Planned TV Arts: A long overdue NFL lesson learned
Jan 26,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Corporate America Should Look to NFL diversity


Corporate America can afford to learn a thing or two from the National Football League's (NFL) recent ground-breaking accomplishment of two African- American head coaches leading their teams to the Super Bowl. For the first time in history, African-American head coaches Tony Dungy of the Indianapolis Colts and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears will face each other at this year's Super Bowl.

Joe Watson is a dynamic management consultant and former business executive who now specializes in advising major corporations on employee issues, especially workplace diversity. His clients include MTV Networks, Freddie Mac, Time Inc. and Lifetime Television. He was a special aide to former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. For more information, visit
"The NFL, by application of the 'Rooney Rule,' understood that a Diversity effort without accountability was just rhetoric. Corporate America can learn much from abandoning their long-standing 'culture of excuses' and embracing the NFL's practice of meaningful commitment and, obvious, consequences. I applaud coaches, Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy, for this tremendous achievement." -- Joe Watson, author of "Without Excuses: Unleash the Power of Diversity to Build Your Business" (St. Martin's Press, November 2006)

People under 25 are the most powerful and fastest growing demographic in our country, 40 percent of which are people of color. It is high time Corporate America reflects this change.

"The kumbaya approach helped open communication but ultimately was superficial," says Joe Watson. Long gone are the days of walking on eggshells around the topic to be "politically correct." It's time to bring the issues to the forefront. Do stereotypes exist? Yes, to a certain degree. The only way to solve the problem is to address it with honest, unabashed dialogue.