High Tech and High Touch—Creating Unity Through
By Daniel Guillory, CEO, Innovations International
William Guillory had an idea about 10 years ago. Many times people talk about how institutions need to
change to create a society where each person, with all of the differences they
bring, can truly be a part of the mainstream. However, that can seem like a challenging prospect to
anyone. The question Dr. Guillory
asked was how each individual person can impact the world around them and
create an environment of inclusion in their home, in their community, and at
work. That is something that is
reachable and attainable for each and every one of us. But he also asked one other
question—if a number of us did chose to do this, could it have some larger
effect….bigger than any one of us as individuals could have?
a former scientist, naturally the first place he looked was...the world of….disease? Yes…disease—plague, pestilence—those
items that have quickly and efficiently created deadly situations for living
creatures. And what he
realized as he learned was how different diseases moved virally. At the same time, social
networking via the internet was in its early stages. Facebook, Friendster, LinkedIn, and Myspace were all in
their infancy, but he observed that many of the principles of how news and
information spread seemed similar.
As a scientist, he continued with his inquiry…the next question he asked
was whether those some principles could be applied to the idea of
inclusion? Could we create a more
inclusive society for people with these same principles, where people that are
different have an opportunity to participate in the mainstream?
scientist tests out his theory in the laboratory. In this case, the laboratory for Dr. Guillory was a
large automobile manufacturer.
If we can make this work in a company, then we can hopefully make this
work in the world. Everyone
in the organization was exposed to the idea that by doing small actions in
behalf of the people that we see and interact with most often at work, we can
change the environment. Saying
thank you to someone who you haven’t before, going to speak with someone in
person instead of sending an email, inviting someone new to lunch, helping
someone to learn a software program, or choosing to mentor a new employee—these
small acts began to have a ripple
effect in the organization and truly transformed the working environment.
just doing something “nice” for someone doesn’t ensure transformation of a
relationship or collectively a culture, from exclusion to inclusion. The
essential ingredient involves authenticity with no expectation in return. Adding
this ingredient creates the potential for transformation in the quality of
relationship; one small increment at a time. When practiced as a natural
behavioral pattern, over time, the result is a collective distribution of
inclusive relationships throughout a family, an organization, a society, or a
planet of people.
question at this point is “How do we begin to touch thousands or even millions
of people?” That is where we
believe technology offers us the answer. In spite of traditional barriers—race, gender, class, education,
economic status—almost all adults have smartphones or information technology….in
fact most say that they cannot see living without either or both. Since they are such an important
a part of our lives, technology is our entry point.
goal is to create a free mobile application where you can enter the 5 or 6
individuals closest to you. And
for each person, you can choose 1 or 2 small
acts of inclusion or appreciation© for each of them. The mobile app will remind you to
do the act on a regular basis, and as you complete each of the actions, you
will be acknowledged. The more actions
you complete, the more you will see your own tree of influence start to grow. As
each of us are reminded and motivated to do this more, it becomes contagious
(or viral) and influences those around us to do the same.
Labels: creativity and innovation, Diversity and Inclusion, diversity in tech, inclusion in tech, Small Acts of Inclusion