Episode # 40 of Shades of Success features Kim Crayton, founder of the #causeascene movement and board chair of We Pivot. I was introduced to Kim through a list of women in tech to follow on social media. Her tweets are consistently passionate, direct, and engaging. In the interview, she speaks about the trendiness of inclusion and helping organizations make space for marginalized people. She also expresses how her past frustration led her to cause a scene that has changed her life. You can check out the episode here.
Kim Crayton is a business strategist, the founder of the #causeascene movement, board chair of We Pivot, and advocate for diversity, inclusion, and safe spaces in tech. She is committed to facilitating and hosting spaces with honest conversations with intentional actions for positive change.
Kim has years of experience working with learners of all ages, skill levels, and abilities. She is now using her knowledge to develop technical people, ideas, organizations, and communities. Kim is known for her skills as a problem solver and strategy developer. She possesses a unique ability to be able to see the BIG picture while still managing the details. She also promotes positive organizational and community change in fun and engaging ways.
Through #causeascene movement, Kim coaches tech leaders in companies and non-profit organizations to help improve profitability and innovation. The goal is to operationalize core organizational values and pinpoint hidden regulatory barriers to inclusion.
Kim educates organizational leaders about how developing these necessary processes results in successfully creating and managing business operations. Understanding and operationalizing the businesses’ functions contribute to preventing typical barriers and allow the organization to recover from unexpected events quickly. It also helps minimize potential harm to the communities they serve and protect the organization’s reputation.
[13:13] – Why do you do what you do?
“I tell people I’m not an inclusion and diversity specialist. I’m a business strategist. Most organizations in the tech space are not businesses. They are products and services that have been able to scale. A business requires processes, procedures, and policies – the things that make it operationalized so you can scale and cover from risk, and you can learn… And so what I found is, I can’t get to help to create the businesses because the inclusion and diversity aren’t there.
Where we’re creating financial services for Global Market… It’s not an industrial economy; it’s a knowledge economy. And for you to have the knowledge to pick the best products that will not only help you to be innovative but also minimize harm in the product or service you create, you need a diverse and inclusive environment.”
[14:26] – What is diversity for you and how does it affect businesses?
“For me, diversity is simply about variety. If I have a box of Crayola four-pack, I can’t do much with that as if I have a Crayola box of 64-pack. I can really make a colorful ugly picture. I may not be able to draw, but I can do some colorful things with that.
That’s about recruitment. Inclusion is about my experience, and that’s about retention. When I come to these companies, they usually have no policies or procedures in place. The reason why everybody looks like them is when they have a job opening; they come to their friends. They don’t think about the overall five years down the road.
With this product that we’re creating and we’re trying to go into these global markets, is the person I’m bringing on who’s my friend even a benefit to me and where I need to go? They’re not thinking about any of that.
[37:00] – How can people cause a scene of their own?
“Intention without strategies is chaos. So you can’t just have an intention, you have to have a strategy behind it, and that requires you to sit back remove as much emotion as you possibly can.
Think about where you want to be so and just give yourself a timeline. It’s not set in stone because you have to allow yourself to move and allow opportunities to come your way. But you need to know how to maneuver in these spaces. You need to know the bottom line that every company that is based on capitalism is rooted in white supremacy — bottom line. So you’re going to be targeted, you’re going to be gaslit. Going in with those ideas, create a strategy so you can leverage it for yourself.”
Updated September 25, 2019
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