Adam Torres and Angel Henry discuss agile mindset framework.
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AngelsSpeaking, Inc. is a consortium of executive coaches, consultants, and trainers that leverage the Agile Mindset Framework to deliver services to organizations seeking to start or advance their inclusion journey. In this episode, Adam Torres and Angel Henry, President of AngelsSpeaking, Inc., explore the AngelsSpeaking, Inc. journey and how it’s helping organizations “move the needle” to become more inclusive.
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About Angel Henry
Angel Henry is a scientist at heart, with a passion for experimentation and continuous improvement through team agility. Teaching and training are among her strengths, and she utilizes IT as a vehicle to make their goals a reality. As an experienced IT leader, Angel is dedicated to implementing Agile principles and techniques in any situation. She enjoy coaching and advising PMs, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, and BAs who lead cross-functional, multi-cultural, international teams, including vendor and outsourced resources, on SaaS and PaaS projects. Often referred to as the “Agile Enthusiast”, Angel strongly believes that Agile and Hybrid development practices can effectively solve complex business problems and provide the highest value.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of Mission Matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters.com and click on BR Guest to apply. All right, today I have Angel Henry on the line, and she is president of Angels Speaking Inc.
Angel, welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you for having me. All right, angel. So excited to get into today’s topics. So we’ll talk about leveraging the agile mindset framework for de and I initiatives. So we’ll have some fun around this and really, and I also wanna talk about your book. So I, I, I saw you on LinkedIn, dent in the Ceiling, so I.
Your book and I, I’m a big fan of authors and writing books and getting the word out there, so I definitely wanna get some insight into that as well. But before we do, we will start this episode the way that we start them all with our mission matters minute. So, angel, we at Mission Matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives and experts.
That’s our mission. Angel, what mission matters to. Oh my goodness. Well, the mission that matters most to me is that every individual from an underrepresented population feels included at work. So our goal at Angel speaking is to provide life-changing, career enhancing knowledge and services to those from underrepresented populations with a focus on women.
That’s great. And love, love bringing mission based entrepreneurs on the, on the show to share their mission, you know, why they do what they do, how they’re doing it, and really what we can all learn and gain from that so that we all grow together. So, great. Having ya on. And I guess just to get us kicked off here like what led you down this path of becoming an entrepreneur specifically in the, in the de and I.
Absolutely. So I have 20 years in tech. So you can imagine, I was thinking to myself entrepreneur is, is, is this something I really. Right. Like, like all, all of those things. But what what was the catalyst for me was that I found myself as the only, the only African American female on the leadership team at a cloud-based solutions company.
And that old adage is lonely at the top is absolutely correct. And so I got some great career advice that helped me both personally and professionally. And that advice was simply just to write, write about your experiences. And at first, Adam, I was absolutely opposed to that idea, , I thought. I was too busy.
There was, you know, I like, Hey, by the way, I have a, a nine to five job you know, involved in all of the community service and on boards and, you know, raising two kids, the whole nine. So for me to take time to just sit and think and to write was absolutely unheard of. But when I started doing it, I couldn’t.
Wow. And so, so interesting to me, and I’m, I’m such a big fan of books, but I didn’t start that way. So just like you said where you’re like, eh, you were totally opposed to it. I was too at the beginning, so I always loved to, to hear this part of the story, I, I like to maybe take a quick little sidebar and what would you tell and, and because I preach it all the time, so I like to get when others kind of.
Same, similar story, . I like to get them to do the preaching for me. So what would you tell to those other, like highly, you know, accomplished or, you know, entrepreneurs or, and executives and just people out there, it doesn’t have, not even relating a career, but just have experiences that they want to share and that they’ve always wanted to do a book or, but they just haven’t done it yet.
What would you tell them? I tell them one thing, it’s through legacy. If your legacy, you, your experiences, the way you see the world what you have gained, the life lessons you have amassed through your career and through your personal relationships. It’s quite literally the guidebook for the next generation.
Mm-hmm. , I mean mm-hmm. , you don’t want them to go through what, what hardships you went through. You want them to be catapulted. Right? Like if it took for, you know, for example, it took me a good five years of toying to get to the management ranks that I was seeking. I would love for that next generation, for that to be cut in.
For them. Right. By just leveraging what myself and the other women in that I, that I researched and talked to for the book you know, take, take all of our lessons learned, turn into a guidebook for yourself, a playbook for what to do and what not to do. Hmm. What do you hope that your readers, you know, walk away with after reading your book?
Like what are some of the things that you hope they walk away? Absolutely. So two things. Four, the readers that are my, like myself, right? African American female. In an environment that is not inclusive dare I say toxic you know, just in a workplace that’s not supportive of them that they don’t feel alone, that they feel validated, that they feel seen and heard.
And then for the audience that are in a, in a seat of position, you know, whoever you are, if you. Re if you are managing a team of people and you have their careers and their career performances in the palm of your hand, and you have direct authority and accountability to help them through that, that you increase your emotional intelligence by reading dents in the ceiling, that you increase your cultural competency by reading dents in the ceiling, and that you’re able to ultimately be a more inclusive leader.
Yeah, it’s it, it, I feel like works like yours. The thing I, I always like to tell people is, you know, especially if it comes to books or podcasts, blogs, I don’t care what the content is, Facebook Live, whatever. If you have a message or something you wanna share, is that like your voice is so important.
There’s so many other, like my voice, your voice, like you don’t know who’s gonna help somebody. But sharing this, your story and letting people have that feeling of connection or inspiration or otherwise, to me, like that’s the, that’s the power of what we’re able to do just as humans, right. Exactly. Thank you for bringing that up.
I tell everybody what I do is just treat, I, I teach people how to treat others as humans. It’s, it’s really a calling to have folks kind of turn inwards and look at their heart and how it may have been hard. To people that don’t look like them, that didn’t grow up like them, that don’t come from their same background.
It’s very easy to what we call other people and just kind of put ’em in a category and treat them how you wanna treat them. And I get the honor to. Show them that lens . Mm. Break down some of those walls, soften their heart so that they see that that other person on the other side of that, you know, virtual call or the other side of that desk is a human being.
That, that deserves the same respect and honor and care and consideration that, that. Would give yourself, or maybe if you didn’t receive it, cuz we see a lot of that Adam, right? Where folks are like, Hey, I, I got put through the ringer to get to where I’m at, so I’m gonna make sure that I put you through the paces as well.
A lot of, a lot of hazing goes on and workplaces that we don’t talk about because we, we wanna make sure that people earn it, that they deserve that spot that, that we’re going to give them. Right. And that mentality absolutely jeopardizes the workplace and builds up walls. And so addressing that and tearing that mentality down, it’s hard work, but critical, right?
Because I, I didn’t always have that done for myself, but sometimes I did. And, and I just, I just wanna be that person to pay it forward. Yeah. Angel, let, let’s shift focus slightly here for a moment. I want to I do wanna spend some time talking about your, your company. So Angels Speaking, Inc. Tell us a little bit more about the company and what you do.
Yes. So angel speaking. I’m, I’m, you can probably hear the smile on my face . Hmm. It, it’s awesome because during that, that the time that I was going through executive coaching, the one piece of advice that I will never forget that has, that’s a through line for the work that I do, and that really the foundation of angel speaking is don’t do it.
ally. Ally up Angel was, was really what my executive coach would tell me is, you know, Hey, you’ve got a great idea. You wanna get this changed through, but you can’t do it alone. This is not something you can put over your shoulders and get across the line. And the work that I just described that we’re doing, Adam, this is not work that any one person can do by themselves.
No way. Mm. So Angel speaking is a consortium of executive coaches, trainers. I even brought on. LaDonna, who is an certified counselor, right? A, a licensed social worker, that, that has practice and training in helping people with anxiety and depression and work related trauma. And navigating, you know, a toxic work environment definitely takes its emotional and mental toll on you.
I, you know, like I said, I’m a tech girl. So mm-hmm. . So some of these mental health issues that people are experiencing in the workplace, especially post pandemic are to the point where they’re diagnosable and clinical. And so bringing on someone onto the team that can help address that has been absolutely phenomenal.
So, I, we we’re a full service shop just by link, literally linking arms and, and doing this work together. Wow. And where did you come up with kind of the idea of applying the agile mindset framework to deliver services specifically in like the de and i space? Cause I, I find it kind of unique. Yes it is.
So the cool part is I was again, sitting in the seat as senior director in tech. My counterpart was promoted to vice president of De and I for our company, and he picked up the phone and he is like, you know, he was a party of one , right? Didn’t have a team yet. Just, you know, just him. And he picked up the phone and was like, Hey Angel, you know that agile stuff that you.
Yeah, I’m gonna need some of that for what we’re doing with and essentially what it is, it’s not magic. Mm-hmm. it. A four step framework where you get results quickly. That’s the key word. So there’s a lot of diversity, equity, inclusion practitioners that are skilled at quantitative and qualitative analysis where they’ll go in and they’ll do interviews and they’ll do a lot of surveying and all that is absolutely needed and applaud them for doing it.
I, I, again, part of my network is someone that does. That’s not what I focus on. I focus on getting results quickly. And when I say quickly, I’m talking two to four weeks. And, and again, you have to think my background is tech moving fast, being innovative, bringing people from disparate areas together in different backgrounds.
Literally putting them in a room and saying, go, we have, you know, here’s the, here’s the due date. Make it happen. That’s what I’ve done for well over a decade. So I just applied what I do there to diversity, equity, inclusion. So I, you know, go in and I’ll talk with an organization, which this, by the way actually happened and was, we were successful.
They wanted to diversify their candidate pool. They wanted to get more brown and black candidates and associates in for interviews, and they were struggling. Mm-hmm. . And the first question I asked is, well, where, where do you have existing relationships? And they list all the universities. and associations, and of course they were majority white.
And I was like, okay, well let’s diversify that. So I use my network, we’ll hop on the horn and I will literally call the people that I know at our local community college at HBCUs and we’ll start funneling their top candidates, right to your hiring managers. We got that done, Adam. In two weeks. They were interviewing candidates within four weeks.
Wow, that’s great. And I, and I think that it, it makes sense and it seems to me like more more companies as time goes on, will, will take advantage of things like your company and others that are really promoting the. D Unite initiatives. That being said, what type of companies do you typically work with?
Do you work with small businesses, enterprise, middle market? Is it kind of agnostic on size? The company, like, give us a flavor for who, who is a good fit to get the most value out of, out of working with you and your team? Absolutely, I would say medium to large organizations typically organizations that have a headquarters or a significant footprint here in the us.
But that, that is, That does not have to be the case. I’m working with a company now that’s headquartered in the uk. But mm-hmm. But having, having their their majority of their senior leadership be us just helps with the cultural competency piece a bit. And then I would say in terms of sectors, financial services for sure.
So like banks for example. Healthcare hospitals. My background is healthcare and pharma. So pharmaceutical companies, small biotechs hospital systems. You can, I mean, just. The plethora of knowledge that’s needed in training that’s needed for continuing education around cul cultural competency for nurses and doctors is absolutely critical.
Right? And I tend to pull in the heart heartstrings a bit of the hospitals I work with because I had an extremely. Negative racist situation that happened when my grandmother passed away a few years ago. And I used that example as how we can do better with supporting our brown and black families that are coming into the hospital and trying to care for their loved ones and, and just trying to.
You know, bridge that, that gap there, that currently exists unfortunately in our society. And then of course, as you would imagine, tech companies, right? From small biotechs to large cloud-based software companies that again need to get results quickly and they. Business analyst, IT manager of architects that all speak different languages and use different acronyms and they’ll need somebody to come in and help translate.
And that’s where I come in. Well, angel, I just have to say I’m, I’m grateful that you’re out there doing the work that you are. I think it’s definitely needed or definitely rooting for you over here at Mission Matters. And I just if somebody’s listening to this and they want to learn more or they wanna connect with you and your team and to end to follow your journey and to follow the content what’s the best way for them to do.
Oh, absolutely. So two things I would say. Definitely go to the website. Angel, A n g e l dash henry h e n r y.com. There you will be able to sign on, get to us you’ll see all what, what I call all the internets, right on that website. Mm-hmm. . You’ll be able to find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube.
I put out videos every Friday. So for those of you that are in HR, in or the de and i office in your organizations and you’re like, Hey, I wonder if Angel or one of our speakers could come in and do a training or a workshop or what have you, for us to, to help us along our inclusion journey info. At angel speaking.com.
That’s two s’s in the middle is how you’ll get a hold of us and we would love to hear what your ideas are for your organization and how we can come alongside and help. . Fantastic. And we’ll, we’ll put all of those, we’ll put all of that in the show notes so that our audience can just click on the links and head right on over.
And if somebody wants to pick up your book I’m assuming going to Amazon or is it on the website as well, or what, what, what do you do there? Yes. Amazon. Amazon for sure. Yeah. Yeah. I just send people to dents in the ceiling.com and that will take ’em directly to Amazon for ordering. Absolutely. And if you go to the web, my personal website too, there are two free journals, companion journals that go along with the book to help you take some of those concepts that are in the book and really apply them to your specific career situation.
Fantastic. And and we’ll put that information again in the show notes. And if and speaking of the audience, if this is your first time with Mission Matters or connecting with the platform or listening to an episode we’re all about bringing on business owners, entre. Entrepreneurs and executives and having them share their mission, the reason behind their mission, you know, why they do what they do, and what we can all learn from that.
So the whole point of mission matters in the platform is for us all to learn and grow together. If that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or fun or exciting to you, we welcome you hit that subscribe button because we have many more mission-based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing.
And Angel, really it has been a pleasure. Thanks Ken for coming on the show. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate your time.