Conversation
Robert Livingston

Book cover image

Narrated By: Desmond Manny

Duration: 10 hours and 36 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

Whether it's the composition of a company's leadership team or identifying the candidates that are a 'good fit' with the organization, racial divisions play out as starkly in the workplace as they do in wider society. What can we do to eradicate bias and create a more diverse, inclusive and equitable environment?

Social psychologist Robert Livingston has made it his life's work to show people how to turn difficult conversations about race into productive instances of real change. With wit and clarity, The Conversation distills Livingston's decades of research and practice into a solution-oriented road map for anyone seeking to uproot entrenched biases in the workplace.

Founded on extensive data and blending psychology, sociology, management and behavioral economics, Livingston's framework reveals that racism can be defeated with the right information, incentives, strategy, and implementation. With vivid storytelling, The Conversation explores the root causes of racism, ways to foster greater empathy and solidarity and offers tangible steps to progress towards racial equality. It is the essential tool for turning well-intentioned diversity statements into measurable, achievable outcomes.

© Reobert Livingston 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Genre

Social discrimination and equal treatment, Social attitudes, Ethnic groups and multicultural studies, Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Listen to a sample

The Conversation is an extraordinarily timely book. Just as companies and organizations in the U.S. and around the world are focusing anew on the entrenched bias in their culture, The Conversation comes along to offer a path forward. Livingston has digested his authoritative understanding of the science into a remarkably approachable volume, one that is animated by his storytelling and voice on the page. The Conversation is a major achievement, one that is poised to play a significant role in improving our understanding about bias and addressing systemic racism in the workplace

Robin J. Ely, Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Social justice is a long game, and it has to start with awareness of the problem. Dr. Livingston's book, just like his live presentations, is one of the most compelling articulations of the problems of racism and discrimination that I have encountered. As I've seen in my work with organizations like Airbnb, when a company is prepared to do serious work, the results can be extraordinary. This wonderful book is the place to start. The Conversation manages to be both intellectually compelling and substantive while also being infused with warmth and humor, just like Robert. I highly recommend it

Laura W. Murphy, civil rights activist, consultant, and former director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

As a product and business innovator, I like to think about how to design globally and execute locally. This maxim is just as true when it comes to a company's culture. Candid conversations are among the best ways to dispel myths and false narratives around diversity that hold us back, but we needfactual information and a framework. The Conversation offers exactly that. This book should be required reading for leaders and all those who share the goal of a more equitable future

William P. Gipson, retired Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Procter & Gamble

I met Dr. Livingston in 2013 when he made the first of many trips to Asheville to educate our county and city leaders on how racism shows up in organizations. His presentation awakened us to what was possible if we had the courage and commitment to do the work. Fast forward to today and the progress that Asheville and Buncombe County have made toward reparations and greater racial equity, and you can see Robert's handprint in shaping this change. The Conversation is a testament to Dr. Livingston's storytelling skill as he deftly weaves research with vivid examples to make the case for how and why change is possible. This book is a must read

Lisa Eby, Former Human Resources and Community Engagement Director, Buncombe County Government

After devoting decades of his life working to end systemic racism, Livingston speaks not only with authority but with a refreshing optimism. The thousands of hours he has spent with community leaders across the country have shown that when conversations are candid and respectful, Americans can indeed come together

David Gergen, CNN Political Analyst, Adviser to Four US Presidents, and Professor of Public Service at the Harvard Kennedy School

Systematic racism is a part of our past, sadly part of our present and will be part of our future if we don't educate ourselves on its realities. We all need to seek the truth and be willing to have the uncomfortable conversations necessary to transform ourselves and our organizations. Livingston's thoughtful and instructive book will help us all start these important conversations

Mike Kaufman, CEO, Cardinal Health

Robert Livingston makes an absolutely critical contribution to the much needed efforts to understand and combat racism in the corporate realm. This is compulsory reading for all serious leaders and people who aspire to lead

Nels Abbey, author of Think Like A White Man

A one-stop resource for anyone wanting to understand the causes and manifestations of racism, to examine their own biases - and know what works to advance racial equity at work