Workplace journeys: Stanley Black & Decker

by Andrew Garney

Stanley Black & Decker's Chief Talent and Innovation Officer, Pradheepa Raman, joined us at Flow to weigh in on the topics of change and inclusion.

Here, Pradheepa shares her insights on culture in a company celebrating 175 years, and how important it is to have leadership commitment.

Stanley Black & Decker is a growing diversified industrial with three main businesses – tools & storage, security and industrial – and a goal to reach $22 billion in revenue by 2022.

"We're a company that is growing both organically and through acquisition," Pradheepa said.

"With more than 100 acquisitions in the past decade, you can imagine all of the different cultures coming together and the need for communication and collaboration to move the vision forward. Cultural transformation is an absolute must to stay relevant."

"Cultural transformation is an absolute must to stay relevant"

Stanley Black & Decker also wants to be recognised as one of the most innovative companies in the world. So Pradheepa and her colleagues are focused on ways to move full steam ahead towards these ambitions while keeping people at the centre of everything they do.

That means making sure that fundamental programmes and success metrics favour a diverse, inclusive workforce.

"Everything from [questions such as], 'What are the leadership competencies? What makes someone successful and promotable? Who is right for which roles?'" she says.

"You will see in a long-established company, those can look a lot like male characteristics, so you have to change some fundamentals – it requires unlearning and starting fresh."

Pradheepa said it helps that Stanley Black & Decker is open and receptive to this change. What helps even more, she said, is having a CEO who is committed – and vocal – about diversity and inclusion.

"Jim Loree is a very engaged CEO. Not only does he believe in initiatives such as diversity and inclusion, and creating a more inclusive environment, he advocates for them and holds his leadership team accountable."

"He advocates for and participates in employee resource groups, using Workplace to amplify positive behaviour. He really fuels the grassroots movement around diversity and inclusion."

"Jim Loree is a very engaged CEO… He advocates for and participates in employee resource groups, using Workplace to amplify positive behaviour."

Jim also calls upon other Fortune 500 leaders to advocate for diversity and inclusion and encourages them to do more.

The impact of this C-suite commitment to diversity and inclusion is profound. "When you have a leader like this setting the right example, it's a change agent's dream."

Pradheepa said that other leaders and change agents at Stanley Black & Decker build on that strong foundation by engaging with employees, asking leaders to show measurable improvements in diversity and inclusion – and fuelling the ongoing global conversation about how to build the most inclusive work environment.

As Stanley Black & Decker strives towards its goal of being one of the most innovative companies, Pradheepa hopes that using technologies such as Workplace will help build resilience and break down barriers.

"Technology can build resilience by creating a self-sustaining movement that doesn't have to be driven only from the top. It allows you to crowdsource ideas and inspiration."

"Technology can build resilience by creating a self-sustaining movement that doesn't have to be driven only from the top. It allows you to crowdsource ideas and inspiration."

As for what advice she'd give to other change champions?

"You don't have to be the only one carrying the torch. Get inspiration from your team, your peers and your external network. Breaking down silos and getting inspired by people around you is critical."

With huge thanks to Pradheepa Raman, Stanley Black and Decker.

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