About Jen O'Ryan: After an extensive career of instigating change at Fortune 100 companies and a few small-but-mighty startups, she created Double Tall Consulting. This new company would fill a gap faced by many organizations – how to get their inclusion and diversity initiatives from “good intentions” to effective, measurable, meaningful results.
Now she works with business leaders, product owners, and writers who want their message to be welcoming across a broader audience. Organizations bring her in to design content, culture, and processes that are more inclusive.
Her background in tech includes designing new experiences for customers, leading organizational change, and launching global initiatives. She has built and managed global teams, introduced new corporate policies, and conducted research that significantly improved customer outcomes and satisfaction metrics. Her approach is grounded in continuous improvement, building relationships, and curiosity-based problem-solving.
She is also the author of “Inclusive AF: A Field Guide for ‘Accidental’ Diversity Experts”. Designed for anyone thinking about Inclusion and Diversity, IAF outlines a roadmap to safely introduce meaningful and lasting change. Jen is a frequent speaker on podcasts, panels, and at events related to Inclusion and Diversity, organizational behavior, and influencing change.
Outside of work, she is a travel enthusiast and an avid runner. She also has a strange affinity for bad 80s music, getting lost in new cities, and scary movies.
In this episode, Jordan and Jen discuss:
Diversity, Inclusion and Toxic Culture
Psychological Safety and Direct Communication
Indirect and Passive Aggressive Cultures
Common misconceptions about inclusion and diversity
Creating meaningful and lasting change
Creating meaningful and lasting change takes a lot of focus and about as much time as you would put into researching and developing a new product. Focus on small changes applied consistently over time instead of big events that don’t create lasting impact.
People are at times afraid to bring up issues in their department or their office because they don’t want to risk getting into trouble for speaking up. When someone does speak up, listen to them and encourage them. Show people that there are no repercussions for speaking the truth and that you are all there to fix the problem.
Conversations can get heated when the team is trying to get to that ideal result. We can allow conversations to be heated as long as it’s productive and that it’s not damaging the team or attacking a person. Ideas are fair game to be challenged, but every person must be kept safe.
Be aware of where people are coming from. As a leader, you need to pull the lens back a little bit and see how each person is reacting to your communication style. Then, you can adjust your behavior at the moment or you could check in with a person later on and ask for advice on how you could communicate better.
“When I say psychologically safe, it means that you and I can have heated discussions and understand that we still respect each other as humans - it’s not personal, not targeted, and there’s no retribution.” — Jen O'Ryan
Jen is offering a copy of her book to the first three people who contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connect with Jen O'Ryan:
Your host, Jordan Goldrich, grew up in a loud New York family and once lost an executive position because of his style. He is co-author of the Amazon Best Seller, Workplace Warrior®: People Skills For The No-Bulls**t Executive, Chief Operations Officer, Master Corporate Executive Coach, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His guests are part of his international network of Workplace Warrior® executives, master corporate executive coaches, and thought leaders. Each guest will engage you in conversation about their successes, mistakes, and solutions. You will get strategies for being completely authentic, while you fulfill your commitment to your organization, build positive relationships, and take performance to an even higher level.
Connect with Jordan Goldrich:
For executives wanting a complimentary executive coaching conversation: email@example.com