Genein Letford

Chief Creative Officer at CAFFE Strategies, LLC

Leadership

Education: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California State University, Northridge
Phoenix, AZ, USA

Biography

As the 2019 LA Lakers Business Woman and the 2015 CA Charter Teacher of the Year, Genein is a national thought leader and creator of the concept of ‘Intercultural Creativity® and NeuroSomatic Creativity®’.  She is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of CAFFE Strategies, LLC which is a consulting, coaching and training company that trains C-Suite executives and employees to create sustainable organizational equity and inclusion strategies, based on neuroscience, while unleashing their innovative thinking for themselves and in their businesses.

Her 7 Gems of Intercultural Creativity® is a leading framework that encourages corporations in their diversity and inclusion development while developing critical cognitive tools for creative thinking. Her first book, From Debt To Destiny: Creating Financial Freedom From the Inside Out connects creative thinking to financial agility and was an international bestseller in 5 finance categories. Her book, 7 Gems of Intercultural Creativity: Connecting, Creating and Innovating Across Cultural Lines is the only book on this topic. She recently published her first children’s book I AM CREATIVE! with her 4-year-old son, Shawn Letford. Genein believes creative thinking thrives best in an inclusive environment and she is often called ‘America’s Creative Coach’ for her work in reigniting intercultural creativity within our workforce.

Passion

My passion is teaching, speaking and bringing new methods for people to think creatively in inclusive environments! Bringing in the brain connections empowers people to be in control of their creativity and ability to connect with others. I love to see the results of my developmental work coming alive in people and in organizations. I use my many years in the classroom to ignite the child-like creativity and imagination in adults to work and think well across cultural lines. This is my passion; to do good work and inspire good people.

Featured Video

I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

I generally get paid for speaking but make exceptions

Topics

creativity creative thinking inclusion diversity and inclusion intercultural communication innovation culture innovation culture creative culture education motivational speaker inspirational womens leadership the future of leadership overcoming the imposter syndrome leadership and achieving goals brain research on creativity psychological safety microaggressions mindset leadership women leadership

Best Story

From the speech therapy room to the TEDx stage, I know the struggle of feeling like your words don't matter and your ideas don't count. Through perseverance, I mastered my speech but my creative confidence was shattered. Through the journey of getting out of $100,000 worth of debt on a teacher's salary, I found my 'diamonds' of creativity and saw myself and my creative ability in a new light. I now teach others to unleash their creative power by developing their intercultural ability and connect and create with others! I'm also a brain science nerd and have backed up all of our presentations with neuroscience. We are all diamonds meant to shine bright!

Origin Story

I started as an elementary school teacher who loves to storytell, be animated and pull out the diamonds of creativity in my students. I realized that in this age of technology, creative thinking is now a critical skill needed by all, not just a few. After the pandemic and the racial unrest I saw how inclusion work is closely tied to creative thinking, so I combined the two areas to create the 7 Gems of Intercultural Creativity Framework. We need to build inclusive environments for creativity to thrive and creative people to have the courage to contribute.

Example talks

Intercultural Creativity™: The Ace Up Your Sleeve for the Future of Work

Innovation!

Everybody wants it but most people don’t know how to truly achieve it. Innovation rests on creativity and creativity rests on the ability to see things from multiple perspectives, dismantling bias, having a curious open mind and building a culture of inclusion and belonging.

We are now a global workforce causing many cultures to interconnect and produce innovative ideas.

Collaborative intercultural creativity is now the ‘new normal’.

Genein’s engaging keynote will help your attendees develop intercultural awareness that builds creativity. This post pandemic topic is critical for the creative advancement of any organization. Lots of laughs, stories and memorable points that will ignite your attendees to continue 2023 with hope and skills for a brighter globally connected future.

Attendees will learn how:
-culture and creativity are connected
-to analyze their own cultural behaviors and become aware and beneficially responsive to others
-to creatively engage with other cultures in business - virtual and in person
-to advance their intercultural competence for success in a global market

POWER, POSITION AND PURPOSE: UNDERSTANDING POWER DYNAMICS WHILE BUILDING INCLUSIVE TEAMS

Leadership is complex. Brain research shows that authoritative power can inhibit leaders from seeing the plight of others. This power can lower their ability for connection, creativity and cultural competence. Since creativity needs psychological safety, intellectual humility, and empathy to flourish, effective leaders must be aware of how power, position and authority can skew their perspective. Learn brain-based strategies to assuage the effects of power and become an efficient empathetic leader.

PERSPECTIVE SHIFTING FOR LEADERSHIP

Leaders who engage in perspective-taking exercises not only provide new perspectives in complex work situations, but it can also activate networks in our brains that are associated with creative thinking, intercultural competence and exploration. Perspective taking is a skill that improves business outcomes and gives us access to more information than we would have without it. In order to lead well, leaders need to shift perspectives well for a comprehensive view of the teams and the future.

ALLYSHIP AND TRUST: BEING AN ALLY ACROSS CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

Allyship, which is the process of advocating for another in the area of justice and inclusion, is a required strategy for building an inclusive environment where employees can creatively thrive. Many people lack the knowledge or have anxiety in how to become an ally because they are missing the tools and confidence to effectively speak up for others. This professional development equips team members to observe, perspective shift, and communicate on the behalf of others as a compassionate ally.

EMPATHETIC LEADERSHIP: BUILDING CULTURAL SENSITIVITY FOR LEADERSHIP SUCCESS

Emotions lead creativity follows. Having a strong emotional foundation and understanding the neuroscience behind how emotions work is an important aspect of emotional intelligence. Leaders will increase their emotional granularity (how to identify their emotions) and how to use these identifications for Intercultural Creativity® and leadership. This training, which includes self-awareness, value exploration, vulnerability and empathy development, uses interactive and reflection exercises for deep transformational learning.

THE NEUROSCIENCE OF LEADERSHIP: BUILDING A CULTURE OF TRUST IN DIVERSE TEAMS

The science is clear. Trust is the new driver of productivity. Getting your message across, lowering fears (both rational and irrational), and pulling out the best of your team members requires strong leadership. Scientists have identified the brain mechanisms that support our ability to connect and communicate with others and reveals how we can activate and strengthen them. Learn how to develop team chemistry and trust by building team identity through shared goals, values and an increase of oxytocin.

Diversity Diamonds: Empowering Your Employees to Create with Passion and Purpose

2020 pushed conformity out the door. Celebrating the uniqueness of your employees is now your organization’s superpower. Genein equips organizations with strategies to build creative cultures that highlight the diamond facets of team members for individual and corporate success. Your event will shine bright with Genein Letford!