Being the Boss learning journey earns 2023 Brandon Hall Group Gold Award in DEI

2023 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Gold Award in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Best Advance in Leadership Development for Women


We work to amplify cultural differences so company leaders can step into their potential, bring integrative solutions to life, and ultimately develop an organization that can innovate time and time again.

Building Diversity Series

Paradox Strategies has been named a Top 10 Diversity and Inclusion service company for the second consecutive year by Manage HR magazine.

Our DEI Offerings

A 4-phase diagnostic assessment of your organization’s culture, practices, and policies that are either discouraging or encouraging inclusivity. Over the course of 2-3 months, this process takes executive teams beyond awareness training to specific actions that will generate tangible results.  

Phase 1 – In-depth interviews of senior leaders, employees of color (and/or women based upon the project focus), and your Human Resource leaders combined with our proprietary and research-based assessment tools.

Phase 2 – Rigorous analysis of the talent management processes, practices, and outcomes so we can highlight challenges and obstacles.

Phase 3: Facilitator led interactive workshops with the organization to review the qualitative and quantitative data, develop hypotheses about the data, and the creation of a robust list of ideas to remedy the issues.

Phase 4: Generate a cultural diversity action plan to which all will be accountable and which everyone can implement.

In sum, we want to reach a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities your teams face, create a framework and common language for addressing them, and generate an actionable plan for your team they can implement quickly and effectively. 


• Your Executive team will gain complete awareness of the root causes of inclusivity challenges within your organization.

• A common framework and language will be created so discussion around these obstacles in the future will be based on research and analysis.

• A diversity action plan created by the senior team to which they are committed and will be held accountable.

Leveraging decades of research on the careers of high-potentials, inclusive cultures, and the unique challenges that under-represented groups face in career progression, Dr. Hill leads the discussion around why most organizations don’t truly lead a meritocracy (despite firm intentions). This program can be delivered in a keynote or workshop format and will result in a movement towards action and behavior change rather than just awareness and observation and is appropriate for your entire organization.

This training focuses on:

• The critical role that networks and “who you know” plays in developing new skills, including stretch assignments, in career progression.

• The conundrum of “What you know is based on what you get to do” and “What you get to do is based on who you know”

• The role that comfort, habit, philosophy, and unintended biases plays in designating critical projects and assignments.

This training concludes with a short exercise that will allow executives to start breaking this cycle in their organizations and start to build the meritocracies they fervently desire.  Employees will learn how they can take an active role in their career and ensure that they become a star. 


• Why most organizations fall short of being true meritocracies and how to start developing a truly meritocratic system.

• Attain a deep understanding of the challenges underrepresented groups endure and how you can support them to thrive.

• Concrete steps to reducing bias in distributing career-defining assignments, driving greater inclusion.

• How to promote a high-performing culture that shows employees a new way to attain career excellence.

This program teaches Black managers the crucial leadership skills needed for career advancement into C-Suite roles. Delivered either in a single day keynote or multi-workshop approach, this program is based upon the Harvard Business Review article, Beating the Odds: Leadership Lessons from Senior African-American Women.

Using the results from studying the careers of 2,300 alumni of African descent from Harvard Business School this program will highlight:

• The 3 Imperative Framework from Dr. Linda Hill’s groundbreaking book Being the Boss: The Three Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader, so Black managers can excel and progress in their career.

• The fundamental approach and traits discussed inside the HBR article Beating The Odds and, using case studies and examples, a roadmap of what exactly is needed to make it to the top.

• How to develop an authentic, resilient, and agile management style so managers can continue to progress upwards and into C-suite roles. 

In addition, we recommend participants combine this program with our micro-learning app, Being The Boss, which delivers daily content and tools for participants to practice and develop habits on being a great leader while engaging in ongoing self-assessment and reinforcement workshops.


• The framework and skills that have provided the pathways for Black managers (and other disadvantaged groups) to Beat the Odds and reach the C-Suite level inside top organizations.

• A deep understanding of black executive career progression and the unique obstacles that Black executives face, and how to overcome these challenges.

• The understanding of critical leadership skills and habits inside the highly praised book, Being the Boss, they can develop and implement to ensure they continue to progress their career upwards. 

1-on-1 and group coaching sessions with your organization’s C-suite team to drive and communicate a diversity and inclusion mandate throughout the organization. From learning how to have conversations about race, ethnicity, and unconscious bias to developing your authenticity and voice on diversity and inclusion, this program will help you effectively lead the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Backed by world-class research and decades of experience, our coaches will ensure your C-Suite executives have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to drive inclusion and diversity inside your company’s culture.  In a safe, confidential environment, we will coach your executives on how to lead employees with differences.  We help leaders gain greater comfort around engaging with inclusion through first understanding the history of race in the US and providing customized lists to help one grow from “where they are”.

This coaching will focus on:

• Developing a culture that celebrates differences and allows all employees to fully express their individual “slices of genius”.

• Creating new behaviors that encourage and accept a culturally diverse approach to innovation

• Creating a safe approach that drives innovation and to receive guidance that can truly impact the organization’s cultural behavior.


• An opportunity to ask questions about race, culture, and differences in a safe, confidential environment.

• How to translate positive intent into meaningful impact so your knowledge can become action.

• How to lead and engage with those from different cultural backgrounds than yourself. 

• The knowledge, skills, and confidence to mandate in your organization in your company’s culture.  

This workshop will provide participants with a model and approach for using cultural differences to create a brand new source of innovation. Our data shows that the number one reason organizations struggle with innovation is because they don’t feel able to have these difficult diversity conversations in a way that would result in a positive and creative outcome. However, by focusing on the ability to generate ideas through discourse and debate and using the organizational capabilities framework as laid out in Dr. Hill’s book, Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation, this workshop will help your organization harness the collective genius of diversity so the most creative and thoughtful solutions can be brought to life.

Delivered in a full day, or half-day workshop, the Difficult Conversations workshop will reveal:

• How to navigate conversations based on deep-rooted differences to successfully create deep-rooted change for your organization

• How to use the cultural differences in your workplace to develop a brand new source of innovative solutions

• How to develop the interpersonal skills that allow for conversations around systemic issues.

• How to create a culture that will unleash all the talent within your organization

Difficult conversations are made more complex when people have race and gender differences. Leaders must build the capability to have difficult conversations within their organizations and dive headfirst into diversity with the intent to amplify cultural differences and bring about innovation that is borne from diverse perspectives.


• How to create a safe environment to have these necessary, difficult conversations.

• How to encourage the majority population to initiate these conversations, rather than put the burden on the minority talent.

• The tools necessary to effectively solve conflicts that may arise from these conversations.

• How to create an environment where the minority opinion and voice is heard and respected– allowing everyone’s slice of genius to thrive.

Advisement and consultation with your race and gender-based ERGs focused on providing outside support and development for successful outcomes.  This work involves learning deeply about ERG member experiences and needs while determining how the organization can not only provide targeted opportunities for growth and satisfaction but also leverage the innumerable benefits of ERGs to targeted populations and the whole organization.

Key elements will include: 

Phase 1- Data gathering about ERG members’ experiences.

Phase 2- Meetings to determine the types of support requested by ERG members and to develop next steps.

Phase 3- Small group meetings by level to address specific needs based on tenure.

Phase 4- Work with HR to determine how to leverage the many benefits a strong and fully supported ERG can bring to your organization from increased retention rates, less isolation, building internal leadership pipelines to recruiting future leaders.

Phase 5- Ongoing consultation and advisement, as necessary.  

Phase 6- Webinar by Dr. Linda Hill, Harvard Business School Professor, and world-renowned management thinker (timing TBD based on consultation with client)


• The organization will receive an analysis and reported findings on the ERG members’ experiences and level of satisfaction by level.

• Common language and framework based upon research to discuss current state, challenges and opportunities.

• Recommendations on how to fully support the ERG’s needs and enable them to be as productive as possible.

• Recommendations on how to leverage the many invaluable contributions an ERG is able to make for the organization.

This is a unique half or full day group event that helps your organization build a roadmap forward to which they can all be committed to diversity and inclusion.  You will build the next generation of leadership and champions of change. Through this experience you will shift the organization to the Collective Genius integration model of valuing and amplifying differences. We will enable you to build a competitive organization through an interactive, high-energy group session on How to Accelerate the Development of a Culture of Diversity & Inclusion using the principles of Collective Genius to shift your D&I paradigm. This is best conducted with fifty to a hundred people from executives on down who want to deepen their D&I efforts in their organizations and evolve their cultural competence.