From Day One Conference

From Day One Conference From Day One is a conference series and journalism platform focused on innovative ways for companies to forge stronger relationships with their employees, customers, and community. At a time when society holds businesses to a rising level of accountability, From Day One explores how companies can build well-grounded values into their business—diversity, responsibility, transparency—and stick with them in an economy driven by disruption. What’s unique about From Day One is its cross-disciplinary approach, bringing together executives from the fields of corporate social responsibility, human resources, marketing, and communications. From Day One launched in Brooklyn in 2018 with an inaugural conference that drew hundreds of corporate decision makers, civic leaders, and journalists for a dynamic, one-day conversation on business and society. Now the company is bringing its conference to Chicago, San Francisco and other major cities. Businesses have increasingly seen the wisdom of putting people first. Our mission is to help companies find the best ways to deliver on that promise, from day one.

While almost everyone agrees that a company’s culture is the number one key to its long-term success, the best expressio...
01/21/2020
Corporate Culture: Why It Can Pay to Put Employees First - From Day One

While almost everyone agrees that a company’s culture is the number one key to its long-term success, the best expression of that culture is probably not platitudes but programs–real things a business does to show its workers and other stakeholders what it believes in.
Panelists at last month's #FD1Conference Los Angeles discussed the fabric of culture.

While almost everyone agrees that a company’s culture is the No. 1 key to its long-term success, the best expression of that culture is probably not platitudes but programs–real things a business does to show its workers and other stakeholders what it believes in. What does the fabric of culture...

“Awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance,” wrote BlackRock...
01/20/2020
This Week, Big Business Got Religion on Climate Change - From Day One

“Awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance,” wrote BlackRock's Larry Fink in his annual letter to CEOs. “The evidence on climate risk is compelling investors to reassess core assumptions about modern finance.”

Corporate leaders have been getting an earful lately from workers, consumers and students around the world: Do something about climate change, the activists have cried out. This week, big companies almost seemed to be taking turns stepping up to the microphone to announce their response. The week be...

Even the most groundbreaking companies with a cause need to keep evolving to stay on their feet. TOMS, the shoe company ...
01/14/2020
TOMS in Turnaround: Can a Purposeful Pioneer Reinvent Itself? - From Day One

Even the most groundbreaking companies with a cause need to keep evolving to stay on their feet. TOMS, the shoe company that pioneered a mix of sales and philanthropy, is now under new ownership.
“Maybe it’s time to evolve a little bit,” TOMS Chief Giving Officer Amy Smith said in an impact report. “Maybe it’s time to do more than just our one-for-one giving.”

Even the most groundbreaking companies with a cause need to keep evolving to stay on their feet. TOMS, the shoe company that pioneered a mix of sales and philanthropy, is now under new ownership. The company launched in 2006 with an uplifting promise–“With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give...

“The companies we studied find ways to rejuvenate employees by helping them identify their ‘calling,’ or the area of wor...
01/06/2020
What ‘Best Companies to Work For’ Have in Common - From Day One

“The companies we studied find ways to rejuvenate employees by helping them identify their ‘calling,’ or the area of work that provides them with the greatest fulfillment,” wrote Michael O'Malley in the Harvard Business Review. “Doing so not only increases productivity, it makes people feel happy—lucky even—to be at work. … The surest way to improve performance is to give people something they like doing.”

Those lists in business publications about “best companies to work for” are eminently browsable to see who made the cut–and who’s notably absent. But Michael O’Malley and Bill Baker, authors of Organizations for People: Caring Cultures, Basic Needs, and Better Lives, decided to take a much...

As diversity-and-inclusion programs have become standard across most corporations, they’ve made strides toward better eq...
01/03/2020
How Can We Get Bias Out of Our Systems? - From Day One

As diversity-and-inclusion programs have become standard across most corporations, they’ve made strides toward better equity in pay, organizational culture, and advancement opportunities. But what remains stubborn is bias, not only individual but systemic. How do we root it out?

As diversity-and-inclusion programs have become standard across most corporations, they’ve made strides toward better equity in pay, organizational culture, and advancement opportunities. But what remains stubborn is bias, not only individual but systemic. How do we root it out? That’s the quest...

“The biggest change I’ve seen is people willing to subtly say, ‘No that’s not acceptable,’” said Rebecca Port, VP of tal...
01/02/2020
#MeToo in the Workplace: How Have Things Changed? - From Day One

“The biggest change I’ve seen is people willing to subtly say, ‘No that’s not acceptable,’” said Rebecca Port, VP of talent at Netflix. “Whereas they might have tolerated some inappropriate behavior or microaggressions before, more people will stop and say that they’re uncomfortable.”

Port was among the speakers on a #MeToo panel at From Day One Conference Los Angeles, moderated by Stacy Perman of the Los Angeles Times, who has covered the issue in the entertainment industry.

The progress of the #MeToo movement has come in waves, starting in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke and then growing substantially in 2017 with the explosion of revelations about high-powered perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment. Now comes a fitting time to take stock of what could be the third....

This week Hallmark unintentionally provided a case study in the quandaries faced by companies being pushed by their stak...
12/20/2019
Hallmark’s Impossible Dilemma: How to Embrace Diversity While Avoiding Controversy - From Day One

This week Hallmark unintentionally provided a case study in the quandaries faced by companies being pushed by their stakeholders to take sides on issues ranging from climate change to gun safety.
When caught in the unfamiliar glare of public outcry, Hallmark Cards issued a statement this week that encapsulated the company’s dilemma in two adjacent sentences. On the one hand, “We are an inclusive company and have the track record to prove it,” the company declared. On the other hand, it said, “It is never Hallmark’s intention to be divisive or generate controversy.”

When caught in the unfamiliar glare of public outcry, Hallmark Cards issued a statement this week that encapsulated the company’s dilemma in two adjacent sentences. On the one hand, “We are an inclusive company and have the track record to prove it,” the company declared. On the other hand, it...

“We live in very polarized times, and we have lots of questions plaguing us about how we treat our fellow human beings,”...
12/20/2019
How a Social Scientist Measures Kindness in Life and Diversity on Screen - From Day One

“We live in very polarized times, and we have lots of questions plaguing us about how we treat our fellow human beings,” explained Prof. Darnell Hunt, dean of social sciences at UCLA and head of the department overseeing the new Bedari Kindness Institute.
“There are issues with immigration and what’s been happening at the border, and with women and how they’re treated in society,” Hunt told the audience at From Day One’s conference in Los Angeles. “These are long-standing issues, but we’ve reached the point where these things are critical in terms of importance and we need to look at them in structured, measured ways.”

“Why now, for kindness?” The question stems from buzz around the recent launch of UCLA’s Bedari Kindness Institute, which will conduct scientific research on kindness and its outcomes among members of society. “We live in very polarized times, and we have lots of questions plaguing us about ...

During the From Day One conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Steve Koepp, co-founder of the conference spoke to Darne...
12/12/2019
UCLA’s Darnell Hunt Talks Hollywood Diversity And Addresses Lack Of Awards Season Inclusivity: “There’s A Long Way To Go”

During the From Day One conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Steve Koepp, co-founder of the conference spoke to Darnell Hunt, UCLA dean and professor who authors their annual Hollywood Diversity Report. Hunt talked about how the newly established UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute researches kindness and how it translates into real-world practices, therefore empowering leaders and others to build more humane societies. And with that in mind, Hunt connected it to their annual diversity report.

During the From Day One conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Steve Koepp, co-founder of the conference spoke to Darnell Hunt, UCLA dean and professor who authors their annual Hollywood Diversity…

Without context, most folks would consider “ally” to be positive and “accomplice” to be negative. But bringing history i...
12/11/2019
To Promote True Advocacy, Don’t Be an Ally: Be an Accomplice - From Day One

Without context, most folks would consider “ally” to be positive and “accomplice” to be negative. But bringing history into focus means recognizing that many of the liberties we now enjoy — civil rights for black folks and gay marriage, for example — were but a dream not long ago, and required major disruption of the status quo to happen. Disruption isn’t easy or polite.
What I’m hoping to impress upon folks is that this work — the work of being an accomplice — might cost you something. Perhaps your comfort or social standing, or maybe even your safety. Real advocacy and comfort rarely go hand in hand.

This essay was first published on Forge, Medium’s new channel on personal development. I sometimes introduce myself as a “professional African American” when I travel the country to give ally skills workshops — often while looking out at a sea of white faces. It’s a joke, of course, but th...

Like many of their compatriots in northern California, the workers of Silicon Valley have long trended liberal, especial...
12/09/2019
Business Feels the Heat: Workers and Consumers Push for Action on Climate Change - From Day One

Like many of their compatriots in northern California, the workers of Silicon Valley have long trended liberal, especially on social and environmental issues. But what they weren’t known for was organizing around those politics —especially if it involved potentially clashing with their own companies, in which many own equity.

Across the corporate world, from the cubicles of frontline workers to the boardrooms of CEOs, it’s becoming clear that acting on climate change is becoming a vital part of the mission of business today. Companies are getting the message not just from their employees and customers, but from the most powerful economic influencers as well.

Like many of their compatriots in northern California, the workers of Silicon Valley have long trended liberal, especially on social and environmental issues. But what they weren’t known for was organizing around those politics —especially if it involved potentially clashing with their own compa...

Affirming the distinction that currently surrounds Microsoft among Big Tech leaders, Fortune recently named Microsoft CE...
12/05/2019
The Team Builder: Why Fortune Picked Microsoft’s Nadella as Businessperson of the Year - From Day One

Affirming the distinction that currently surrounds Microsoft among Big Tech leaders, Fortune recently named Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as its Businessperson of the Year, attributing his success to having succeeded in assembling the right team. In his ascent to the chief executive role, Nadella had several gaps in his resume, lacking significant experience in sales or finance. So he surrounded himself with complementary players.
“I’m wired to be fairly confident in myself and to let others shine,” he told Fortune.

This has been a rough year in the public eye for Big Tech, whose digital giants have been pilloried as privacy invaders, monopoly builders and even threats to democracy. Yet one of them has stood out from the pack, basking in a glow of newfound admiration: Microsoft. Affirming that distinction, Fort...

According to a recently released Glassdoor survey, 77% of employees said they would consider a company’s culture before ...
11/26/2019
If Your Corporate Culture Isn’t Intentional, It Could Become an Accidental One - From Day One

According to a recently released Glassdoor survey, 77% of employees said they would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job. Another 89% told researchers for the Mission & Culture 2019 survey that it was important for employers to have a clear mission and purpose. Sixty-five percent of American millennials in the Glassdoor survey responded that they were more likely to care about work culture than salary.
The corresponding realities in the workplace have sparked changes and introspection among employers across the globe. A panel discussion at From Day One’s conference in Dallas focused on the shifts in ideas about corporate culture and future trends–particularly about how to craft a corporate culture that truly means something.

The importance of corporate culture in the workplace, particularly as millennials and younger generations take on increasingly influential roles, has never been more crucial than it is today. The polls show it. According to a recently released Glassdoor survey, which in June polled more than 5,000 w...

It’s one thing to tell employees, particularly during the hiring process, that they’ll be valued. It’s another to actual...
11/19/2019
A Sense of Belonging and Growth: What Really Matters in Employee Satisfaction - From Day One

It’s one thing to tell employees, particularly during the hiring process, that they’ll be valued. It’s another to actually deliver on that promise and ensure their continued satisfaction from the first day forward.
Doing so, however, can lead to a win-win for all parties involved. Employee satisfaction increases engagement, motivation, loyalty, staff retention and, overall, productivity and the bottom line, according to panelists discussing the issue at the From Day One conference in Dallas.

It’s one thing to tell employees, particularly during the hiring process, that they’ll be valued. It’s another to actually deliver on that promise and ensure their continued satisfaction from the first day forward. Doing so, however, can lead to a win-win for all parties involved. Employee sat...

“I think that the business support for the arts, in general, is strong,” said Katherine Wagner, CEO of Business Council ...
11/14/2019
When Business Supports the Arts, the Dividend Is Inspiration - From Day One

“I think that the business support for the arts, in general, is strong,” said Katherine Wagner, CEO of Business Council for the Arts in Dallas. She noted that a recent study showed the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations had grown three-fold since 2010... $1.5 billion of economic impact a year. "That would not happen without business support for the arts."
Panelists at last month's From Day One: Dallas agreed that the value in businesses supporting the arts is multi-fold. Employee morale, customer appreciation, & the economic impact of nonprofit and arts organizations are all impacted for the better when art & business coincide.

Artwork combined with aviation. Drawings dotted through department stores. Dry cleaners volunteering to help with theater costumes. These were just a few examples of how businesses can support the arts mentioned at From Day One’s conference in Dallas. Responding to the question, “Why should busi...

At a recent From Day One conference in Denver, a panel of five female leaders discussed real-world ways that everyone in...
11/12/2019
Why the Road to Gender Equality Has So Many Steps - From Day One

At a recent From Day One conference in Denver, a panel of five female leaders discussed real-world ways that everyone in business can help achieve gender equality in the workplace, with moderator Natasha Gardner, articles editor of Denver’s 5280 magazine. The focus was not so much on women getting jobs, and the infamous pay gap, but on the types of jobs women get and how they can advance within their workplace.
Among the things holding companies back from promoting women are unconscious bias and lack of mentorship. Men need to be allies, to speak up when given the opportunity, and to actively invite women to take on special projects, panelists said. A leader should make a list of who they normally go to for such tasks and then make an effort to rotate those opportunities fairly to women who deserve them–even if they haven’t been agitating for the assignments.

In the long struggle for gender equality in the workplace, it’s important to remember that many small things add up. For example, when you compliment a woman on the job, what words do you use? Cynthia Carpenter, vice president of human resources and employee experience at Charter Communications, a...

Which age group sees the most discrimination, including ageism, on the job? Not the older employees or even the middle g...
11/07/2019
Discrimination on the Job? Young People See More of It Than Older People Do - From Day One

Which age group sees the most discrimination, including ageism, on the job? Not the older employees or even the middle groups, but the young. In a new poll, American workers under the age of 35 were the ones most likely to see and feel bias on the job.
Rather than suggesting that the young are more often the targets, experts said the results indicated “how different generations can view the same behavior,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Which age group sees the most discrimination, including ageism, on the job? Not the older employees or even the middle groups, but the young. In a new poll, American workers under the age of 35 were the ones most likely to see and feel bias on the job. Rather than suggesting that the young are …

When it comes to stating their mission and purpose, companies can put those intentions in writing for all to see. But co...
11/06/2019
How Do You Craft a Corporate Culture That Has Real Meaning? - From Day One

When it comes to stating their mission and purpose, companies can put those intentions in writing for all to see. But corporate culture is something different, harder to quantify, intangible.
Yet the culture of an organization is a critical factor in attracting and keeping employees, especially in the tight labor market of today, according to the speakers on a panel at From Day One’s conference in Denver. What should be the key qualities of that culture, from an employee’s point of view?

When it comes to stating their mission and purpose, companies can put those intentions in writing for all to see. But corporate culture is something different, harder to quantify, intangible. Yet the culture of an organization is a critical factor in attracting and keeping employees, especially in t...

Individuals may change their behavior for reasons particular to them, but what if leaders in business or government want...
11/05/2019
How Behavioral Science and ‘Nudge Theory’ Can Make a Difference in Gender Equality - From Day One

Individuals may change their behavior for reasons particular to them, but what if leaders in business or government want to solve problems by encouraging change across a whole group of people? The thriving field of behavioral science has produced a wealth of insights in how to “nudge” people with gentle pushes that can add up to a big impact. Behavioral-science firm the BVA Nudge Unit is a global consultancy that helps clients ranging from Air France to the World Wildlife Fund to create sustainable change, both inside and outside their organizations. In an interview with From Day One, we asked Jenic Mantashian, Executive Vice President of the BVA Nudge Unit USA, about her company’s work in the field.

Since humans are creatures of habit and tradition, they’ll tend to keep doing what they’re doing until something motivates them to change. Individuals may change their behavior for reasons particular to them, but what if leaders in business or government want to solve problems by encouraging cha...

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