Blogs by InnovatorsBox®


The first time I heard the quote “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with” I loved it! It reminded me how important it is to surround myself with those who believe in me and challenge me. Over time though, I came to appreciate the other lens of truth:

If you are only spending time with people who think, feel, and look like you, how can you truly empathize with, and understand, people who are different from you?

It’s been five months since George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis.

What have we learned?
What has changed?
How have we succeeded?

There has been more demand to understand how to build an inclusive workplace. But is holding a one-time panel or hiring a Chief Diversity Officer the only way?

I was challenged by this truth two years ago when I spoke at a National Black Conference in Washington, D.C. as the only non-black speaker.

I was deeply humbled.
I’m used to being a minority in the room. But to be in a room where you see your esteemed colleagues and friends truly be themselves without needing to code-switch is something else. I felt included. So much so that I noticed how comfortable they were calling me out when I got things wrong.

One particular conversation stuck with me that got me really thinking about diversity and inclusion again.

“Monica, it doesn’t matter how many policies are implemented. In the end, it’s what’s done every day of your life. Who are you hanging out with after work? Who are you having lunch with? Who do you call when you feel stuck? Who invites you to their family dinner and wants to spend more time together? Your answers let you know if are being fully, or only half, inclusive. That’s how we know how much more work needs to be done in the workplace.”

Yes. So true! Policies are important but not as important as our heart, our awareness, and our intentions.

As innovators, I challenge you to continue to open your mind. Meet people outside of your circle, get curious about who they are, and listen to understand.

What will you do to rethink inclusion and diversity?

With love,

Founder & CEO, InnovatorsBox

About the Author

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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