Go to: https://www.ucanwest.ca/innovation-fuel, select and listen to a podcast of business and community leaders presenting their story, and work on analyzing the episode. The aim with these weekly episodes is for students to gain exposure to the Canadian entrepreneurial scene and local businesses, learn about how other companies stay agile and innovative. You will listen to the episode carefully and elaborate on the environmental forces that this business has been exposed to. Please note that these environmental forces will NOT be openly revealed in the episode; you will have to identify the relevant forces yourselves. You will then submit your analysis in a short report covering: 1) who the guest leader is; 2) what is the story and how it has evolved; 3) what environmental forces were in effect; and 4) your own reflections and key takeaways from the podcast.
The format must be double spaced, 12-pt font, APA style. Minimum of 3 to 5 reliable references including academic references to support your analysis. 1000-1500 words, excluding cover page, abstract and references page. Introduction and conclusion are required. The purpose of this assignment is to keep you up-to-date of the happenings in the business environment in Canada and abroad, and have a critical eye on the various environmental influences surrounding these happenings.
The structure of your document should be as follow:
- Cover Page (separated page),
- Body of the text (don’t write this, but you can use significant headings according to your content)
- References (separated page).
The abstract is not mandatory, but you can write one if you want. Note that it does not replace the need for a proper introduction and I do not consider the abstract in the evaluation of this assignment.
I want to remind you to look at the Grading Rubric located in the top section of the course portal (general rubric) to be aware of the general expectations at the MBA level.
This paper extensively analyzes the “Breaking Down Diversity Barriers” episode of the Innovation Fuel Podcast by University Canada West. The podcast episode features Anna Kostecka, who is a global inclusion, diversity, and equity strategist at What Works. It provides a compelling exploration of her success story, outlines the environmental forces at play in the episode, and provides reflections and key takeaways from the podcast. Also, it discusses the significance of understanding and encouraging companies or schools such as University Canada West (UCW) to create a more inclusive environment that involves diverse groups. This will ultimately aid organizations like UCW gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamics at work and the urgent need for sustainable environmental practices.
The “Breaking Down Diversity Barriers” episode of innovation fuel podcast extensively analyzes how general environment forces can affect the operations and overall performance of an organization. The episode features Anna Kostecka, a global inclusion, equity, and diversity strategist from Poland as the invited guest. Dave and Gelareh invite Anna to join the podcast episode to discuss the significance of understanding and encouraging companies or schools to create a more inclusive environment that involves diverse groups. Anna’s primary objective is to inspire organizations to create a more inclusive environment at workplaces that involves different diverse groups.
Anna states to have over 10 years of experience working as a global diversity, equity and inclusion strategist, spending most of her professional carrier in Toronto. She describes how her company stayed agile and innovative during the pandemic by transforming into a global remote worker. Also, during the pandemic period, she ascended her career ladder from overseeing a learning and consulting portfolio in one of the organizations in Toronto to establishing her consulting company that works with employers in Canada and Europe. Her company provides consulting services to organizations seeking to enhance their inclusivity practices (Ucwdev, 2022). In order to guarantee a seamless and satisfying clientele experience, her company has opted to collaborate with professional practitioners who aid in engaging with clients.
While offering her services to organizations as a consultant, she utilizes the system lens approach. She pictures the organization as the system and tries to analyze the agonizing issues that the organization might be encountering at workplace and designs an intervention plan that the organization can utilize to mitigate their issues.
The world we inhabit is constantly influenced by an extensive range of environmental forces, which contribute in shaping our lives and the overall state of the planet. “Breaking Down Diversity Barriers” episode proves the significance of understanding these environmental forces and exploring how they shape our present reality while exerting a profound influence on the trajectory of our future. The podcast outlines several environmental forces including political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors.
Using these external factors, institutions like University Canada West (UCW) can gain insight on the current and potential aspects that may influence the organization’s operations. For instance, regarding the political aspect, changes in immigration policies may affect the number of international students enrolling at UCW. Furthermore, economic conditions like economic fluctuations may impact students’ ability to afford tuition fees influencing the enrollment and retention rates (Perera, 2017).
The podcast episode also outlines the significance of a conducive environment. Anna emphasizes on the importance of providing conducive and safe workplace that includes different diverse cultures. In of this environmental aspect, an institution like UCW may opt to adopt sustainable practices and increase environmental consciousness among students. Anna states that a classroom is similar to a workplace and students should feel included and equal when partaking their curriculum activities (Ucwdev, 2022). For instance, the growing prevalence of online learning and advancements in educational technology can shape the delivery of education and student expectations making most students feel excluded from class activities. Therefore, activities like offering flexible online learning options and teamwork may aid enhance student experiences and accommodate the evolving digital landscape.
Moreover, the episode outlines social factors such as changes in lifestyles and culture as complex dynamics that directly impact organizations. From the breaking down diversity barriers episode, Anna gives an example of how organizations might misconceive culture through leaning it. However, she affirms that culture is not only something to be learned but also should be understood in terms of values, behaviors, and believes (Ucwdev, 2022). Therefore, organizations like UCW should understand the significance of culture so that they ensure relevance and inclusivity to all students. Additionally, as the podcast episode states, there are legal factors like employment and discrimination laws where individuals are required to have Canadian employment experience while securing a job in the country. These systematic barriers impact equity, diversity, and inclusivity of other individuals such as immigrants (Gogia & Slade, 2016). In this context, not only are immigrants affected by this policy but also Canadian organizations. For instance, these laws and regulations can have profound implications for UCW institution, especially when considering international collaborations and partnerships.
The “Breaking Down Diversity Barriers” episode highlights the significance of creating an inclusive work environment. Anna’s commitment to inspiring organizations fostering diversity, equity, and inclusivity at workplaces serves as one key takeaway from her success story. Her determination to overcome obstacles and her unwavering belief in the power of diversity led her to achieve remarkable success. Besides, although the environmental forces may impact UCW’s operations, they can implement strategies that aid them navigate these dynamic complexities. Proactive engagement with government agencies, monitoring economic conditions, adapting to sociocultural shifts, embracing technological advancements, implementing sustainable practices, and ensuring legal compliance will position UCW for success in the ever-evolving higher education landscape.
On the contrary, the podcast episode serves as a reminder that change is possible. From my vantage point, I believe that a policy should be implemented abolish the Canadian experience barrier. The Canadian government should discard this law and enforce employment laws that conjoint with the human rights from all diverse cultures (Foster, 2015). This portrays acceptance of diverse cultures which is an essential remedy to mitigate and evade discrimination and differentiation in organizations. This will aid to address the environmental forces such as legal factors and social conditions from impacting the company’s success.
The podcast episode featuring Anna Kostecka provides a compelling exploration of her success story and how she exemplifies the power of diversity and inclusion in driving positive change. The episode also addresses several environmental forces that contribute to the discussion on diversity barriers. By examining these environmental forces, organizations will gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamics at work and the urgent need for sustainable environmental practices. Organizations have to understand that the legal landscape and government regulations play a significant role as well. Therefore, while enforcing the employment laws, they should implement legal systems that involve all individuals. Likewise, equity, diversity, and inclusivity techniques should be implemented in classrooms and schools. Generally, companies or schools should recognize that embracing diversity and inclusion is not only morally right but also crucial for business and student’s success.
Foster, L. P. (2015). A Human Rights-Based Approach to Immigrant Workers: The Policy on Removing the Canadian Experience Barrier. International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, 8(1).
Gogia, N., & Slade, B. (2016). About Canada: Immigration. Fernwood Publishing.
Perera, R. (2017). The PESTLE Analysis. Nerdynaut.
Ucwdev. (2022, May 31). Innovation Fuel Podcast | Breaking Down Diversity Barriers. University Canada West (UCW). https://www.ucanwest.ca/innovation-fuel/
Ucwdev. (2022, December 2). Sustainability. University Canada West (UCW). https://www.ucanwest.ca/about/sustainability/