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March 12, 2014
HORACIO ROZANSKI AND LUCY SORRENTINI SPEAK AT THE CENTER FOR TALENT INNOVATION (CTI) CORPORATE SUMMIT
In February, Booz Allen President and Chief Operating Officer, Horacio Rozanski, and Principal, Talent Development and Diversity, Lucy Sorrentini, represented the firm as panelists during two events at the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI’s) 10thAnniversary Corporate Summit in New York City. Booz Allen is one of the founding members of CTI’s 80-member Task Force for Talent Innovation focused on helping organizations leverage their talent across gender, generation, geography, and culture.
Tasked with addressing the topic “Mapping the Next Ten Years,” Horacio first reminisced about his relocation to the U.S. from Argentina: “When I arrived in this country, the good people of Wisconsin surrounded me with support, patience—a little curiosity perhaps—but genuine care, and that was a tremendous gift.” With that support, he attended college, became a U.S. citizen, and today leads 23,000 diverse individuals at Booz Allen.
“As father, a business leader, a former Chief Personnel Officer, and an example of diversity in action,” he continued, “I know that diversity matters. A year ago, we launched the Strategic Innovation Group (SIG) at Booz Allen. The SIG is a 1,500-person unit that is our model for creating new solutions from diverse offerings, ideas, and talent. We’re encouraging staff to speak up, make mistakes, and give voice to their ideas. The SIG is growing—and we are attracting a broader range of talent to the firm. I believe that growth is due to the power that happens when diverse perspectives come together and are leveraged in the name of innovation.”
“Anything involving human beings is complicated,” concluded Horacio, “it’s time consuming, but it’s worth it to build a culture of innovation. A lot will happen in the world in ten years. We all have to redouble our efforts and take more chances to make sure we are ready.”
Booz Allen has its ten year plan already underway. Asked to discuss a case study that exemplifiesInnovation, Diversity and Market Growth, Lucy Sorrentini discussed the firm’s commitment and focus on building diverse top talent and “next generation” leaders; “The Leadership Excellence Program was spearheaded in 2011 to respond to a shifting economic environment, market compression, and increased competition for talent. We recognized that we had to engage and develop leaders. We needed more leaders faster and we focused our efforts on looking ‘inside first’,” noted Lucy.
“This strategy has paid off for us,” she continued, “with more than 25% of our Leadership Excellence Program participants, of which nearly 50% are diverse, being promoted into more senior roles since the program’s inception and 86% retention overall of program participants. Not only are we unlocking the innovative capacity of our own employees, we are helping them realize their potential, and ensuring that Booz Allen is well positioned for the future.”
Booz Allen’s partnership with CTI, which Horacio helped establish, continues with various programs and initiatives designed to emphasize the connection between diversity, innovation, and performance.