Posts Tagged Global

Design, delivery & impact of Diversity & Inclusion Training at Medtronic, India location – A case study


This case study was shared in a panel at Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, 2012, where I was one of the panelists.  (I delivered the training at Medtronic’s various locations across India, in 2010).

A panel moderated by Linda Stokes, President and CEO of PRISM International (www.prisminternational.com) discussed the Implications of D&I for the Global Workforce through the case study of Medtronic’s initiative to integrate Diversity and Inclusion into their locations across India. The panelists, Tonya Hampton, HR Director with Medtronic (http://www.medtronic.com/2011CitizenshipUpdate/total-employee/index.html), Dr. Kizzy Parks, Assessment and Measurement Consultant, and Dr. Darshana Nadkarni (www.darshanavnadkarni.wordpress.com), Diversity Facilitator, shared about the diversity training initiative that was rolled out in India, in July 2010.

Hampton shared about Medtronic’s vision to anchor the diversity and inclusion initiative with the business case. There are over 32 M people with diabetes in India and CHD (coronary heart disease) has risen 4-fold over the past 40 years. India and China represent $5B market for Medtronic.   It is also an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of the patients, since diabetes and CHD are manageable diseases, with timely intervention, said Hampton.  She partnered with her colleague, Titus Arnold, in India, to roll out the training initiative.  The survey response from the Medtronic India team, during the initial data gathering and assessment period, was amazingly high, said Parks.

Based on the responses received, Stokes designed the training and Nadkarni helped customize it for Medtronic, India.  The training was delivered at Medtronic’s five different locations, across India by Nadkarni.  Nadkarni shared some highlights.  The training was anchored in the Medtronic business case and began with providing the attendees with a broad awareness of diversity.  The participants got an opportunity to self examine perceptual screens and stereotypes and then expand it to examine cultural differences.  As opposed to low context Western and corporate culture, as a country, India represents a high context culture, where the meaning of the communication is often embedded in the context in which the communication occurs, not just in the words.  For instance, if a US boss emphasizes to the employee located in India, that it is critical that the project is ready as soon as possible and then asks if it would be ready by a specific date, the response from the Indian employee may not always be accurate.  For instance, even when an Indian employee might be aware that the project is not likely to be ready by the requested date, it is likely that the Indian employee might not say that but instead may give a weak answer like “I will do my best”, in an attempt to not displease the US boss.  In the end, when the project is not delivered at the promised date, the US boss is perplexed as to why they were not informed earlier.  In interactive audience participation model, Nadkarni explored the action steps that can be taken to enhance and leverage global partnerships and work relationships, keeping in mind such cultural differences, which if not well managed, can derail global partnerships.  Participants indicated that they walked away with tips and concrete approaches for integrating Diversity & Inclusion into their global locations.

For another blog on other Diversity and Inclusion panels at the Multicultural Forum, please click on the link below.  http://alturl.com/ph8hv . For information on Diversity & Inclusion training for Effective Global Business Practice, please contact Dr. Darshana Nadkarni at penmealine at yahoo dot com .

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Desiree LaBeaud & Seema Handu discussed Sustainable Global Health Initiatives for Children in the Developing World at bio2devicegroup.org on February 7, 2012.


Seema Handu, PhD, Managing Director of CGHI (Children’s Global Health Initiative, http://www.cghi.info/) shared the organization’s mission to address health issues identified by the UN with respect to children and maternal health.  Every year, 10.6 million children under the age of 5 die and many of these deaths could be prevented with better healthcare and nutrition.  CGHI only goes to a country when invited and collaborates with local in-country clinics to devise sustainable programs in clinical services, translational research, and capacity funding for infrastructure, medical supplies, and medicines.

Dr. Desiree LaBeaud is assistant scientist at CHORI (Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, http://www.chori.org/) and a clinician at the Children’s Hospital in the Pediatric Infectious Diseases.  LaBeaud leads efforts in research, containment, and cure of arboviral infections and their long-term health consequences.  Arboviral infections are caused from arthropod or mosquito-borne viruses.  While previously these outbreaks were more contained to smaller geographical areas, they now spread easily and can lead quickly to major worldwide epidemics due to such influences of modern life, like urbanization, land reclamation, deforestation, military activities, war, natural calamities, climate change, and increased mobility.  Many of these infectious diseases are highly debilitating, often with long lasting effects.  For instance, Chikungunya causes fever and debilitating arthritis that can last for months and sometimes years.  Dengue is the #1 mosquito borne viral infection in the world and causes an illness of sudden onset with headaches, fever, sever joint and muscle pain and recovery takes several weeks.  Dr. LaBeaud specifically investigates Rift Valley fever virus in Kenya, with outbreaks causing debilitating diseases like hemorrhagic fever, retinitis, and encephalitis.  Many of these diseases are also accompanied by long lasting cognitive impairment, confusion, somatic problems, extreme fatigue, concentration problems, memory loss, and psychosis.

Currently there exist no vaccines for most of these mosquito borne diseases (with the exception of yellow fever), and there aren’t many treatment options until the virus runs its course.  But the sad part is that there aren’t many rapid, low cost diagnostic tools and there is often misclassification, while the virus continues to spread, when there is an epidemic.   Diagnostic tests are needed that are rapid, sensitive, specific, easy to use, portable, random access, cost effective, adaptable, multiplexed and can test many things, and are broad based so can test for etiologies that one may not necessarily be looking for.   Routinely used Elisa assays do not get real time info and have limited sensitivity and lack specificity.  DNA based panviral microarray or virochips are good for broad based diagnosis but are very expensive and analysis is labor intensive. Loopmediated iso-thermal amplification or LAMP is single tube assay for nucleic acid detection and is simple, cheap, and fast but is not broad based and one should be certain what one is looking for.  Wicking assays are point of care, rapid, can be easily adapted, are filed deployable, but are difficult to multiplex and not broad based.  Microfluidic devices are Point of Care tests that are rapid, flexible, portable, can have many different channels and very likely are the wave of the future.  In the end, better diagnosis will save children, said LaBeaud.  Besides, no longer can these diseases of the developing world be ignored, as they easily travel and there is always a fear of major worldwide outbreaks that can infect people and animals globally.

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