Andrea Hoffman is a C-suite advisor, dealmaker and strategist who works diligently to ensure that businesses can connect with diverse executives. Hoffman spent the early part of her career working in consulting where she created target marketing, multicultural marketing and related business development strategies for companies including Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Alliance Bernstein. Hoffman later realized that she was not fulfilling her full purpose. She wanted to be the one to bring inclusivity to the world.
She began by developing an auditing process that could help companies identify missed business opportunities. Hoffman then proceeded to launch a research and consultancy firm called Diversity Affluence. Through her company and with the help of a group of esteemed advisors, she created a movement called Culture Shift Labs where companies are advised about growth and innovation through diversity and inclusion.
Rolling out sat down with Hoffman, who popular news commentator Van Jones calls “the diversity whisperer.”
What are your responsibilities as CEO of Culture Shift Labs (CSL)?
My role as CEO is [to determine] the vision for the company, and how it will improve business and society. [I] ensure that leaders and companies who genuinely want to solve the diversity, inclusion and innovation problem know that we exist and can help them. I think we [did] companies a disservice by being under the radar for the last 10 years. So now the company and our work is much more public.
What is the mission of CSL?
The mission is to move the needle for our clients in measurable ways as it relates to diversity and inclusion. We help companies in some very unique ways including diversity and inclusion in mergers and acquisition, corporate and business development, corporate social responsibility and corporate venture. Our main goal is to improve business and society.
How do you use technology to give CSL a competitive advantage?
Well, I’ll give you a little peek under the hood. We’re launching a technology in about six months called “Katapult.” You can visit Katapultech.com. We’re building a diversity and inclusion SAS tool to help companies implement, assess, measure and improve their D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) efforts by systematizing it.
What would you say are two key factors for business success?
1. A good team, the world’s hardest thing to get right. It is a process that could make or break a company. … It breaks you until it makes you because often, you want to give up.
2. Being a visionary. I think the key to success is having that vision to create something that you know people and businesses want and need and then being able to deliver. … I have always been ahead of the curve, ready to create the next big thing. You have to have the courage to be lonely before things become popular, and once they do become popular, you’re on to the next idea.