AOM’s 79th Annual Meeting in Boston is off to a roaring start. On Day 1 AOM Scholars wasted no time digging into big topics that affect all business leaders throughout the world. While discussions in the sessions ranged from covering individuals with autism in the workforce to gender equity at work, conversations spilled onto social media and into the hallways, too. Here’s a sampling of what we heard.

Data, Technology and Governance – Oh My!

For business leaders who are still trying to wrap their heads around data and emerging technology, Maike Tietschert (@MaikeTietschert) wants you to know that AOM Scholars are right there with you and are exploring how to create meaning from big data. Julienne Senyard_PhD (@julesette) noted that AOM Scholars also are researching what artificial intelligence can own, what its role is in firm decision making and whether machines can exercise original judgment.

Dr. Sharna Wiblen (@SharnaWiblen) noted that while data is important, we should start by asking ourselves mission critical questions and acknowledging that there will be some time lags between investments and outcomes. The other important takeaway for Joel Gehman (@joelgehman) was the need to focus on governance as we venture more into use of data and technology.

Diversity Disconnects

Many organizations today have diversity policies. Dr. Veronica Caridad Cruz Rabelo (@VeroRabeloPhD) notes that often what employees experience “on the ground” is different from those policies. This difference is called “diversity disconnect.” AOM Scholars will continue to explore why these disconnects exist and what we can do to stop them from happening.

Dr. Anica Zeyen (@anica_zeyen) reminded all of us that a form of discrimination that often is overlooked is based on accents and language. We all need to be more aware of the forms of discrimination that exist in our workplaces and it is up to each of us to work to create more inclusive environments.

Benefits of Neurodiversity in the Workforce

In advance of the start of this year’s annual meeting, AOM members were asked which aspects of the inclusive organization they were most interested in exploring. Respondents most wanted to know about cultivating inclusion (29%) and the impact of inclusive organizations on society (71%).

Still on the topic of cultivating inclusion, we asked our social media community what level of recognition they believe business leaders have regarding the benefits of neurodiversity in the workforce. 72% of respondents believe there is very little recognition among business leaders about the benefits of neurodiversity in the workforce. When asked who in the organization will drive neurodiversity, 87% of respondents said HR should be the driver.

On Day 2 of the Annual Meeting, attendees will be tackling more vital topics to business managers and leaders. We encourage you to come back each day for highlights from the AOM annual meeting. And, if you want to join us on social media, follow #AOM2019.