In this episode of Training Unleashed, Evan talks to Frank Clark, a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) expert and CEO of Via Group Partners about the importance of having a DEI strategy for your business.
When asked, Frank defined DEI as, “Diversity is diversity of thought. Diversity of experiences. Diversity of, of course, ethnicity. And diversity of professional pedigree. It comes in all shapes and sizes… So, today, it’s very prevalent today because diversity, equity and inclusion drives business value.”
According to Frank, DEI isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good business. “It drives business performance. It drives value. It drives innovation. It drives creativity.”
Frank shared a great case study of a company where his team is currently working on a DEI strategy. He noted that most companies see the benefit of DEI when they are compared to similar companies that are focused on DEI. “A homogeneous company underperforms one that is diverse. Always.” Explained Frank.
The company in the case study was doing well, but not exceptionally well. Of the other companies they looked at in their analysis, Frank noted, “9 out of 10 had diverse leadership. And, 9 out of 10 had a diverse board. They had diversity in experiences, diversity in professional pedigree, diversity in ethnicity, diversity in approach and strategic thinking, in philosophy.” And they were all outperforming the company in the case study.
During the interview, Frank shared some tips that can help companies that want to have DEI as part of their business strategy get started. And remember to listen to the end to get Frank’s BIG tip.
Frank is offering a 30-minute consultant to Training Unleashed listeners to look at DEI as part of your business strategy. You can connect with Frank through their website at: https://viagrouppartners.com/
About Our Guest
Frank Clark is an experienced business builder and CEO of Via Group Partners. He brings deep expertise in the areas of operational, business development, strategy and M&A leadership. Over his 25-year executive career, Frank has led and mobilized teams in hyper-competitive corporate and entrepreneurial cultures. He has also built businesses organically from zero to $500M per year in large matrixed corporate environments, such as RR Donnelley where he held the position of Business Unit President. Frank previously served as Senior Vice President and Corporate Strategy head for Hoshizaki America. In addition to Via Group Partners, Frank is also the CEO and Managing Partner of CEG, LLC a middle market private equity firm with a focus on business services, manufacturing, technology and industrial services.
Frank serves on numerous for-profit and nonprofit boards including University of Chicago Medicine, American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Illinois Institute of Technology, One Hope United, Earthwise Global, Liberty Advisor Group, SG360, and Diversys Software. He has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelors in Economics from Northern Illinois University.