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delaney

Interview with Kate Delaney

Kate Delaney is the leading female sports commentator in America. She has covered the Super Bowl 15 times and interviewed four former American presidents. Learn more about how she got to where she is now and read her top three advice to a more innovative company culture.

What is your biggest advice to someone who wants to make it in gender-dominated industry? 

Go in with an open mind and good attitude. It can be tough to be what I call an “only”. Meaning you might be the only woman on that particular job or in that department. I know because usually that is and was me for most of my career. Always stand your ground, know your worth and why you were chosen for the job. Are you getting hassled? Confront your work mate in a non-hostile way and let them know you’re not a threat but a valuable part of the team. A change in an inclusive environment can be a challenge for the old guard. Be confident, know your worth and stand your ground and they will crack and warm up to you.

 

What types of unique experiences have you had as a result of your profession?

The world of speaking and broadcasting has opened me up to so many unique experiences. I spoke to a group of leaders on a moving train. Everyone was involved and excited until the meeting planner realized, luckily at the end of my keynote, that the train was going the wrong way.

 

How much does humor factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?

Humor is like breathing to me. My keynotes, breakouts and deeper dives are all filled with high energy, actionable content and loads of laughs. Who doesn’t want to feel good and discover something innovative or applicable to their lives at the same time.

 

Can you give 3 tips for creating a more innovative company culture?

1. In many corporate cultures there are clearly defined roles. Yes, this is necessary but often some great ideas and ways to implement innovation are left off the table. Let all the “kids” aka employees play on the jungle gym. Let everyone in the company know some of the innovative products or methods that are being worked on right under their noses. Some of the best possibilities in business come from sources that weren’t even being considered. A once a month virtual coffee with the CEO, Product Supervisor or anyone in the C-Suite could uncover some untapped talent. Give employees a community suggestion drop-box to submit their thoughts afterwards. If nothing else everyone will feel involved.

2. Allow departments to have “white space” time. Meaning time to do what I call no ideas are bad bring them all to table. So for the first 20 minutes…you can suggest anything even if it seems impossible. Nobody is allowed to say “but…” and discourage the idea. Then for the next 20 minutes pick the best few and flush them out. Let everyone work on the best 3.

3. Field trips. At least once a quarter get out of the office and go and get to know each other. Bowling? Boat trip? Long lunch at a hip restaurant? Communication is key and getting to know each other better often lets down barriers to innovation and creativity.