Case Study: Blu Dot

“Nothing short of transformational”

WHERE WE STARTED

  • From Ally to Accomplice 8-Month Program for 12 senior leadership team members
  • Brave Space Discussions for BIPOC staff
  • From Ally to Accomplice 5-Month Program for 2 cohorts of 15 managers
  • Leadership Team Engagements
  • Employee Engagements

WHERE WE ARE

  • Partnered with HR to refine and improve hiring & recruitment
  • Increased awareness of and fostered antiracist practices in all facets of life
  • Created a shared responsibility in how the business operates
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About the Organization 

The global retailer is a Minneapolis-based designer and maker of modern furnishings, spanning multiple home and office categories. The goal of the company is to bring good design to as many people as possible, which means creating products that are useful, affordable, and desirable. 

 

Before The Woke Coach

Before the tragic death of George Floyd, their posture as a company was largely uninformed and unengaged with racial justice and equity. The events happening in their backyard prompted most folks to seriously consider and question our culpability in racial inequity – they were simply not doing enough. 


Why did they engage The Woke Coach? 

The senior leadership team understood that because they were at a deficit as it related to the work of inclusion, it was important to engage with a partner who could help them raise their awareness and help them to be antiracist in all facets of their lives, but taking extra shared responsibility in how we operate the business.

The Work

Staff of organization formed cohorts to complete our signature program From Ally to Accomplice®(FATA). This offering is specifically designed for leaders and managers who are committed to authentic personal and professional cultural competency leadership development, and creating inclusive workplaces.

Completed Work

The initial program included a 12-staff cohort (composed of members of the senior leadership team) in the eight-month version of our signature program, From Ally to Accomplice®.

The program included:

  • An all-staff DEI survey
  • The Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI) for the cohort
  • Two, 1-on-1 coaching sessions for each member of the cohort
  • Eight, 3-hour team engagement sessions
  • Contextualized coaching sessions for the CEO and COO
  • Customized homework and learning assignments 
  • A capstone session for the full cohort

We completed an additional five-month version of From Ally to Accomplice® with a cohort of 15 managers. This program included:

  • The Intercultural Development Inventory® for the cohort
  • Four, 2-hour team engagement sessions
  • Contextualized coaching sessions 
  • Customized homework and learning assignments 
  • A capstone session for the full cohort

 

Ongoing Work

The organization is completing a third cohort of From Ally to Accomplice® with The Woke Coach, and planning for next year.

Additional Services

QUARTERLY MEETINGS

The Woke Coach has also participated in company quarterly meetings to speak about the DEI work that the leadership is participating in and what the rest of the company can expect as the work moves throughout the company.

 

DEVELOPMENT COACHING SESSIONS

The Woke Coach partnered with the Human Resources Team through developmental coaching sessions to explore and refine the recruitment and hiring process.

BRAVE SPACE FACILITATED DISCUSSIONS

The Woke Coach hosted a series of Brave Space Discussions for BIPOC employees. This space allowed them to discuss their specific needs and concerns in regard to their journeys at the company. We also facilitated conversations about how to foster and maintain a more equitable, inclusive environment.

“We have around 175 employees, and look forward to involving everyone in the work.”
– A member of the leadership team

Results

“We are by no means in the ‘after’ phase – our plan is to continue a long-term partnership with The Woke Coach team to bring foundational (and ongoing) engagement work to all employees. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but they are the best and we appreciate their partnership to help us keep moving forward.”

Due to their work with The Woke Coach, participants more readily understand their roles and responsibility in leading, creating, and maintaining more equitable, inclusive environments in their work with their colleagues, their employees, their partners and customers, and beyond. 

A Mindset Shift

“The most impactful change to our organization as a result of the work with The Woke Coach has been the mindset shift of our senior leadership. As a team, we look out for language, comments and behaviors that marginalize or disrespect and we hold ourselves accountable to putting the work into building a strong culture, not just accepting the status quo.”

More Inclusive Practices

The company has created a process to solicit feedback from employees on all levels and from different backgrounds when making decisions and rolling out initiatives.

Improved Recruitment and Hiring

The Woke Coach Team made concrete recommendations for the company to improve its practices. Through setting goals for recruiting and hiring, they are starting to see the composition of the company change and better represent the communities in which they are located.

Why should people hire The Woke Coach?

“It’s impossible to say too many good things about Seena and the rest of the team at The Woke Coach. They somehow manage to put a professional group at ease together when discussing really challenging and personal topics.”
“They set great boundaries and offer supportive coaching and facilitation, while also creating accountability in the space. Furthermore, the ‘homework’ assignments are incredibly meaningful and thought-provoking – these kept the learning moving forward in between sessions and prompted many (still) ongoing conversations. “