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Episode 430: Are You An Inclusive Project Leader? (Free) #PMOT

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A. Czopek + C. Fichtner
Agata Czopek and Cornelius Fichtner

In this interview we welcome Agata Czopek (LinkedIn Profile) and discuss that diversity is a fact and inclusion is a choice.

Companies with diverse executive teams are 21% more likely to outperform the companies rated in the bottom quartile of diversity. Have you ever experienced a situation that made you feel uncomfortable? Let’s discover the attributes of an inclusive leader and the steps needed to improve team performance by addressing unconscious bias.

This interview was recorded ad the crowded Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California. We learn to describe attributes of an inclusive leader, identify techniques to improve performance by addressing the unconscious bias, and see that privilege is invisible for those who have it.

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Agata Czopek: In this episode of The Project Management Podcast™, you will learn how to be an inclusive leader and the steps needed to improve team performance.

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com. I am Cornelius Fichtner.

Podcast Interview

Cornelius Fichtner: We are coming to you live from the crowded 2018 PMI Global Conference in Los Angeles. And with me right now sitting here in hallways just outside of Room 411 is Agata Czopek. Hello, Agata!

Agata Czopek: Hello, Cornelius.

Cornelius Fichtner: How are you doing today?

Agata Czopek: Very well, thank you!

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, you have just completed the presentation for a second time. How is it for you speaking here at the conference?

Agata Czopek: It’s a great pleasure always. It’s always stressful situation but the feedback that I get after the speech, it makes me continue.

Cornelius Fichtner: And it is a great topic because PMI actually made you give it twice, right?

Agata Czopek: Yeah, I was really surprised by the number of people that showed during the first speech and also the second one, I was well that made the difference.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yeah, I came in at the tail end. There were about 120, 150 people in the room, close to that, very nice.

So in the opening I said: We are coming to you live from the crowded 2018 PMI Global Congress. You chose the word “crowded”. Why did you choose “crowded”? Are there too many people for you?

Agata Czopek: I have realized that I’m a bit of introvert. So a number of people here like, I don’t know, I guess 2 or 3000 for now.

Cornelius Fichtner: Something like that, yes.

Agata Czopek: It’s really overwhelming. So if you are very small in that crowd and it’s there.

Cornelius Fichtner: I feel you because sometimes there are thousands of people around you and you are just sitting there going: “Oh my God, I hope nobody speaks to me because whoa!” Yeah, I have the same feeling.

Agata Czopek: I have another like I want to find a friend.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yes, yes: “Oh I know you. I know you.” He talked to me.

Agata Czopek: Exactly! I’m just having lunch but he sighted me. No, this is impossible.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yes, alright! So your presentation is titled “The Future Lies in Diversity and Inclusion. Are you an inclusive leader?” Why did you choose to speak on that topic?

Agata Czopek: The topic of diversity and inclusion is close to my heart as being a person who moved to another country. A person that is looking for inclusion myself and having different experience in different countries, how do you feel when you are from somewhere else that you don’t speak the native language here, and how it impacts then the team performance. But on the other side, how big the business case is behind that having the diverse people in your team.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! We want to look at four recommended actions that we have for our listeners. This is actually at the end of your presentation. When people leave, you give them these four recommended actions and we have decided to just take those four and take people through it.

So the first recommended action that you have for our folks to become inclusive leaders are recognize diversity of thinking. So what is diversity of thinking and how do we use that?

Agata Czopek: Okay! So whenever you think about your team, you really would like to have the innovation to be higher. You really would like your team to spot the risk quickly and if you have the diverse team that has the diversity of thinking, you can have 20% more innovation and you can have 30% of risk spotted.

And in the beginning, I thought that it’s all about diversity, gender diversity that we have a rule and man in your room. Then later on in my career, I’ve done innovation a lot and I found out that whoa, it gives a bit more if you have people from different countries and different cultures. But recently I’ve learned that it’s not only about this aspect that it’s also about diversity of thinking. So the diversity of thinking is the way that we solve problems.

The issue is that if you face a problem, you may look for evidence or you may look for options or outcomes or consider people or look in the process or spot the risks. But the truth is that we are not good at all that pieces. Some people are better at spotting outcomes. Some people are better at considering people. So whenever you have a team that has this diversity of thinking, that’s when you win.

Cornelius Fichtner: How do you recognize diversity of thinking in your team?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

PDUs: Leadership, PMI Global Conference, PMI Global Conference/PMI Global Conference 2018

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