May 6, 2019

By Shane Burgess, University of Arizona Vice President for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension

In early April, I attended our incredibly successful 2019 Global Retailing Conference, Customer Centricity: The Retail Moonshot. All the presentations were thought-provoking about our future in our always-changing global marketplace. But what may surprise you (until you see who the speakers were) is that the talks were like a leadership-in-action masterclass. Be sure to take a look once the Lundgren Center has posted them to the web.

I want to share one concept with you. Jill Standish, Accenture’s senior managing director for its Global Retail Consulting Practice, used a simile during her presentation. When she started speaking, I thought I’d heard it many times before…

Diversity is being invited to a dance.

Inclusiveness is being invited to actually dance.

I always felt there was something missing, but I’d never thought about the missing piece. Then she said:

Belonging is being able to dance however you like and everyone accepts that as OK.

Immediately that made all the difference. To me, belonging is what a Land-Grant University is about. I think it is central to our being the most sought-after place to be a part of.

What do you think? The UA has been re-examining its own expressed values. We can be doing so continually. Should Belonging join Diversity and Inclusiveness on our list?

Jill Standish also shared this simple, yet powerful video. Take a look and let me know your thoughts.

Media contact:
Bethany Rutledge, director of administration and communications