VP and Director of Global Leadership and Learning at Intel on GROW: Growing Relationships, Opportunities, and Wins

Deb Bubb, Vice President and Director of Global Leadership and Learning at Intel, discussed the diversity, inclusiveness, and adaptability of talent that's essential for innovation and growth.

Bubb began her keynote presentation at the 2016 Human Capital Leadership Forum in San Francisco on March 2 with a view of the landscape that many in her audience are familiar with: "Changing business in a changing environment demands we change our talent requirements," she said. “Growing the business is about growing yourself, and growing inclusion.”

“Four major factors influence your ability to attract, develop, retain, and progress diverse talent: 1) lack of opportunity to progress; 2) profound isolation; and 3) poor manager quality; all of which result in 4) an overall negative environment.”

“Four major factors influence your ability to attract, develop, retain, and progress diverse talent: 1) lack of opportunity to progress; 2) profound isolation; and 3) poor manager quality; all of which result in 4) an overall negative environment.”

In other words, many organizations have trouble hearing other voices. A legacy engineering firm, for example, can make it very difficult on any employee who’s not an engineer in one of the company’s core engineering businesses.

How to counter this retrograde but entrenched culture? “The data are clear: Teams that are diverse (that is, they include many perspectives) and inclusive (they exhibit behaviors such as listening to each others’ points of view and taking turns when speaking) materially perform better in every way.”

“The data are clear: Teams that are diverse (that is, they include many perspectives) and inclusive (they exhibit behaviors such as listening to each others’ points of view and taking turns when speaking) materially perform better in every way.”

To solve the lack of diversity and inclusion, Bubb realized she needed not just another add-on but a core business driver, which brought to mind Einstein's famous line: We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking we used when we created them. “We needed to stop thinking about diversity and inclusion as the right thing to do from a moral or legal perspective and tie it more directly to being the right thing for our business.” In this way, diversity and inclusion become not sensitivity training for certain employees but rather about all employees bringing their full selves to work.

"For these reasons, we launched GROW, a neuroscience-based approach to evolving our culture. It’s not a training program," Bubb was quick to point out. "Through GROW, we're building new habits, cultivating a growth mindset, and practicing inclusive behaviors that promise to help us grow ourselves, grow together, and grow the business."

Videos, practice tools, and research summaries are small packages easily accessed by employees at any time on an open platform to allow the sharing of insights whenever they feel so inclined—often in a way that sparks further informal discussion. The goal is a GROWth mindset and the invitation to grow together.

Dubb explained that a major pillar of GROW is practice tools that provide clear, actionable habits to create new behaviors in an adult-friendly way of continuing education: “Try doing more of this and less of that.”

Another GROW pillar is research summaries—two-page documents that distill relevant research to illustrate the case for change, the underlying concepts, and the new habits and skills an individual is being asked to model.

In conclusion, Dubb summed up GROW as "an invitation to every employee to get growing. It’s about seeing and nurturing new ways of growing ourselves and our togetherness in such a way that we’ll inevitably be growing the business.” If this was put into a formula, it would be: personal growth plus inclusion equals business growth.

"GROW is an invitation to every employee to get growing. It’s about seeing and nurturing new ways of growing ourselves and our togetherness in such a way that we’ll inevitably be growing the business.”

ABOUT DEB BUBB:

Deb A. Bubb is a vice president of Human Resources and the Director of Global Leadership and Learning at Intel Corporation. She has overall responsibility for Intel's corporate leadership and learning strategy and for developing and deploying solutions and systems that unleash the leader inside everyone at Intel, from employee to executive. She oversees a suite of services for the company's executive leaders including programs for the identification, sourcing, integration, assessment, development, and progression of the company's senior technical and business executives. Her team also manages enterprise-wide development solutions for employees at all levels, including corporate training, technical leadership and learning, coaching, assessments, and an enterprise-wide management and leadership development program, LEAD.

Bubb has served in a variety of leadership roles since joining Intel's HR organization in 2000. She spent the early years of her Intel career as HR manager for the Operations Finance organization, the Communications Infrastructure Group, the Flash Memory Group, and the Digital Home Group, leading global teams to build organizational capability and deliver integrated HR solutions. From 2006 to 2008, Bubb managed leadership and organizational development for Intel's core business, the Digital Enterprise Group. Before assuming her current position in 2011, she was Director of Global Employee Support and Customer Care. Her contributions in that role included leading the redesign of HR operations, customer care, and Intel's global network of HR call centers.

Before joining Intel, Bubb was an HR manager at Electronic Data Systems, Hicks Consulting Group, and Avocet Inc. She also spent four years as a practicing social worker and independent organizational consultant.

Bubb holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Stanford University and a master's degree in social work from Smith College.

You can find Deb on twitter @debbubb