top of page

New Leadership: Debunking WOKE Culture

Updated: Apr 1

A group of people working
Anti-woke or woke team members working in a shared space.

If you’ve been on LinkedIn or X in the last 5 minutes, you’ve seen various trending leadership issues. From the overemphasis on political correctness to the stifling of free speech in the name of sensitivity, the 'woke' culture is dominating boardrooms. But here at FIG, we provide a different narrative.

So, let's stop tiptoeing around sensitive topics and start having uncomfortable conversations. After all, that's what true leadership is all about.

Today looks: ⛈️Stormy ⛈️ ☕Lukewarm ☕

Let's FIG It: Diversity is more than race or gender.

DEI Scoop: The Cost of Banning DEI in Education 

🗣️ Client Letterhead

FIG Spotlight

👥  Meet The Experts

Let’s FIG it: Data-Driven Insights on D&I

Data-driven insights D&I. Leadership is beginning to ask questions about DEI effectiveness.

People LIE. Numbers DON'T. 📊

  • Companies with above-average diversity had 19% higher innovation revenues, according to a 2018 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report. Diverse teams bring various perspectives and solutions to problems, driving innovation.

  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability, and those in the top quartile for ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more likely to outperform on profitability. (McKinsey, 2023).

  • A 2017 Harvard Business Review article noted that diverse teams can solve problems faster than cognitively similar people. Different perspectives lead to unique solutions, enhancing creativity.

And it suggests that an anti-woke approach to DEI isn't a hindrance to progress; it propels it!

So, how can your business harness these insights?

  1. Stop making it about race and gender: Recognize and reward your employees based on their skills and performances. Period.

  2. Open dialogues: Encourage conversations that allow differing viewpoints. This is good for culture but also fuels innovation. And innovation is good for profits. 

  3. Individuality over group identity: Employees are unique individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses. Treat them as such. 

It's time to cut through the buzzwords and leverage data insights to build more productive, satisfied, and successful workplaces.

Because, in the end, it's not about being woke or anti-woke—it is about doing smart business.

The Latest DEI Scoop: Business Responsibility & The anti-woke perspective

The woke culture perspective. Is it going woke good for business. Or is woke culture destroying business?

Wokeness is loud. And it tangles the concept of business responsibility into a cobweb of confusion and divisiveness. 

But it doesn't have to be this way.

Let's look at it through the lens of facts, not feelings and non-data-centered (aka ill-placed) sentiment.

Several standout companies are successfully implementing anti-woke business responsibility strategies.

To name a few:

  • Intel Corporation is more than a tech company. According to a 2023 study by the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, they have been ranked the most faith-friendly workplace in the country. Now that’s inclusion. You must be intentional so people feel comfortable expressing their faith or religious beliefs. 

  • Ben & Jerry's: Ben & Jerry's is just as famous for its delicious ice cream as it is for its social justice initiatives. The company has a long history supporting progressive causes, including LGBTQ+ rights, racial justice, and environmental sustainability. While at FIG, social justice isn’t our jam; branding is.  Ben & Jerry’s has consistently embedded diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices and overall culture, making it a company that deserves our respect for their unwavering commitment to diversity and doing so before checkboxes were a big thing. 

These companies aren’t dismissing responsibility. They are choosing to be intentional about their diversity initiatives. And they're thriving. Your business can do the same by shifting the narrative. 

Here are 3 things you can do to go anti-woke and succeed:

  1. Avoid societal and political distractions by unapologetically prioritizing your business mission and promise to customers. 

  2. Hire and promote based on individual talents, accomplishments AND fit. NOT on race or gender.

  3. Implement an open-door policy and promote a culture of respect and diverse perspectives.

FIG is here to help you build your anti-woke strategy.

Let's get down to business.

Client Letterhead

There's no better way to demonstrate the power of our anti-woke approach than to let our clients speak for themselves.

Let's take a look at one of our success stories.

Meet Scott. He’s the CEO of a 150-person entertainment company based in Southern California (woke headquarters). He was grappling with discord in his diverse team. Conflicting ideologies were causing friction, affecting the culture and, most importantly, productivity was taking a hit.

We stepped in, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work.

Through a series of consultative sessions with Scott and his leadership team and company-wide training, we helped Scott and the team recenter on the company mission and commitment to customer service. We equipped them with strategies to navigate their differences while respecting everyone’s opinion and returning to a productive work culture without surrendering to woke ideologies.

The transformation was just what the doctor ordered. 

The team dynamic improved, and their productivity skyrocketed. Scott reports an unprecedented surge in team morale and overall business performance.

Our clients are relishing the success of going anti-woke and focusing on inclusion. It's time your business did, too. As Scott’s story tells us, it's not just possible. It's profitable! 

Stay unapologetically anti-woke. 

Are you ready to write your own success story? Get in touch with us today.

FIG Spotlight: Anti-woke Success Stories

DEI news, caught in 4K 😎 

One of our gaming clients has embodied the essence of an anti-woke approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion and leveraged it to their advantage. They've proven that rejecting popular narratives and embracing the real meat of innovation and diversity doesn't just make business sense. It drives immense success.

They've thrived by focusing on merit and individual value and ensuring their hiring practices reflect those of their community and customers. Rather than getting tangled in the distractions of identity politics. 

Their approach is refreshingly direct and unapologetically practical.

  • They don't hire to fill quotas; they hire the best person for the job.

  • They don't tolerate discrimination; all employees are treated with respect and must be respectful in return. 

  • They promote based on proven merit, not victimhood or tokenism.

And the results?

Well, they speak for themselves. They’ve consistently outperformed its competition and has established itself as a national powerhouse in the tech industry.

So, how can your business adopt this approach?

  1. Reframe your diversity strategy around individuals, NOT group identities.

  2. Hire and promote based on merit. DO NOT check the boxes.

  3. Choose a culture of respect for everyone, not just select groups.

Strong leaders prove that an anti-woke approach to D&I is viable and can propel a company to unprecedented success.

As they continue to rise, they're reshaping the gaming industry and redefining the narrative around DEI. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a story worth sharing.

Meet The Corporate Leader Crushing DEI: Mark Cuban

This month in FIG's Expert Corner, we bring insights from one of our seasoned pros.

Two billionaire titans are giving DEI the boost to shift the narrative to something constructive. Mark Cuban and Elon Musk are known to tell it like it is from their perspective unapologetically. Although DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) starkly differs from just a few years prior, its discourse has significantly evolved, reflecting novel attitudes and approaches like Cuban and Musk.

Compared to the emotionally charged discussions of 2021 and 2022, the tone and texture of the DEI conversations have shifted. Emotionality, once the driving force behind the conversation, is slowly being replaced by a straightforward, pragmatic discourse such as the voice of Mark Cuban.

Contrary to a growing sentiment, and as Cuban has pointed out, DEI is not about ignoring qualifications or credentials; it is treated as a business solution and an opportunity to create positive and impactful gains. Mark Cuban’s approach centers on hiring incredible talent to deliver products and services. This is what properly adopting and championing DEI practices looks like. It demonstrates strong leadership, improves company culture, and ensures business and community sustainability (and profitability).

Elon Musk, on the other hand, is simply stirring the pot of division, from calling Mark Cuban “an insufferable tool” to offering to pay the legal fees of Disney employees reporting discrimination. Musk has been unrelenting about his position on Disney’s “woke” content. However, Disney wasn’t as vocal while actively advertising with his company, “X.” He believes Disney is destroying creativity with their diversity and inclusion practices. Meanwhile, Disney increased its initiatives in 2016 and kicked into high gear in 2018 with the successful release of Marvel’s Black Panther before doubling down again in 2020. 

So what’s this really about? Does Musk care how Cuban runs his companies? Since DEI is a decision leaders choose to invest in or not, is it affecting any of his companies? The answer is no. to both. It is an attack on a previous advertiser. 

In November 2023, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced concerns about the company’s reputation on “X” due to the rise in anti-Semitic comments on the platform and, in what he believed was the company's best interest, pulled Disney’s advertising from “X.” For someone who values free speech as much as Musk does, you’d expect him to respect the decisions of others instead of rallying troops to support his actions that are nothing more than a public and costly tantrum. 

Musk behaves like a billionaire bully, using DEI as an excuse to “yell” and “punch” his way to being seen and heard. Leaders can raise concerns and simultaneously be peacekeepers. Mark Cuban has admitted that DEI has been implemented poorly. “Like any business choice, it can be done well or poorly.”

It’s 2024, and corporate business leaders, politicians, and aspiring entrepreneurs can be change agents who can steer the conversation toward constructive dialogue and away from divisive rhetoric. Elon Musk can learn a thing or two from Mark Cuban.

Remember, in the world of business, the only 'woke' we need is the one that wakes us up to new possibilities.

FIG’s DEI Essential


bottom of page