Creating Cultures of Growth & Innovation

On May 24, 2018, three representatives from MoFo’s Legal Talent team attended the Spring 2018 Corporate Meeting of the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab.

Incubated within The Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and formerly known as the Center for Women’s Leadership, the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab uses academic research to identify and transcend barriers in real-world practice to create environments where diverse talent can excel.

The event titled “Inclusive Leadership: Creating Cultures of Growth & Innovation,” featured a keynote speech on how organizations can employ a growth mindset to spur team effectiveness and accelerate innovation. Unlike in a fixed mindset, where people believe intelligence and talents are fixed traits, in a growth mindset people believe that abilities can be developed and intelligence can grow with time and experience. Individuals can develop growth mindsets by acknowledging weaknesses, using the right strategies for their learning styles, cultivating grit, and viewing challenges as opportunities.

Following the keynote speech, contributors from 16 member organizations shared 19 “small wins” that have produced large changes around diversity and inclusion in their workplaces. Lori Mackenzie, Clayman Executive Director, also presented actionable steps that leaders can take as curators of culture within their companies.

One company prepared a brief animated video to show at the beginning of evaluation calibration meetings describing how biases can impact a process. Another company created inclusion walls in high-traffic hallways with small actions that employees can take to foster an inclusive culture.

Janet Herman, MoFo’s Director of Attorney Development and Women’s Initiatives, enjoyed the discussion regarding what other leaders are doing to support diversity and inclusion in their respective organizations. “The discussion was very insightful and gives us food for thought about how to continue to position our firm in a growth mindset.”

In 2017, MoFo hosted grit and growth events for women in our San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York offices to facilitate practical discussions on how to employ a grit and growth mindset toward common issues faced by women lawyers.

Creating an inclusive culture is at the core of MoFo firm values, and attending events like the Spring 2018 Corporate Meeting of the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab is a great way to learn from other like-minded organizations.

MoFo was the first law firm member of the corporate program of Stanford University’s Center for Women’s Leadership, and is now a corporate program member of the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab. MoFo’s Nicole Wanzer, Director of Attorney Recruiting, and Alexis Yee-Garcia, Attorney Diversity and Inclusion Manager, also attended the event.

MoFo’s Janet Herman (left), Nicole Wanzer (center), and Alexis Yee-Garcia (right)