Adam Grant examines anti-racism on WorkLife podcast

May 18, 2021

Photo: Benjamin Child on Unsplash

Adam Grant

Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) faculty affiliate Adam Grant discusses “Building an Anti-Racist Workplace” with guests on the WorkLife podcast.

The episode features a conversation between Grant and psychologist John Amaechi—who shares powerful insights on inclusion. Several additional experts also weigh in on the science of racial privilege, allyship, and opportunity at work. The episode’s key takeaway is that an organization’s culture is defined by the worst behavior it tolerates.

“Privilege is a hard concept for people to understand because normally when we talk of privilege we imagine immediate, unearned riches and tangible benefits for anyone who has it,” Amaechi says. “But white privilege, and indeed all privilege, is actually more about the absence of inconvenience, the absence of an impediment or challenge. And as such, when you have it, you really don’t notice it. But when it’s absent, it affects everything you do.”

Dolly Chugh, a professor at New York University Stern School of Business and former CPO Positive Links Speaker Series guest, is one of the experts who joins Grant and Amaechi for the conversation. She urges individuals to adopt a growth mindset when it comes to allyship at work.

“We’re going to make mistakes, and then recovering from those mistakes by learning from them, owning them and doing better the next time. It’s a dynamic learning perspective rather than an either or, good person perspective,” Chugh says. “I’m on a mission to get people to let go of being a good person so that they can become better people.”

Grant is The Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management and a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.