Today we’d like to introduce you to Shelton Goode.
Shelton, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am currently the president and chief executive officer of Icarus Consulting. We are a veteran-owned consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations create diverse and inclusive cultures and helping them that leverage their diversity for competitive advantage. We accomplish this by developing strategies that enable our clients to attract, develop, and retain highly skilled talent from an emerging diverse workforce and, at the same time, enhance the engagement, knowledge, and skill of current employees.
I have over 20 years of diversity, inclusion, HR, and higher education professional experience. Before launching Icarus Consulting, I held executive positions for companies ranging in size from $300M to $11B+. These companies included the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Agency, Oshkosh Corporation, Pennsylvania Power & Light (PPL), Georgia Power, Southern Company, and Alabama Power. As an executive for these companies, I developed or implemented talent management programs, performance management systems, sales incentive plans, labor relations strategies, and large-scale culture change initiatives. Before becoming a corporate executive, I also served over 20 years in the United States Air Force. Based on the results achieved in these positions, I earned the reputation as a strategic yet results-oriented leader. I am passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion. My typical workday involves me rolling up my sleeves to provide companies with counsel, insight, resources, tools, and innovative ideas that will help advance their strategic business goals. As head of Icarus Consulting, I use my seasoned leadership and consulting skills to help companies implement diversity initiatives, which enhanced their talent acquisition, employee retention, and employee engagement strategies.
I am equally passionate about education, and I often use knowledge and experience to teach and mentor others. I am the founder and CEO of my ABD Network, an organization that helps students of color succeed in doctoral education programs.
In 1993, I was awarded the first-ever African American Doctoral Fellowship by Troy University and began teaching at the university in 1996. Since that time, I have been dedicated to helping adult learners achieve their educational goals. For example, as an Adjunct Professor at Troy University, I taught thousands of students in the school’s master’s in the public administration program. I was recognized for my teaching excellence and received the school’s prestigious Faculty Member of the Year Award in 2005. I leveraged this experience to publish my first book, So You Think You Can Teach: A Guide for the New College Professor in Teaching Adult.
I have not only served the country in time of war, but I also have consistently served my community in a time of need. For example, in July 2011, the Supreme Court of Georgia appointed me to the State Bar Ethics Investigative Panel. I was one of only three non-lawyers to serve on this prestigious panel. I also chaired the Conference Board Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council, and I have served on the board of numerous professional organizations such as the Atlanta Compliance and Ethics Roundtable, American Association National of Blacks in Energy, Society for Human Resource Management, and the Atlanta and Diversity Management Advocacy Group.
I am proud of the fact that in 2019, I was selected by Forbes as one of the “Top 10 Diversity and Inclusion Trailblazers.” Also, the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources awarded me their HR Trailblazer Award in 2005 and 2012. I am the only person to be selected for this award twice. I am pleased to have been recognized by the Technology Association of Georgia and awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award for my body of work in diversity and human resources.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am proud of the fact that that I have been an active change agent, who has helped companies change their culture. As a result, many of my clients now embrace diversity and understand that it is more than just races and gender. As a result of diversity and inclusion training that we developed, my clients better understand how to create work environments where all employees feel welcomed and valued as individuals. As a result of the diversity and inclusion education programs that we facilitate, the culture at many of my clients is one where employees can reach their potential and make their most significant contributions to the success of the company.
As an HR leader, one of the accomplishments that I am most proud of includes the fact that I oversaw the development and implementation of a performance dashboard, which provided one of my clients with critical tools to enhance productivity and turn around several poor performing departments. We also designed programs that increased employee availability and productivity, such as return to work consulting, substance abuse testing, random drug screening, safety awareness, accident prevention, wellness education, and flexible work options. On more than one occasion, I conducted a strategic HR analysis for my clients, which resulted in increased revenue, improved efficiency, and profitable client relationships. I am proud of the fact that I have earned a reputation for collaborating with my clients and identifying opportunities for improving organizational effectiveness and efficiency, such as clarity of direction, vendor management, reward systems, staffing levels, performance measures, and succession planning.
I am also proud of the fact that I have successfully helped several clients build a culture of respect and trust.
As a result of my HR leadership, several companies were able to leverage their workforce to accomplish organizational goals and establish a competitive advantage in their respective markets. I am proud of the fact that I adequately considered the ideas and opinions of others, which led to the development of more effective HR and D&I strategy, process, and system improvements.
I am particularly proud of the fact that my collaborative leadership style often resulted in general enhancement to my clients’ business. For example, in one case, I helped develop a strategy that enhanced the company’s responsiveness to customers. The strategy included better metrics to identify and eliminate barriers to customer satisfaction. I am particularly proud of the fact that I have developed talent acquisition programs that have helped my clients attract and retain a diverse, highly skilled, and engaged workforce. I accomplished this by placing a premium on the talent that could enhance the company’s ability to make sound business decisions and by recruiting people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. As a result, many of my clients have come to realize that diversity and inclusion is an essential part of doing business.
Finally, I am proud of the fact that I have thrived in fast-paced and demanding environments that required constant decisiveness, energy, and speed. I achieve results ahead of schedule and under budget by successfully leading teams of high-performing professionals responsible for developing, implementing, and monitoring D&I and HR strategies to improve our client’s performance. As a result of my leadership, Icarus Consulting has been instrumental in helping our clients develop a people strategy that connects the company with their employees, communities, customers, and suppliers – which ultimately the company’s bottom line.
Please tell us about Icarus Consulting.
The mission of Icarus Consulting is to unleash the power of human potential by helping people—and organizations—to defy gravity and fly. We help organizations to achieve excellence through inclusion by ensuring employees at every level in the organization feel valued, respected, and connected. We do that by assisting organizations in developing strategies to attract, develop, and retain highly skilled talent from an emerging diverse workforce and, at the same time, enhance the engagement, knowledge, and skill of current employees. With our help, organizations create the type of workplace where their people no longer feel pressure to downplay aspects of their identity to thrive and contribute in a way that fuels the organization’s bottom-line growth.
As a minority and veteran-owned strategic leadership and diversity consulting firm, we at Icarus Consulting understand how important it is to empower all members of our clients to drive positive organizational change in today’s rapidly changing business landscape. We are based in Atlanta, but we have global capability. Our secret sauce is partnering with HR, talent management, diversity and inclusion, and business leadership professionals around the corner and across the globe.
Our superpowers include developing and delivering training on unconscious bias, establishing D&I councils, leveraging our proprietary BRG Leadership Academy℠ to transform resource groups into real business partners, launching an executive learning curriculum, rolling out diverse mentoring programs, and providing coaching to hi-potential and emerging leaders. We customize everything we do and channel our extensive experience to resolve our clients’ toughest challenges.
Some of our clients include American Electric Power, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, Cleco Energy, Cox Enterprises, Papa John’s, William Grant, and Sons, Milwaukee Center for Independence, Entergy, Two Sigma Investments, the City of Appleton, Wisconsin, and many others, from the Fortune 1000 to government agencies and non-profits. We have worked with clients at all stages of their diversity and inclusion journey. No matter where an organization is on their journey, we can help advance and accelerate their D&I efforts.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My most favorite memory from childhood was being selected to attend the first-ever parochial charter school in Philadelphia.
- Address: 863 Flat Shoals Road Suite C-129
Conyers, Georgia 30094
- Website: www.icarusconsult.net
- Phone: 678.806.3922
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All photos were taken by Donald Douglas of Douglas Photography
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