ment team, so it was important for us to get the
new management team in touch with an excellent panel to consult with.
We explained our issues and we told them
of our progress. We reported to them on our
progress, on things they recommended in
2003, and I wouldn’t let them go without giving us recommendations for the future.
camera in the world but it’s a modest contribution for a day and half of work.
DiversityInc: How do you make sure the
External Diversity Advisory Board’s suggestions
are carried out throughout all levels of Kodak?
Perez: We took them and debriefed their con-
DiversityInc: How does diversity benefit
Perez: The only way to succeed in the business
we’re getting into is through innovation.
There’s no other way out. You have to differentiate yourself … What I mean by that is you
have to envision the future through the eyes of
your customers and not be afraid of what you
see. Those customers are very, very diverse.
There’s no way a company will even start to
understand the dreams and
needs of diverse customers if a
company is not exactly a
microcosm of the set of cus-
tomers you serve. Diversity of
thought, of understanding, of
cultures, of values, if you don’t have them, you
won’t get it. So [diversity] is a basic business
need and it’s as simple as that.
“You have to envision the future through
the eyes of your customers and not be
afraid of what you see.”
clusions with the executive management team
that I lead. [The executive team meets] every
other week and [their suggestions] became part
of the things we need to do. We put dates as
we do for any other project—what is first and
second and executed it like any other business initiative. We’re going to be an example
in digital and a leading company in diversity
DiversityInc: How do you compensate members of the External Diversity Advisory Board?
Perez: They are not paid for this. They’re
doing this because they want to. We pay for
their trip. We feed them as well and we give
them a digital camera—big deal. It is the best
DiversityInc: One of the directives from the
initial External Diversity Advisory Panel was
that Kodak form an internal diversity advisory
panel of senior leaders with global representation. Has that happened?
Perez: Essie [Calhoun, chief diversity officer,
director of community affairs, and a Kodak
vice president] launched that project immediately. The lead of that group is global. We’ve
been trying to act with the same efficiency and
discipline that the external panel did. Our first
meeting with the external panel was with our