OpenJS World: Michael Jennings

By July 16, 2021Blog, Event, OpenJS World

OpenJS World Keynote: Michael Jennings, Inclusion Strategy at Netflix

During OpenJS World, which was held virtually June 2-3, we heard from many inspiring people involved in all areas of technology. In this keynote series, we will highlight the key points from the keynote videos. We hope to get a highlight of the speakers in a way that allows for people to hone in on the part of the talk that interests them the most.

What is inclusion? Michael Jennings is the Inclusion Strategy Partner at Netflix and utilizes many of the tools created at OpenJS. He talks about creating an inclusion footprint and why it is conducive to businesses. Inclusion is an extension of companies themselves. Companies tend to market, whether unintentionally or intentionally, based on the people in their company. Jennings says that the greatest innovation you can make is to empower people.

Jennifs covers the importance of asking questions, how best to lead to the answers that you want. He talks about built-in biases, not only in an organization but within each member. He also says there is no quick fix, and that inclusion is a journey to undertake. He makes a great analogy about inclusion and bias as a piece of complex art, that is different for each individual. We need to see not just ethnicity, but different demographics and experiences. 

HR is puzzle work. It’s hard to focus on experiences that meld into your project. Be innovative with people, not just technology.

Jennings talks about self-reflection being paramount to the process. Who do you work well with, who do you not work well with, who do you dislike, who can you not stand? When someone is different at the table, what is your instinct to do? How do you react and why? These are all questions he brings up as being important. 

Ultimately, inclusion is an opportunity for all, not just for our leaders.

Link to full OpenJS World video here

Inclusion footprint 0:54

Asking uncomfortable questions 1:50

What is inclusion? 3:45

Think about yourself 5:31

Dealing with biases 7:11

Innovative with spaces 7:59

Things conducive to self-work 8:35

All of our opportunities, not just leaders 10:20

Sign up for updates on OpenJS Word 2022 happening June 7 and 8 in Austin, TX