Culture, Comms & Cocktails with Shereen Daniels

Listen now on

ccc icon

On this episode of Culture, Comms & Cocktails, Chuck Gose is joined by the amazing Shereen Daniels, managing director of HR Rewired and the HR Conversationalist. 

Shereen and Chuck discuss how HR professionals can rewire the culture of organizations to ensure they step up to the requirement to embed anti-racism and ensure racial equity. Shereen describes the maturity model she uses when working with CEOs to assess their current position and clarify their need to change.  

A prolific content creator and commentator, Shereen talks about how to recognize the potential you have to raise your voice, share your experience and be part of this essential cultural shift.

Culture, Comms, & Cocktails Episode 50 Transcript

Chuck Gose: Hello everyone. This is Culture, Comms & Cocktails, internal comms served straight up. I’m your host, Chuck Gose, senior strategic advisor at SocialChorus. And on this episode of the podcast, it is an honor and a privilege to have Shereen Daniels, managing director of HR Rewired and the HR conversationalist. Welcome to the podcast Shereen.

Shereen Daniels: Chuck, hello, hello. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.

Chuck Gose: Since we first spoke about this, man, Shereen, I think it might’ve been back in March about doing this episode. I’ve been, I’ve been excited for this. We’ll talk about it a little later of how I got to know who you are. But I first want to learn more about your organization, HR Rewired, because being from internal communications, there’s a lot of crossover sometimes with HR and there’s a lot of employees who I’m sure would love to rewire their HR departments.

So talk about the work you do with companies and what do you think the primary function of HR should be inside organizations?

Shereen Daniels: Oh, so that’s a really good question. So the work that we do, so we’re a HR advisory firm that helps companies kind of just to reshape their cultures to make sure they bed in anti-racism and racial equity. So that’s what we, what we specialize in.

The name for HR Rewired really randomly came to me like three o’clock in the morning, a couple of years ago when I decided I was going to leave the corporate world behind and set up my own company. And I always remember, like, I’ve done a couple of iterations of HR Rewired as a company. But I always remember thinking to myself, like, I just want to show HR in a different light . As a profession, we’re not what you expect, in the same way that as a HR professional, I’ve been in HR for almost 20 years, not what you expect, either. Do you know what I mean?

So this high idea of rewiring HR is, was almost to move away from, maybe like what we call tea and biscuits here. You know, like sympathy and tissue and you know, like, there, there, pat your shoulder. It’ll all be all right. You know, and really thinking about how we can be enablers of a future proofing organizations, how we can help shape cultures, you know. To practice what I call progressive inclusion. How we can take a wider view of the world, which is not so transactional or not so focused just on our profession, but thinking about not only where the business is going, but thinking about sustainability, thinking about purpose, thinking about values, thinking about social justice and how almost the things that happen outside of an organization, we have to find a way to translate that, to make better experiences for people inside organizations. So that’s how I would almost sum up what I believe, is the function of HR.

Chuck Gose: I think that’s a great correlation to the challenge that internal communicators often face in that they at times feel pigeonholed or treated one way, but really want to make differences in other ways. So I think that’s a great, great comparison between the two and how I first came across you, Shereen was on LinkedIn. 

You are a, I don’t even know if prolific is enough of a description to talk about your content creation. And I think this is what made you stand out to me was I don’t see a lot of HR leaders or HR leadership, at least from my view showing up on, on LinkedIn feeds. And you just don’t didn’t show up once you were showing up daily and this weren’t quick little soundbites, these were in depth, courageous conversations you were having with people. Where does this passion come from to create this much content on that much scale?

Shereen Daniels: Yeah, I know. Right? So, um, I always say like, I’m disturbing the peace on LinkedIn because I’m always there like, oh, come on now we’ve got to come on. We’ve got to talk about racism. Yes, we do. Come on. Well, you can do it. Come, come, come, come. So that’s kind of how I show up. 

So an unusual story in that, like many people, I was deeply affected by the death of George Ford last year, but more, more so than the video of Amy Cooper in Central Park. Right. And so up until that point, I, if you’d see me on LinkedIn, Chuck, I was the quintessential, um, regular HR person. So always made sure I didn’t say anything that can be construed as offensive; divisive. This is by other peoples, not mine, but anything that wasn’t mainstream and acceptable. That was me, you know, many different reasons why that was, but that was pretty much me.

And then when the protest happened last year, I recorded a video, unplanned talking about my experiences of being a black woman here in the UK. Because at that time the UK was saying that this racism issue was an American problem. Like we don’t have it. Like we didn’t invent it, which is hilarious, but, you know, so it, there was all of that going on. So I thought I’m just going to record a video 20 minutes. And then after that, I carried on recording a video every day for a hundred consecutive days. It wasn’t planned. I just carried on talking, but I’m just going to do this. So I stopped my company and I was like, look, you know, guys, I know I’m meant to be redesigning your teams at the moment. Cause that’s kind of the HR stuff I was doing. I said, I have to focus on this.

And so I just carried on talking and you know, started to do live broadcasts. I had my story featured in Forbes. I became one of LinkedIn’s top voices. 

And I think, you know what I think it is? It’s like people underestimate the power of consistency. And I am like if you, anybody was to look at any of my early videos, this is no Hollywood studio production. You know, to me like first few, the first one looks really good. The rest of them is all a bit soft focus, 720, do you know what I mean, there’s no 1080, none of that high-def going on. Sometimes I was in my gym clothes. Sometimes my hair wasn’t combed. You know, it was all in different spaces in my house, but there was a realness and authenticity to my content and my message. And I think it was the fact that I, for the first time ever in my life, I said to myself, if I’m going to do someone to do this my way, so I’m going to show up as me.

So occasionally I swear too much. When I do my lives, I’m known for playing music, particularly reggae music. Cause like my heritage is the Caribbean, so Jamaica and Guyana in South America. So I just thought I’m just going to do the unexpected. Therefore I evolved HR Rewired to be an extension of my purpose, which is to unlock global conversations about race. But to translate conversation and awareness into action made my company an extension of that. 

But also in the way that I do what I do, is like, nobody would ever think HR person who lives outside of London in the UK would record and teach herself how to edit videos. Who would create my own video platform, so I could natively host my videos as well as YouTube. That’s a control freak in me. I’m like, I don’t want YouTube to have all my content because I’ve got a lot of videos to create my own podcasts. Write. To do live broadcasts. To run my own conference. To play music. 

So all it was almost like I was the epitome of what it means to be authentic, but also what it means to be out of a box that you have felt like society or your profession or other people have put you in because I don’t do anything that a typical HR person does. And I think that’s the inspiring piece, not only about what I talk about, but also how I do what I do. 

And there was no game plan. I didn’t have a marketeer. I didn’t have a brand agency that said, you know, this is going to be the look and feel. Everything I do is all is all like my vision, so to speak. And I just didn’t want people to unsee me, Chuck. So that’s why I ended up being so consistent because I thought through sheer force of will alone, maybe I would get more people to pay attention and be part of the solution. Rather than sitting back thinking it doesn’t affect them. 

So my way of doing that was just to keep showing up every day was like, look, I’m here. Oh, I’m here again. Oh, in a different format. Yes. I’ve written an article today, tomorrow it’s a podcast episode. Friday, we’re back to videos and I have fun cause I enjoy that. I enjoy and the digital sphere as I call it, I enjoy being creative. And so I’ve been able to use creativity as a way to engage people in, in, in ways that I could never have done as a HR person. Not necessarily because the organizations wouldn’t have allowed me, but my mindset meant that I was constrained by my profession because I never thought I could do what I’m now doing. If that makes sense.

Chuck Gose: Well, it’s your world Shereen. We’re just all living in it right now. And I applaud you on being unexpected and unplanned and willing to, I’m a big fan of live content because it’s never going to be perfect. It’s always going to be good enough. And that’s what’s great for people is, is to see that. So, so keep, keep that up. 

And the next question is a great is a great segue. When you talked about the journey you went on that we’ve all been on a journey around social justice and inclusion, and you mentioned even some perspectives differently between the UK, where you are in the US, where I’m located of things that we are now seeing. Some of us are now seeing for the first time recognizing it, but we’ve been seeing it for a long time and just never recognized it. So I want to commend you on always being willing to have those challenging conversations, those tricky conversations for people to have and, and calling out what needs to be improved. And so the question is with all of these questions that are out there, has this been a good thing for the conversations or at times, has it made things really frustrating trying to have those challenging talks with people?

Shereen Daniels: Yeah. I think it’s like a Tale of Two Cities is how I would answer that because on one hand I have people from all over the world who message, you know, I think I’ve got like over 2000 DM messages just in LinkedIn alone, never mind any of the other platforms that I’m not really on properly. But you know, when people email me and tag me in lots of different things, so I’ve definitely been able to bring people closer across all nationalities and ethnicities. 

And for that, I’m always really grateful because it stops becoming a problem for only black people to solve. And it becomes a problem for humanity to solve and people who care, do you know what I mean. So I always say that I have, you know, it doesn’t matter how awkward, whether you say the wrong thing, if you care, I have all the time in the world for you because you’re, you’re able to do what many people won’t and some people won’t even do or say anything because of that fear. 

You’re confronting that fear and you’re speaking anyway. Even if you know, you’re not going to get it 100%. Right. So I think that has been a blessing. 

The other part of it is not everybody felt that way. You know? So I had very senior non-executive directors, chair people, directors, chief people officers even, not only be very derogatory about kind of black people and us now talking about our lived experiences of the world. So, you know, things like, have you not thought about maybe the reason why you’re not in the positions within organizations, et cetera, is because you’re just not good enough. You just don’t work hard enough. You just don’t. And when you understand the context of the history, particularly for those. I’m a direct descendant of enslaved people, this concept of not working hard enough is like the ultimate insult. Isn’t it. When you understand what it meant to be a free person who’d then became enslaved.

So you had a lot of people through fear and ignorance and them desperately wanting to cling to the world, being the way they saw it. And they didn’t want things to change. And we’re dealing with the pandemic and borders closing and people not seeing family members and potentially losing jobs or worried about losing their businesses.

 So you have this perfect storm, almost of just people feeling like they’re not on sure ground. And unfortunately as human beings, what we’re really good at is going on the attack when we feel like we’re not in control, we’re really good at lashing out when we feel, when we’re scared, you know, when we can’t predict what’s going to happen. And unfortunately I bore the brunt of that because I just had people send me horrible messages and be really abusive and, and, and just say all sorts of things.

You know, so many tears were shed in the early days around that, but you know, the block function remains working well. So I just utilize that quite a lot. But it was this whole thing about how can we push for change with silence? So I’ve got to speak out. I might not get it right. 110% of the time. But if we don’t say things, if we don’t speak out about, you know, all this, there’s so many different angles of social injustice, and we’re seeing that play out because we’re now in this technology bubble where it’s really easy for us to just like me and you. We’re connecting here across the Atlantic. We can see things that before we couldn’t, so we can pretend it’s not happening. 

So I think overwhelmingly it has been positive, you know, in terms of like the difference that I’ve been able to make and the sheer volume of conversations I’ve been able to unlock, but it’s come at a price as well.

Chuck Gose: Well, know, Shereen that you’ve got me here in the US and thousands of other people around who see your content, who see you and are cheering you on and supporting you in these conversations and want to be a part of the solution. And one of the messages that I saw you share with the last year that really stuck with me, because I will admit it’s one of those things. You, once you see it, you can’t unsee it, is you sharing that, that anti-racism, isn’t just a social issue any longer, but it’s something that companies must now prioritize. 

And I’m seeing that happening more and more in the US where people aren’t waiting for the government to make up their minds. And anti-racism social justice companies are often now leading the conversation. So in this, what are you seeing that companies are getting right on the topic of anti-racism and then what are some areas that you see there’s some big improvement that needs to be made?

Shereen Daniels: It’s a really good question, because most people are really interested in like, which companies I rate, right? So they’re all the waiting cause like Shereen is really difficult to please. So if she says this company is really good, like they must be really good, right. But if she says they’re rubbish, they’re like tanked and the shares are going to drop and everything. 

Cause, you know, so I never named companies, but what I did create, just because of the amount of work that I do in this space is like a maturity model. Right. And it’s four levels. So it may be a half answer the question because I’ll just share a snippet of some of the traits and these levels. 

So level one is the bottom, unfortunately. And not everyone likes to be at the bottom, but somebody has to, and these organizations are the ones that take a compliance approach to this. So it’s driven by HR policy is driven by a check box.

 So can they confirm that they’ve done, I don’t know, annual unconscious bias training diversity and inclusion training. And it will be very much driven by HR. And they’re probably not so convinced that they need to do anything differently around inclusion. So you very rarely hear talk of diversifying the business. How can we be inclusive for everybody, but bearing in mind the specific challenges. 

So that will be a level one organization, a level two will be an organization where there’s an intent to be inclusive, but the language is still very generic. They’re probably still quite uncomfortable to talk specifically about race or racism. So they will hide underneath just talking about, you know, we applaud and embrace diversity in all its forms, but then they’re not specific enough in their language. And although the board are bought into it, they still expect HR to lead the charge.

When you start to get to level three. Now here is where you have a specific focus and strategic commitment, meaning that the language is very specific. So they, you will hear organizations talk about the need to level the playing field. 

So advancing racial equity, they also start to take a look at how they can make sure that they’re dismantling systems or racist systems. Not because everyone gets really excited about the fact that it’s, you know, is it racist or is it not racist, which is something that I’ve just never got into because it just doesn’t do anybody any good from just reducing it to that kind of binary nature. But it’s about recognizing that some of the ways that businesses make decisions formal and informal, the rituals, the symbols associated as culture fit is actually a barrier. And in some instances can perpetuate a certain outcome that is favorable for one ethnicity over another. Do you know what I mean? And unfortunately, what we see in the UK is our systems are built to favor white people every single time in every single aspect of society. And that’s what we’re trying to grapple with. 

And then level four is where you have both an intent to be inclusive, but it’s driven by the board. And there’s what I call public and private accountability. So here there is an accountability for the board to lead on this. Not a HR thing, the board lead on this they’re responsible, but you also see that those organizations are now looking at how they can leverage their suppliers and their partners to ensure that they too are doing something. 

So you might see them start asking questions to say, well, Chuck, if you want to work with us, what’s your organization doing around advancing racial equity? Or how are you tackling this issue? Like, what’s your plan. So it’s not enough to just show us your diversity and inclusion report. We want to just kind of understand what you’re doing because we’re doing something. And we want to work with people who are in alignment with us. 

So that’s the kind of four levels. And I would love to believe that some people want to get to a level four, but the reality is many people won’t want to get to level four because of the, you have to communicate externally and it has to match what’s going on internally. But you know what, if we get to level three, we’ll be doing all right, we’ll be doing all right.

Chuck Gose: And, and I think that’s a very fair way to put those companies in the categories. If you had to do a back of the napkin guests on this, what percentage of organizations are in that level one?

Shereen Daniels: Oh, goodness me. That’s a really good question. I would say probably about 40%. 

Chuck Gose: I think that’s a kind number.

Shereen Daniels: I know, right. I think I’m being kind. Yeah. I know. As soon as I said that, I was like, oh, and it’s…

What’s really interesting is when I talk to like CEOs and stuff about this model. So I never, obviously I’m just saying, I’m just going to talk you through this model. They all say, based on what I’ve told you, where would you put us? And I’m like, you already know the answer, so I’m going one. And at the same time they’re going, two? And I’m going, no, you’re a one you’re. They’re like, yeah, we are a one it’s really bad. You know? 

So I think depending on your mindset as you approach this work, you know, whether you’re an executive leader, whether you’re a HR person, whether you’re in comms, marketing, the tech team, it’s all about asking yourself the question. What’s my relationship with racism, because we all have one very different ones, but we all have something. But also how do I want to be part of the solution and how can I reshape and be open to relearn and maybe unlearn some things and take that real growth mindset.

But also, and this is a massive, missed opportunity, but I wish more people were tapping into. And it’s almost like recognizing you see the skills that got you here to do this amazing job that you do with internal comms. It’s almost like with all the knowledge that you have. And I say this to everybody, think about how you can utilize the knowledge that you have in a professional capacity to help maybe create with an innovative solution that will help make change in one area, either of your organization or in wider society. 

And I think sometimes because we get so caught up in not knowing the, or not knowing enough, we forget the strengths and the skills that we have. And actually we just need to apply it in a different lens. I’ve always been really creative. I’ve just never had an outlet. So I’ve taken that creativity, rewired my HR profession and showed up in this particular way, that’s just my skill. You will have a different skill. Somebody else will have something different. 

So I, I hope we kind of move away from the fear and paralysis almost into people going, right. I want to be part of the solution, but recognizing they have some tools that would really help push for change. You know,

Chuck Gose: I liked when you’ve talked about the conversation that you would have with, with CEOs and other board members where they begrudgingly acknowledged, no, we are a one. That to me says, but they want to be at, they recognize the need to be a two and you’re not going to go from a one to a four overnight. 

Shereen Daniels: No, they might want it. And also some of them jumped from like one to four thinking just because they’ve done their statements and you know, they’ve done like, you know, the social media posts with the black fist, and it’s like, yeah, you know. That’s it Shereen, we’ve communicated our intent externally. I’m not, no, that’s not what it means. You’ve got more work to do. So let’s just climb back down the ladder, let’s stay at one and let’s just make informed decisions and work our way up, you know?

Chuck Gose: Yeah. Even the word racism, having that come into workplace conversations alongside of diversity inclusion and equality and justice conversations. Those aren’t the same, but I’ve seen you share that companies seem to be merging and confusing the two. 

So how do companies and boards and corporate leaders manage these conversations and keep them focused on the areas that they, that they should be?

Shereen Daniels: Yeah. So I think when you get into murky water, as I call it, right? So this is where you have leaders who feel like the conversations were all getting out of control. So I’m going to ban the conversations. We don’t need to name the businesses, but there are a couple of businesses out there that have decided they’re going to ban any conversations related to this, whatever this is by their definition. And part of that is because they’ve never given the tools to their teams, to enable them to have those conversations in the first place. 

And that also, if you allow people to connect the dots, purely based on what they’re seeing and feeling without giving them context and without tying them back to your values and your mission as an organization, you are left with people, just freewheeling using terminology: you’re racist, or she said something racist.

They said something racist and it’s, you know, and everyone gets very excited because they now feel confident to use this new word. But what they don’t have is an understanding of what racism is, what is white supremacy? What do we mean by white privilege? What don’t we mean? You know? And so until you start to deconstruct some of that terminology, what I find is that leaders are making knee-jerk reactions and jumping for quick fixes. So let’s just hire more black people because that will solve it. Let’s just hire more women. Cause that will solve it. Thinking that representation equals racial equity or representation equals anti-racism. And it’s like anti-racism is the deliberate acts that you take to find ways to dismantle racism within your business. Racial equity is how you get to equality, which means you find the barriers and you either reduce them or get rid of them.

But you’re also comfortable with prioritizing the most marginalized and silenced voices within your company, recognizing that to address that means you address it for everybody because straight away you’re lifting the barometer of what an inclusive culture looks like. 

If you can make an inclusive culture for individuals who are being killed, who are being oppressed, who are being unfairly incarcerated. All of these things that we know, as anybody, even if you’re not black, which company do you want to work for? This is what I say to leaders. I’m like it doesn’t forget the whole, you know, ethnicity piece I would want to work with. If I’m, if I’m going to pick a, like a parade of companies, show me the company that’s trying to advance the rights for transgender people or for other people of the LBGT community, or who’s trying to do something around social justice in society, right?

So they’re partnering with grassroots organizations. They’re trying to do something for people who are persecuted because of their religion, et cetera, et cetera. I want to work there because I want to work for a company that sees difference and is trying to find a way to embrace difference, but also is leaning into trying to be part of the solution, even though they don’t have to. That’s where I want to be. 

Doesn’t matter what my skin color is. It doesn’t matter where I’m from, from an inclusion perspective, I would rather be with a company that’s doing that. Even if what they’re doing doesn’t directly impact me yet, rather than a company, that’s doing nothing because they want to preserve the way things are.

Chuck Gose: Yeah. And you used to talk about the, the organizations that want to find and celebrate those differences. And in many ways I feel very much the same. I’m a white cisgender male, but I want to be the best ally that I can be out there. And I know that I have a lot of work to do a lot of work to do, to be that best ally that I can be. In your experience Shereen of, of leading these difficult, but very important conversations. 

And look, anybody goes and checks out your lives. She met a very diverse group of panelists and, audiences out there. How can I and others help to amplify the voices of those affected by racism and racial discrimination?

Shereen Daniels: One, I just love that you even asked the question. So I think before I asked the question, what I do want to say is, is that you as to white cisgender male. It’s not that you’re the same. It’s the fact that you’re in spaces where everybody is like you. Do you know what I mean, that’s the thing, because actually we’re all different. We’re all everybody is diverse. Right? 

And I think one of the things that I’m hoping that we’re changing is, is moving away from homogeny, do you know what I mean? And it’s like, because actually for everybody, it’s not exciting, like I don’t even want to be in a room with people who all from the same background as me have the same creative expression, same ethnicity, sex. Cause that’s boring. That’s not looking at it. You know? So there’s, there’s something about the vibrancy of difference. Isn’t it?

So, because I always say in all of our differences, that’s when we become the same, because there’s no value in that difference. You know, you are not more valuable as an individual than I am and vice versa. So I think that’s a really important point to make. 

So in terms of allyship or active allyship, I always say you have to recognize is something that means you have to do something. Sometimes you’re going to have to put yourself in situations that feel deeply uncomfortable because you might have to now not be a bystander and speak up when you hear certain things or see certain things. And it’s not that you’re being okay, but you’ve pushed past the worry of what’s. What does this mean to me? What’s going to happen to me if I speak up. 

Because the problem is, is in particularly the US and the UK, and we’re both united from our cultures. From this perspective, we’re very individualistic. So organizations with the way that they reward individual effort is all about the individual. Even when they say it’s about collaboration and teamwork, the mechanisms we use to motivate people is individualistic. So we can’t help what things. But if I do this, it’s a bit like me. 

When I recognize I haven’t said anything, it’s like, how is this going to affect me? I wasn’t thinking about how my voice can help other black colleagues or other colleagues that felt silenced and marginalized. I was worried about how this was going to affect me. So it wasn’t until I got over that, I stopped worrying about it, stopped worrying about what people think when I post certain things and cause it is what it is, you know? So it’s almost like that same thing of thinking to yourself, am I ready to do this?

So I’m going to make a conscious decision to be an ally. Am I doing this? Even if nobody gives me the recognition for it, am I ready to share and leverage my power? 

So there’s some instances where people keep coming to me for whatever reason. I don’t know what that reason is. And I’ve noticed that somebody else over here is always overlooked or they never asked their opinion or they’re never brought into the meeting. So what can I do rather than waiting for that person to speak? Or what can I do to expedite that and say, actually let me give my space to somebody else today because there’s always another ten opportunities for me because I look like everybody else in this organization or in this space, but this person is fighting battles that I will never have to fight. 

So I need to, I want to leverage my privilege there and share my power from that perspective. And I think one it’s massively individually rewarding. You know, when you’re, even for me, you know, yes, I’m fighting for black people to be treated fairly and to be seen and feel like their contributions are valid. But when I can be allies for other communities, that makes me feel good just to fundamentally, because it means that I’m not just living for myself. You know, it means I’m trying to do something to help other people. 

So I think don’t shy away from the fact that it is rewarding when you know, you’ve done that, but it’s just about making sure that you’re not doing it to seek that recognition. If only, you know, that’s great. You’ve gotta be okay with that.

Chuck Gose: I love the take about creating a space and then giving up that space. I’ve had a gentleman on this podcast earlier, Dr. Lino, who I heard speaking at an event and I joked that Dr. Lino has rented space in my head that when things happen, he was the one that told me about sometimes when you, once you see it, you can’t, un-see it. And using a platform you’ve created to build the voices of others. And you said you have to sometimes vacate that space to let that happen. 

Shereen. Before we get to the last question, I do want to give you some air time to share about an event that you’re organizing later this year. You mentioned it briefly, but I want you to promote it here. And then also, well also please share where people can learn more about you and, and the website. And I was bouncing around on there earlier today, before we were recording. And there’s just a wealth of, of information there. So, so share with people about the event and all the great ways they can learn about you and connect with you.

Shereen Daniels: Oh, thank you, Chuck. You’re so good. Like giving me this. Cause I’ll be, I’ll be like whispering. I be here, you can find me www dot, but I’m going to own it. I’m going to own it. 

So I am, I’m running my first conference in September. It’s called advancing racial equity, moving beyond the conversation. So this is specifically for individuals who are now ready to do something within organizations. Do you know what I mean? They’re ready to be part of the solution, but they’re not sure how, right. They’re not sure what great looks like. They’re also a bit worried, you know, unchartered territory. Particularly if there isn’t universal support. 

So this conference is, you know, an opportunity here to hear from CEOs from their individual perspectives on how they started their journey into leading their organizations and then some hints and tips and advice they can give to other people who were trying to not only influence their board, but even if you’re a board member that’s coming. So that’s really important.

 We’ve got a few workshops on how to build plans, how to use data in the right way and you know, to make sure you’re measuring the right things and you’re getting the right insights into what the challenges are within your organization. There’s going to be music. So there’s regular DJ sets. The theme of the conference is actually a nightclub. So it’s like, it literally takes you from when you first go in and you hang your jacket, you go and chill at the bar. So you go and hit the dance floor. Then you go to take, the whole schedule. 

There’s like all this serious stuff. And then you just see like asterix, hang your jacket. Then, you know, go to chill at the bar, go and order a drink. So it’s because the idea is I wanted to provide an experience. You know, you can find the website really easily. It’s advancing-racial-equity.com. So I hope you can make it 23rd of September.

Chuck Gose: And then what about the resource with all your videos?

Shereen Daniels: If you Google me, I come up all over the shop, but everything is relatively indexed on HR-rewired.tv. So I have all my videos pretty much like I’ve got well over 150, I think I’ve done like over 150 individual videos and then mainly 40 live broadcasts. And then, you know, some people like some organizations actually licensed my videos. Cause there have been like, you explain it better than we ever will. So we’ll just take your video. Can we just take your video and use it? And I’m like, yeah, course you can. Universities use it as resources and stuff just cause I cover such different topics and I’m authentic with it. So, you know, people don’t feel like they’re being patronized or, or lectured at.

Chuck Gose: And obviously encourage everyone use the key, the keywords, if you want to be part of that, it’s something we all have to be. But if you really want to be part of this definitely check out Shareen’s event. We’ll promote it through the podcast communication. And then great segue. Cause I love the nightclub analogy Shereen.

Shereen Daniels: So do I. I’m waiting, I’m waiting for them to open their doors and let us back in. Yeah,

Chuck Gose: We’re all, we’re all ready for that next step. So if we go to Shereen’s nightclub, what’s the signature cocktail. What are we going to have?

Shereen Daniels: I’m really boring, but I just have like a standard Mojito.

Chuck Gose: There’s nothing boring about a Mojito.

Shereen Daniels: I know, but this is my thing. Likes you guys. Some people come up with something and you’re like, oh my goodness, I’ve never heard of that. And then they tell you the ingredients, but you know what? I just, I just like, sometimes if I’m feeling a bit adventurous, I might put in some Grenadine because I like Grenedine in my Mojito, I like that kind of fruity minty. Yeah. Alcoholic. Cause I don’t drink beer or wine. So I only drink hard spirits. So like vodka is my drink of choice.

Chuck Gose: I, I miss my, my adventures over into the UK, but I do see why people drink more beer and wine in the UK than hard liquor is because of the price. Well it’s a lot more expensive than it is in the US

Shereen Daniels: Oh, am I goodness. So yeah, like a decent bottle of vodka is 20 pounds. What’s that about $25 or something like that. It’s just crazy. 

Chuck Gose: I was at a, at a bar and just ordered a bourbon and ginger and the bartender poured it Shereen and it was like, I’m just pinching my fingers, like

Shereen Daniels: A 10 pound note and they gave you no change?

Chuck Gose: And I asked him, I was like, oh, can we make it a double? And he was like, no, like you can’t do that. I was like, okay. All right. Understood. Understood. Yes. Well, I’m looking forward to being back and paying for overprice cocktails in the UK Shereen. 

Thank you so much Shereen for sharing your time with us, giving us all these great resources and a wonderful conversation that truly has been an honor and a privilege having you on Culture, Comms & Cocktails.

Shereen Daniels: Oh, thank you so much. And you have been an absolute pleasure to talk to, so thank you. I really appreciate you.

Chuck Gose: If you enjoyed what you heard from this episode and want to check out others, find Culture, Comms & Cocktails on Apple podcasts, Google Play, Spotify or wherever you like to listen. And when you do hit that subscribe button, so you don’t miss any future episodes. 

This has been Culture, Comms and Cocktails. Internal comms served straight up. Thanks for listening.

Related resources

Picture of Firstup


Firstup is the world’s first intelligent communication platform. More than 40 percent of Fortune 100 companies use our platform to connect with their people, design and deliver personalized communications, and gain engagement insights throughout the employee journey. With Firstup, employers can view engagement data in real time, by organization, department, or employee. That helps leaders better understand their workforce, make informed decisions, and provide better experiences from hire to retire. Companies like Amazon, Tesco, Ford, and Hilton use Firstup every day to improve outcomes for their employees.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Enjoy our blog? Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox.


The Rise of the Intelligent Communication Platform

June 26, 2024