The Gift of Nutritious Food
More than 40 percent of all foods end up in local landfills—one of the leading causes of methane gas production in the environment—while nearly half of good crops stay rotting in the fields due to numerous issues in a broken food system. Meanwhile, many communities struggle with increased levels of food insecurity, the lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, healthy foods.
In February, the Peoria-based Gifts in the Moment Foundation (gitm) launched the Good Food Recovery project—an effort to tackle these challenges locally. The program matches recovered, unsold surplus food and donations of fresh vegetables, fruits and prepared meals with hunger relief organizations in need of quality meal supplies. It is powered by Chow Match, a web application that connects hunger relief agencies with surplus food from restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, farms and other businesses. The distribution service is free, maintained by the generosity of volunteers and donors, including support from the Community Foundation of Central Illinois.
The first of its kind in the Midwest, the Good Food Recovery program is an innovative way to reduce food insecurity, recover healthy foods for families in need, and rescue good food before it reaches our landfills. Anyone interested in being a volunteer food runner or donor, or for more information on gitm’s other projects to increase local access to fresh foods, visit believegitm.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nearly 55,000 people in Logan, Mason, Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties are food-insecure, meaning they have unreliable access to affordable, nutritious food.
—“Map the Gap,” 2014 Feeding America report, from believegitm.com
D+I: An Essential Pair
While diversity has long been a buzzword in the business world, the concept of pairing it with inclusion is more recent. And they’re not the same thing. The fact is: both must go together to be effective. Diversity simply refers to the representation of many different types of people—across gender, race, ability, religion, sexual orientation and other factors. Inclusion, on the other hand, is the deliberate creation of an environment that welcomes diversity—one in which all people have a chance to succeed.
Simply having a diverse workforce or team is not enough—it must be paired with inclusion. “Diversity is being invited to the party,” notes diversity consultant Vernā Myers. “Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
DIBs on Workplace Culture
While many companies have diversity and inclusion (D+I) initiatives, their success is far from assured. So what’s missing? Pat Wadors, senior vice president of LinkedIn’s Global Talent Organization, offers one potential answer: belonging.
“What I really wanted was those moments when I feel that I belong to a team, I matter and I’m able to be my authentic self,” she writes. “I don’t want to be seen as a number, a gender or an ethnic box.” This led Wadors to coin the term DIBs, combining diversity and inclusion with belonging. She offers six tips to create “belonging moments” for employees and instill the DIBs mindset into the workplace:
- Make introductions. Show appreciation for the whole person—beyond their workplace role and responsibilities—and mention things that are unique to the individual.
- Ask and listen. Begin with a simple, genuine question: “How do you feel today?” Then listen.
- Solicit input. Invite someone in, ask their opinion, and follow up with questions so they feel they were heard.
- Delegate tasks. This expresses ownership and trust—and offers an opportunity for impact.
- Be attentive. Put away your phone and be fully present for conversations with colleagues.
- Share stories. Show your own vulnerability and share your failures and successes—this shows you care, and that you recognize we can all learn from each other. It also allows us to see ourselves in someone else’s shoes, which opens up new possibilities.
The Do's and Don'ts of Workplace Diversity Programs
Maintaining a diverse, non-discriminatory workplace is a top priority for most companies and organizations—but some methods are less effective than previously thought. According to “Why Diversity Programs Fail,” published in Harvard Business Review last summer, the three most popular diversity programs— mandatory training, job tests and grievance systems—actually make firms less diverse, not more. That’s because managers tend to resist “strong-arming,” job tests are used (and interpreted) selectively, and grievance systems do little to prevent discrimination.
Efforts to increase diversity are better served when programs are voluntary and framed in a positive light. "The most effective programs spark engagement, increase contact among different groups or draw on people's strong desire to look good to others."
Source: Harvard Business Review, “Why Diversity Programs Fail,” by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, July-August 2016
ADME Pilot Program Takes Off
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Intersect Illinois have teamed up on a new program for minorities venturing into business ownership. The Advancing Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME) pilot program is intended to strengthen Illinois’ startup and small business community by mentoring, educating and investing in underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Peoria, Rockford and Chicago regions. Participants, who must be qualified members of a minority group (African-American, Latino-American, Asian-American, women, disabled or veteran), will receive start-to-finish support to grow their business, including training, capital and networking opportunities.
The first cohort of 35 business owners has already formed, including eight from Peoria. Most have been in business for several years, and they span a variety of industries; Peoria-area businesses include a bakery and a counseling service. In February, participants were inaugurated into the pilot cohort by Gov. Bruce Rauner at the Peoria NEXT Innovation Center. Classes begin this month, with locals training at the Minority Business Development Center on SW Adams in Peoria.
Business owners in the ADME program are selected via an application process that includes an Entrepreneurial Profile assessment (EP10), which offers personalized insight unique to each individual, from identifying ideal coaching opportunities to assessing their entrepreneurial aptitude. The DCEO will evaluate the ADME program based on revenue and job growth before deciding to pursue a second cohort of participants. For more information, visit admeillinois.org.
Generational Segmenting: Useful or Confusing?
Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials… These popular generational labels are often key factors in marketing strategy: knowing the preferences of one generation over another helps advertisers target their audience more effectively. But Niraj Dawar, professor of marketing at the Ivey Business School in Canada, recently argued that such labels aren’t as helpful as they may seem… and highlights some questions to consider:
- Are generational labels truly insightful, or just age-related nicknames? Assigning a blanket term like “millennials” to those in their 20s and 30s acts more as shorthand, rather than suggesting a genuine difference in interests, experiences or needs. Utilizing a specific age bracket—and avoiding the arbitrary cutoff dates of “generations”—would be more relevant.
- Is demographic data even necessary anymore? With new capabilities to collect behavioral data regardless of location, age, ethnicity, etc., demographic data just isn’t as important as it used to be. What consumers do is a better predictor of preference than who, what or where they are.
- Are generations homogenous… or do they share values across the board? There is little evidence to support the idea that some generations have unique values compared to others. Values span age groups with no known correlation, so generational marketing may be less effective than one would think.
Source: “Labels Like ‘Millennial’ and ‘Boomer’ Are Obsolete," Niraj Dawar, Harvard Business Review, November 2016
Five Things All Successful Negotiators Know
According to the World Economic Forum, negotiation will be one of the top 10 skills required for success in 2020. But don’t wait until 2019 to start developing your skills! Here are some tips to implement into your own negotiations, courtesy of Jack Simony and Tanna Bogursky of The Negotiation Institute.
- Always remember: the cost of asking is lower than the cost of not asking. It can be nerve-racking to enter into negotiations with a superior, but it usually pays off. As Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Essentially, if you don’t ask for it, nobody will.
- Know what the other side has to offer, and make your requests accordingly. In other words: be reasonable. While it’s smart to ask for a little more than you expect to receive, don’t start your negotiation asking for way more. Have high expectations, but not so high that your request is out of the realm of possibilities.
- Know what the job requires. Asking for more also means more work, so make sure you are prepared—and know your capabilities. We all want that raise or promotion, but we are not all necessarily qualified for it. If you negotiate for an assignment that you cannot successfully complete, it will damage your credibility for next time.
- Try to do what is best for yourself and the group. We all enter negotiations trying to get exactly what we want, but it is important to remember the other side has the same mindset. Your goal should be to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone. Ask for what you want, but be ready to make some concessions.
- All aspects of life and work can be negotiated. It’s likely that you’ve been negotiating your entire life. As a kid, you bargained with your parents to stay up an hour later. In college, you negotiated with your roommates about living space rules. As a parent, you probably negotiate with your children on many items! Take the skills you’ve learned and apply them. You may be an expert negotiator and just not know it yet! iBi