tv Eye on Washington CBS August 13, 2016 1:37am-2:08am PDT
(announcer) (announcer) >>from the nation's capitol, "eye on washington with marilee joyce." a weekly discussion about the federal issues most important to nevada. and now, from washington, d.c., here's marilee joyce. >> and good day to you. i'm marilee joyce and this is "eye on washington," the only
produced in washington, d.c. every week "eye on washington" takes you straight to capitol hill for a discussion with nevada's delegation and other leaders about the federal matters that matter to you. today's topic, inclusion. the growing focus on diversification in the workforce in nevada and nationally. my very special guest today is mr. fred keeton. he is the principal of keeton iconoclast, llc. thanks so much for being here today. >> thank you for having me. >> appreciate you coming. go against the grain. think about things in a markedly different way. that's what diversity is all about. well, that's what my guest said about diversification and inclusion in a recent magazine profile. today on "eye on washington," we're going to learn why he believes a diversified culture can make or break a company's bottom line. we're going to find out the reasons one global ceo says diversity benefits business. and we will look at congressional delegation
work. well, can embracing diversity and inclusion benefit a company financially? my guest, mr. keeton, says that he thinks it's proven. and in fact, in that article which appeared in "seven" magazine, he claims it let to casinos in cleveland and cincinnati win casino licenses. we're going to ask him how. but the point he makes in the press before the national organizations he serves is this. cultural dexterity has become crucial for the success and maybe survival of businesses today. let's define things for purposes of our show today. diversity can be used to differentiate groups and people from one another. generally also means respect for differences in ethnicity, gender, age, natiol origin, sexual orientation, education, religion. inclusion can be the state of being valued, respected and supported. so, first of all, mr. keeton, welcome to "eye on washington." now, you went from a boy born in mississippi when jim crow
in fact, i read in that profile that you witnessed a theater owner closing his theater rather than he wouldn't let blacks and whites sit together. and anyway, you went from witnessing all that to become one of the nation's leading diversity leaders. how did your childhood influence your career? >> oh, so much. a big part of childhood was having great parents. and my parents were born -- 1916. and they taught us vision. so always thinking about what's next, always thinking about the new possibilities. even though we were in a segregated environment and it was legally so, the feds came in in 1970-71 and forced us to integrate our schools. so up until that time, you will recall in 1957 or '56, i believe it was the little rock nine. in 1954 was brown versus the
we were a few years behind. i was 13 years old at the time. that "seven" magazine article i mentioned, you know, in it you say diversity means more than hiring people from a variety of backgrounds. you say that it means, quote, becoming diverse by design. what does that mean? what does it encompass? >> so it means that how we think, our smarts are driven 70% by our experiences and 30% by our dna. and so the mixture of nature and nurture there is what gives us our diverse cognitive tools. so as you bring people in from different backgrounds, you mix and remix those tools, it helps you to view business issues differently, to essentially start an innovation process that's iterative depending on who you have in a room and how you are mixing them. and like hotel rooms out in las vegas, we call it yield managing diversity. >> you have said that diverse backgrounds and approaches don't just feel good.
sense. why does diversity matter more than ever today to businesses? >> well, the world is now totally networked. we are impacted by global issues. we are impacted by disruption. if you look at uber, if you look at lyft and some of those organizations, the vrbo and others where you used to have to go to a hotel room or you used to have to get a cab and that kind of thing, now people are using their own vehicles. it's a totally disruptive approach to thinking about things. that is happening across industries. so literally industries are growing on the edge, doing things that we never thought possible because of big data, because of technology, because of our linkages. and that's key. that's all about diverse linkages. >> you have said that -- i read something online that you might like. it said diversity is being invited to the party.
dance. how do you differentiate those two terms? >> well, i look at diversity which is a noun. and it simply means difference. so when we think about diversity, we think about not only people diversity, we think about hierarchical diversity. we think about functional diversity departmental diversity. all of those with different people in them that goes back to the traditional way of thinking about diversity as well as simply their experiences, education, what i chose to be my profession. >> sure. >> all of those we mix and remix to make our organizations work. so a corporation uses all of these different mindsets, legal, marketing, operations to drive the outcome. that's what this is about. >> we're going to pick it up from there. this is so interesting. when we return, the consequences of being non-diversified as a business or organization. we're going to talk about the economic, strategic and growth impacts of all this right
>> and welcome back to "eye on washington" and our look at efforts to ensure more diversification and inclusion in the workforce. our special guest again today is mr. fred keeton, the principal of keeton iconoclast, llc. well, let's look now at why there is such emphasis today on diversity in business. last summer the international chairman of prew cooper posted an article about all this on the firm's website. the piece was called "five reasons why diversity and inclusion matter to every business and every employee." it claimed diversity and inclusion lead to more innovation, more opportunities for all, better access to talent and better business performance. and here's why according to author dennis nally. first, he said diversity and inclusion lead to equal opportunities for everyone. next it's good for business,
and a competitive edge in accessing new markets. then without diversity, companies risk being out of date and losing out on attracting vital talent. fourth are the societal impacts. he says diversity and inclusion mean growth to the economies in which the company operates. finally, getting to know people from different backgrounds and experiences, we get another way of viewing things and another way of doing things. so, mr. keeton, the article points out that nowadays, a company needs to priority diversity or find itself way behind. what do you say to that? >> i say that that's absolutely true. and again, using that definition of diversity that we talked about earlier, again it captures the protected class issues that we have always thought about traditionally. race, gender, generations, that kind of thing. but it also captures the cross-departmental, cross-functional roles that we all play because you have all
what a southerner would put into the mix, in addition to a northeasterner, in addition to someone from bangladesh, because we have all of these people in the workplace now. and we've got to create the capacity for them to help us again to view the same thing we have been looking at, but to think about it differently. >> picking up on what you just said, the many different groups, types of groups, sub groups within groups, etc., regarding that equ that piece that things are better, but they are certainly not perfect. but he did laud the help women have had to getting better jobs because of that. are there groups benefiting more than others? is it equal across the board? what are you seeing? what are you content with? what's still really missing? >> well, i was always told that excellence is not a destination, it's a new direction. it's not a parking lot, it's a highway. as soon as we think we're doing well, somebody goes past us. there are differing areas of
space. one would say -- some would say that the majority of women, white women have made a tremendous amount of progress, even though there's much more progress to be made. that minority women, if you were to look at the ceo positions and the like, it's not where it needs to be for either majority or minority, but there are more majority women in those rules than minority women. so you can look in each one of these areas and you can see differences in those areas. my how you manage all of those dimensions of diversity in a way that get you to optimal numbers, no matter which. and essentially what you are doing is being highly intentional. so when you think about this, one of the shortcomings with those folks who try and manage around this is it's not viewed as a business discipline in some organizations. and it's not viewed as a business discipline because
blanket statement that diversity is good. well, diversity simply is. it's not necessarily good. it's what we do with it that brings its value. and so sometimes we will hear outside the arguments about it one way or the other. and that means that the leaders haven't really taken the time to mix and remix those people around either solving their hardest problems or taking advantage of their most complex opportunities in the organization. that's when it's most potent. and most of the time we don't think of it that way. >> second to point out -- you, of course, are based in nevada. i know you spend a lot of time in washington, d.c. because you're a national leader in this area. i know that you're co-chair of the american gaming association's diversity task force. you're on the gaming board of the national minority supplier development council which prioritizes diversity and inclusion. and other places as well. but you're here the week we are taping this show for a big function in washington.
u.s. black chamber this week. just left a panel, speaking on a panel to get here. and one of the things i'm so proud of is caesar's is one of my clients and it continues to be. and we'll be in atlanta next at the u.s. pan-asian american chamber of commerce in support of that organization. and we will be at the women's business enterprise network council in support of that so as we are supporting these organizations, we are supporting talent. we are helping them to optimize the talent. so a lot of times you'll hear companies simply talk about attracting and retaining top talent. you have to get to the third element of optimization. how do you get the most out of all of those folks? and so you are creating a growth capacity mindset in your organization that says
so how do we facilitate that getting smarter? because that enhances your culture. if you have a culture where people aren't in a fixed capacity mindset -- which means they are hiding from things that are wrong. they are hiding from the effort. they don't want to be seen as having made a mistake. if you are going to drive outcomes through inclusion, there will be some mistakes because you are trying new things. the thing is you want those to be calculated. you want those to be mistakes that were based on a business potential. >> i know you have done a lot of work with caesar's, especially in the past. what improvements and benefits have you seen there since they have gotten so series about the dni model? >> well, i'll tell you. the dni model at caesar's when i left -- i was there 31 years. it's all about how to optimize talent. it's all about how we bring different folks together.
yes, i do mean race, gender, all those protected classes and issues you typically think about. but there are times when we will say we need to put together a diverse by design team. and we will bring somebody from marketing and somebody from finance, somebody from areas away from the subject matter because the further away you get from your problem or opportunity with relevance, the more likely you are to get to a breakthrough. when i say the further away, when people can look at that and not be caught up in personal preference, which is what the people who work on it every day get caught up with, then you get to new ideas. >> excellent. when we return, what's happening on the hill regarding diversity and inclusion? we're going to find out right after this.
>> and welcome back to "eye on washington." our discussion of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. and we have been visiting with fred keeton, the principal of keeton iconoclast, llc. in 2007 when he became majority leader, nevada u.s. senator harry reid led an effort to identify and hire a moiv the senate democratic initiative became a resource to assist offices in this endeavor. in addition, it helped those wanting to work on the hill to understand and navigate the job search process. when he started it, then senate democratic leader reid said his aim was to develop a senate workforce that reflected the diversity of the nation and was demographically representative of the constituents that senators serve.
says, quote, our concept of diversity and inclusion embraces differences in race, ethnicity, religion, disability and sexual orientation as well as recognizes the military service of our veterans. mr. keeton, that initiative is not that old. and yet just in the short time since, efforts like this are so much more commonplace. what's changed of late regarding awareness of this issue? >> i think we see these issues where businesses may have been -- and other organizations, be it police forces or whatever else, they have had issues that may have been historic, but have never been in this world of ours that really again the technology captures everything now. >> sure. >> and it captures it in the way that we communicate. it captures it in the way that the news flows.
individuals now, not just from the news services. so this has become a type of mind issue from a media perspective. but it's always been an issue that we needed to manage to drive better outcomes. i would tell you that perspective is key. interpretations are key. when we have people from different citizen bases, we are all americans. but we are living in different geographies, different sets of us our smarts. that's what differentiates us. and it has differentiated us from other countries since we were formed. now, we have evolved to the point where we are much more inclusive now than we were before, but that was the premise. the premise of democracy is that we are going to have all of these different ideas come in and that we are going to collaborate in a way to drive the very best outcome from
that's what democracy is about. >> for all. >> that's what inclusion is about. >> sure. >> yes. >> you know, senator reid is not alone, of course, on the work on this issue. but before this effort, before 2007, was there a widespread push for dni on the hill? and was it a very big issue for congress yet to focus on for the country in general? >> well, the funny thing about this topic is it's an extremely dynamic and evolutionary topic. years ago where when you mentioned whatever, it was all about affirmative action. it was all about that particular mindset. the way that this has evolved now is it really captures what we need to do in order to drive better business outcomes. because, remember, we are global. >> all right. we're going to pick it up from there because when we return, we're going to ask mr. keeton what's most needed from
>> and we're back with our closing segment of today's "eye on washington." mr. keeton, as you and my audience knows, this is a federally based show. >> right. >> how it affects the state. so let's close on a kind of federal government thing. what's still needed from the federal government regarding diversification and inclusiveness? and specifically, if you want, what would you want to see nevada's congressional delegation focus on to help ensure nevada has a diverse challenge of how we ensure that we are recruiting appropriately, recruiting talent from wherever we find it, which is key. and i think really understanding why we do that beyond how we have simply thought about making sure that we had women or minorities or the generational diversity and lgbt diversity and that sort
smarter. it's about creating a better state of nevada. and it's about taking all of those folks and creating a brain trust that gets us out in front so we're preemptively thinking differently about what we can do to make the state better. that really is it. >> that's excellent. great show today. great information for the audience. thanks for being here. i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> that is it for today's "eye on washington." but we are always here for you providing all the latest news from the hill that nevadans you can just go to our website joycecommunications.com. you can check out all the federal issues that impact nevada. like us on facebook. you can follow me on twitter. and catch up with any shows you may have missed on our youtube page. thanks for joining us today on "eye on washington." i'm marilee joyce in washington, d.c. i hope you have a great day
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