June 16, 2017 – Leaders at the best companies know that diversity matters. Not only are the firms that pay attention to such matters rewarded with better financial returns, but they gain perspectives and insights that would otherwise be lost to them.
The recruitment of diversity and inclusion executives continues to be critical for companies. In the latest instance: Hanold Associates placed Elizabeth Morrison as head of diversity and inclusion for Beverly Hills-based Live Nation Entertainment. Jason Hanold, CEO of Hanold Associates, co-led the search along with partner Keri Gavin.
Ms. Morrison, who will report to chief human resources officer Nadia Rawlinson, will focus on the widely-differing backgrounds and life experiences of an 8,900-strong employee base to create sustainable diversity and inclusion programs across the company’s divisions. Within her role, she will influence and support divisional leadership, managers and employees to increase diversity at Live Nation.
Diversity & Inclusion Leader
Ms. Morrison was most recently with Campbell Soup Company as the global director, diversity and inclusion. She also served as executive vice president of the National Association of African-Americans in Human Resources. She also held various related roles with Comcast and the American Red Cross.
“With Nadia Rawlinson as an exceptionally smart CHRO, and Live Nation Entertainment delivering such diverse offerings throughout the world, the bar was high for a distinctive diversity and inclusion leader,” said Mr. Hanold.
7 Steps to Improve Diversity
There is now broad consensus that having a diverse board, where directors are drawn from both genders and from an array of races and ethnicities, provides the breadth of perspective that is essential in today’s global dynamic environment.
“Elizabeth has this unique blend of someone who is truly authentic, extremely enthusiastic and equally professional,” said Ms. Gavin. “Her enthusiasm is contagious, and Live Nation will continue to evolve diversity and inclusion with her leadership.”
Live Nation Entertainment is a global leader in the live events industry and operates in 37 countries. It is the largest full service, live event business, including producing, marketing and selling tickets to live concerts. In addition to a corporate function, the company operates four business segments: Concerts (Live Nation and House of Blues concerts as well as music festivals), Ticketing (Ticketmaster), Artist Nation (an artist management business), and Sponsorship and Advertising (offered across its live events, online and via mobile). The company has about $7.7 billion in revenue, 8,900 full-time employees and upwards of 22,000 employees when counting seasonal and part time workers.
HR Search Consultants
Headquartered in Chicago, Hanold Associates is a boutique search firm specializing in HR assignments, serving clients such as REI, Patagonia, Nike, UFC, Moderna, Marvin Companies, Medtronic, Fiat-Chrysler, Godiva, eBay, Northwestern, Fossil, Carnival Corporation, Northwestern Medicine and Outward Bound.
Mr. Hanold leverages his in-depth knowledge of distinctive leadership traits and competencies to advise clients in assembling high-performing leadership teams. He recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in today’s workplace.
Jason, explain the importance of diversity in today’s workplace? What are some keys for creating an inclusive workforce?
If organizations do not already have meaningful diversity and inclusion programs and practices in place, they are laggards, and need to accelerate to catch the more sophisticated companies with advanced organizational cultures. We probe to understand whether a company views their established culture as fixed and stagnant, or one that evolves and morphed when someone new is added. It helps to understand whether companies are leveraging their diversity and view inclusion as a business imperative. Companies prioritizing diversity and inclusion perform better because in part, they inspire innovation and creativity, and collect, engage and inspire the best talent. This extends from within the company towards their defined external community as well.
What are some of the top challenges facing diversity and inclusion leaders today?
Challenges facing effective diversity and inclusion programs, mindset and initiatives persist. The issue of organizational readiness has long been an obstacle, but companies are more rapidly awakening. Organizations still have varied degrees of subconscious readiness. People are learning differently, and that drives different approaches to how we assimilate, integrate and collaborate. More through collectives and groups than through classroom settings. We are immersed in a new culture of learning which influences the mechanisms, dialogue and approach. Lastly, we are shifting from the “D” to the “I.” Inclusion is occupying more of our cognizant approach to how we are engaging people within a culture.
“Companies prioritizing diversity and inclusion perform better because in part, they inspire innovation and creativity, and collect, engage and inspire the best talent. This extends from within the company towards their defined external community as well.”
Traits of diversity and inclusion leaders?
There are trait differentiators possessed by distinctive diversity and inclusion leaders. Of course we expect there to be traits shared with most other key HR and operational executives; strong business acumen, grit, willingness to be vulnerable, strong communication skills and so on. In addition, desirable diversity and inclusion leaders also possess amazing passion for this arena. They have big passion and energy for diversity and inclusion impact, and that passion is infectious. They also tend to have a collective portfolio of experiences. Fewer are career-long diversity and inclusion practitioners, but have led other aspects of the business driving transformation and change. They are not necessarily diverse from an ethnic or gender perspective, but they have had great success or hold huge passion for the impact. In addition, these executive are always learning. They read ferociously outside of work, and fuse their vocation with avocation, becoming smarter in the space. Lastly, diversity and inclusion professionals are strong relationship-builders with exceptional influencing capabilities to have an impact and achieve cultural results.
Can you also share some diversity / inclusion leadership searches that Hanold Associates has placed in the past?
We have led searches for the heads of diversity and inclusion for clients such as Heinz, CDW, Sears Holdings, AbbVie and PG&E, in addition to Live Nation. We are just launching another for a major multinational that will go live in two weeks.
Have you seen an uptick in the demand for these type of leaders?
Yes. Organizations continue to evolve and have a better cognizant appreciation for the impact of outstanding diversity and inclusion practices and behaviors on the team culture. As that appreciation is enhanced and is more broadly viewed as critical, the demand directly correlates to the caliber of leadership driving the capability.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Chase Barbe, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media