you’re interested in learning a little bit more about diversity, equity, and inclusion within your organization and how to institute that. If you’re interested in implementing or testing out this free trial of the Aerodei platform, please reach out. You can head to Aerodei.com. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. I have over 300,000 LinkedIn followers. Let me say this, and this is the commercial. If you connect with me and you put that you tuned in while I was on Exit Rich, then I will accept you and we will definitely connect.
I’m saying that because that’s quite an accomplishment to get 300,000 followers. You did a big TED Talk, so everybody should probably go listen to your TED Talk too as well. What can we do to help you and your mission?
Amplifying the book. The Inclusive Organization will help many organizations.
Everybody needs to go get the book right now. Everybody, run out and get the book. Don’t talk to me if you didn’t. Get in contact with Netta. Netta, you are a fabulous guest. I’ve learned a lot here.
I don’t always say that on every episode, but I learned a lot here. I think everybody can learn something new every day. I know my audience got a tremendous amount of value out of this episode. Thank you so much. Thank you to my audience for tuning in and sharing, because I know you’re going to share it to your network, coworkers, friends, and family. Get the message out. We all need to make this world a better place. Netta is on the right track. What’s next for you, Netta, other than working with Marc Lore in creating your own city?
I’m focusing on Aerodei. Ensuring that if I can get that in every single organization, they will truly see true transformation. Everyone, definitely reach out. I would love to offer free trials.
She’s saying free, so everybody should be chiming in right now.
Only if you’re tuning in now.
We’re going to go get a free trial. We’re going to buy the book. Everybody, still go buy Exit Rich too but buy Netta’s book first. Thanks again, Netta, for being such an amazing guest and educating us. Thank you to all of our audience for tuning in every Wednesday. We’ll have another new episode next Wednesday. Again, make sure you share this with everybody. Don’t forget to subscribe to Exit Rich show. Thank you again. Bye-bye.
- The Inclusive Organization
- Exit Rich
- Netta Jenkins
- Jeff Hoffman – Previous Episode
- Alec Stern – Previous Episode
- LinkedIn – Netta Jenkins
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