Raised on a family farm in Iowa, Joe Gerstandt has that certain kind of sensibility you can’t help but notice. His unique approach to speaking, extensive community involvement and personal experiences illustrate Joe’s passion for reaching out to and relating to people.
Listen to Joe speak, and you’ll see that he draws from his days as a United States Marine and Gulf War Veteran and his insightful time in sales.
Prior to becoming a celebrated one-man institute, Joe held positions as the Program Director of Education for the Nebraska AIDS Project and the Director of Diversity for Alegent Health. He has served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities, the Young Professionals Council, and Midlands Community Planning Group. Additionally, Joe has worked with several organizations including Big Brothers, Big Sisters, the National Conference for Community and Justice, and Boys and Girls Club.
Joe maintains a popular blog, and his insights have been published in the Diversity Factor, The Workforce Diversity Network newsletter, the American Diversity Report, and ASAE’s Associations Now magazine. Joe currently serves on the board of directors for the Global Diversity and Inclusion Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on developing business leaders who create value for the communities where we work and live.
As a speaker and consultant, Joe helps organizations understand and implement diversity in a way that leads to innovation and prosperity. His presentations are both empowering and interactive, provoking action from every audience. At times edgy, at times hilarious, always passionate, Joe Gerstandt is committed to facilitating positive change.
In 2010, Joe founded Talent Anarchy with Jason Lauritsen. Joe lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his wife, son, and two daughters.
Authenticity: Fly your freak flag! Joe exhibits the significance of being true to yourself; as an individual, group, team, organization, community, or nation. Welcoming authenticity allows our relationships to flourish, as we learn to appreciate the inner freak in everyone. Discover the value of awareness, honesty, and courage.
Difference: “Diversity is Difference” is a message that resonates greatly with Joe’s audiences. Resulting from authenticity, difference is a social mechanism that can undoubtedly bring tension. But, how we deal with this tension is vital to our success as individuals and as a nation. Supporting positive change, innovation, and evolution is part of what creates difference in its most valuable form. And, while many leaders and organizations realize the importance of difference, few have an understanding of the dynamics that can get in the way.
Inclusion: While difference is a property of relationships, inclusion is what we do with it. How do we respond to the difference that we’ve created? Do we allow it in? And, how do we utilize it? Our actions and reactions can shape our personal and professional networks.
Innovation: Including difference leads to innovation and, subsequently, better results in both life and business. Implementing new strategies in the way we communicate, socialize, and build communities is an increasingly significant part of creating diversity. Joe provides his audiences with innovative tools and methodologies, including: social technology and Web 2.0, appreciative inquiry, and open space. As Joe explains, “innovation is vital to capturing the potential that is generated through the inclusion of difference.”
With a passion for helping people interact differently in the world, Joe Gerstandt is dedicated to throwing out old rules and replacing them with creative new strategies that better serve today’s society. By helping his audiences remove false barriers, Joe is able to liberate the unrealized potential that exists in individuals, groups, and organizations.
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