Crossroads RTP

We discuss why DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) is an important topic with Donald Thompson, the CEO of Diversity Movement, and D. Keith Pigues, CEO and co-founder of CulTRUE.

Show Notes

  • Donald Thompson  
    • Donald is CEO of The Diversity Movement, a results-oriented, data-driven strategic firm offering clients a productized DEI journey built on digital learning tools, expertly-curated content, conversational AI, and analytics. The company was recently named to Inc. Magazine’s 2021 Best in Business List in DE&I Advocacy. In addition, Donald serves as a board member for several organizations in marketing, healthcare, banking, technology, and sports.
    • Donald is an entrepreneur, public speaker, author, podcaster, CertifiedDiversity Executive (CDE), and executive coach. He is a thought leader on goal achievement, influencing company culture, and driving exponential growth. Donald has led companies that attained successful exits with strong returns for shareholders and employees. He writes a leadership column for WRAL TechWire and has contributed to and Donald’s autobiography and leadership book — Underestimated: A CEO’s Unlikely Path to Success — will be published in Fall 2022.
  • D. Keith Pigues 
    • Keith is Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of CulTRUE –  a culture analytics enterprise software and professional services company.  He is also the founder and CEO of Luminas Strategy – an organic growth business strategy and value proposition consultancy – both companies are headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC (USA).
    • His corporate leadership experience includes roles as a Chief Marketing Officer or senior marketing executive at Honeywell International, Cemex, RR Donnelley, and ADP Dealer Services Division (now CDK Global). He is co-author of Winning with Customers: A Playbook for B2B (Wiley & Sons), an inaugural selection of the C-Suite Book Club and featured on Best Seller TV.
    • Keith served in higher education as Professor of Leadership at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and as Senior Academic & Administrative Officer, Dean of the School of Business, and tenured Professor of Management at North Carolina Central University. 
    • He serves as a board director for the National Association of Corporate Directors – RTP Chapter and ReflektMe.  He also serves as an advisory board member for MAU Workforce Solutions.  He previously served as a board director for Prometheus Group and the Research Triangle Foundation.
    • He is a trusted global advisor to organizations in the areas of leadership, employee-centric company culture, and profitable customer-centric growth strategies. Keith is an advocate for women in leadership and diversity in technology. 

In This Episode: 
  • Donald and Keith explain DEI and its role in the modern workplace.  
  • We discuss why DEI initiatives are important.
  • We break down how to measure an organization's progress in DEI.
  • We discuss the topic of creating a culture of belonging and employee fulfillment.
  • We focus on the education side of DEI and how we build more diverse pipelines for talent in our state.
  • Donald and Keith share examples of bright spots and companies and leaders who are doing this well.
Quotes from This Episode: 
  • "The reality is for most of the organizations that we work with when we perform that analytical assessment through the eyes and the lens is of their employees, they do not have the culture that they place on their website, that they put in their annual report, and that their leaders shout from the mountaintops." ~ Keith Pigues
  • "Employees run the world today. Any company doesn't believe that... they're in for a rude awakening." ~ Keith Pigues
  • "The new leadership paradigm is that you can have people planet and profit altogether. So the expectation of what leadership looks like is changing." ~ Donald Thompson
  • "Let's not try to move people from critical of DEI to committed. Let's move them from critical, to curious, to committed. When somebody is critical of something, we need to understand why that is." ~ Donald Thompson

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What is Crossroads RTP?

This podcast is brought to you by Research Triangle Park, where people + ideas converge. We focus on the intersection of relationships and collaborations throughout the Triangle region of North Carolina. We believe that "better together" is not just a catchy slogan, but the key to sustainability for our growing region will sustain the tremendous growth we are experiencing.

Join host Ray Trapp, Vice President of Strategic Engagement for RTF, as he discusses economic development, community engagement, education, the arts, and more with insightful guests who are leaders in their field.

The Research Triangle Park is managed by the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina. With a mission to create positive economic impact for all North Carolinians, the Foundation is focused on orchestrating industry, university, and government collaborations to attract research, scientific and technology-based organizations and support the creation of quality jobs and opportunities. Through its commitment to fostering a spirit of community, equity, environmental stewardship, innovation, and collaboration, RTF invests in programs that cultivate vibrant communities within the Park.