Innovation Inc: New approaches to promoting diversity and Goodyear's digital overhaul

Innovation Inc: New approaches to promoting diversity and Goodyear's digital overhaul
Business Insider

Innovation Inc: New approaches to promoting diversity and Goodyear's digital overhaul
Workforce development initiatives aimed at minority workers are one avenue business leaders could pursue to create more economic equality in the US.Keith Bedford/The Boston Globe via Getty Images


This past week has been a difficult, but inspiring one.

Across the US, there were moving images of peaceful protests as thousands of Americans banded together to call for the country to finally take action to fix systemic inequality that has suppressed black citizens for decades.

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So as local economies reopen and people return to a somewhat regular life after months of intense social distancing protocols, the "new normal" will go beyond just more room between tables in restaurants or face masks in public spaces.

Here at Innovation Inc., we're on the lookout for the unique ways business leaders will seek to turn the many heartfelt statements released in the past week condemning racism into concrete action to fix a now widely acknowledged problem.


We'll also continue on our mission of informing subscribers of the digital transformations under way across corporate America.

And the two don't necessarily need to be tackled separately.

As companies pivot to new technology like artificial intelligence, for example, there's an opportunity to launch or expand educational programs for minority populations to help fill the many roles needed to support that transition.

It's important to acknowledge the opportunity in digital because it's a trend that is only poised to accelerate in a post-coronavirus world.

Take Goodyear. The 121-year-old tire manufacturer is on a quest to transform into what CEO Richard Kramer calls a "technology-driven mobility company."


Kramer's task of uniting a company split between the past and the future on one common mission is a challenge that many other CEOs are facing — or could soon be.

And it's no easy feat. At Goodyear, for example, the hiring of an outside innovation leader failed once it became clear it would be difficult to unite the split workforce under someone that didn't rise up from the company's ranks.

Business Insider talked to Kramer to learn the steps he is taking to overhaul Goodyear's culture to support the adoption of new tech — like a smart tire that can help self-driving cars adjust driving behavior in certain weather conditions.

Below are a few other stories from across the newsroom that can serve as a resource for leaders crafting their own digital pivot.

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