Every day, it seems, another major American brand experiences a crisis. Despite a large and experienced industry of experts that fix them, they don’t seem to be going away. Last fall the CEO of Microsoft became one of many corporate leaders to unwittingly create one.
Why are so many CEOs stumbling in the diversity department? The problem often starts internally. Statements and actions by CEOs and other leaders portray them as out of touch with the people their companies target as consumers. Outrage ignites online, goes viral, and then lands on prime-time news. CEOs and boards are surprised over the impact of their actions or statements. They are often puzzled as to why a backlash occurred at all.
If you are a CEO, there are several steps you can take to ensure you don’t become the next target of online backlash. The first is to understand why these crises are happening so often and what they share in common.
My recent Forbes.com piece, The Most Successful CEOs Embrace Customer Diversity, sheds light on the problem. How else can CEOs incorporate a more well-balanced blend of diversity within their corporate cultures? Conduct a search for #diversity and you will find plenty of suggestions.