Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh works with businesses and organizations of all sizes, and across different industries and geographies, to leverage the power of boundless connections, cultural diversities, and synergistic relationships. In this process, she partners with organizations as a trusted stakeholder to develop their capacities for sustainable change and growth.
Areas of Consulting Practice
Diversity and inclusion are common buzzwords across all industries. Corporations reportedly spend a staggering $8 billion a year on average for their D&I programs. But are they trying to be optically and politically diverse or do they truly want to create, nurture, and harvest a diverse workforce?
There is an emerging body of research that supports a positive link between diversity of age, gender, education, race, and cultural heritage and an organization’s level of innovation, employee effectiveness, employee engagement, and revenue generated.
Companies strive to build diverse teams, but if the context of their workplace is not inclusive, they will not capitalize on the potential of this workforce.
Historically, and even now, organizations speak about hiring people who are the right cultural fit. This is where they miss the point, psychologically speaking, because we know that people don’t necessarily want to fit in as much as they want to belong. In companies where there is an emphasis on an organizational culture versus an inclusive one that respects and works with each individual’s diverse background, values, and talents, turnover rates are much higher and the rate of innovative products and services are much lower.
Dr. Sara’s innovative Diversity, Inclusion & Engagement Program is a holistic approach to these dilemmas. The program entails a diagnostic diversity health check and insight generation paired with a host of workshops, 1:1 coaching sessions, HR consulting, offsite meetings, and capacity-building workshops, which lead to a sustainable new culture and steady state that embraces true diversity in a naturally inclusive environment.
“We can’t solve a problem with the frame of mind that created it, we have to see the world anew.” – Albert Einstein
In today’s competitive market, market research is only the first step in getting to know potential clients and customers. This includes interviews with business unit leaders, including the head of commercial development and R&D, the development of a strategic plan, bench-marking research, leadership training, customer insight ambassador training, roll-out, and evaluation.
This type of engagement is well suited for companies that have products and services touching people across the world, and that interact with diverse cultures and worldviews.
Dr. Sara and her partners excel at identifying and addressing certain gaps in healthcare professionals’ training. Past engagements include training and capacity building on topics such as sexual history taking, sexual attitude reassessment, female and male sexual dysfunctions, sexual practices around the globe, cross-cultural fluency, and working with high conflict couples.
“You don’t need to move the rocks to be effective. Be like water that finds its way” – Sara Nasserzadeh, PhD
This type of consulting is ideal for NGOs, UN-affiliated agencies and governmental organizations that face certain challenges working with ethnic minorities and other diverse stakeholders. Dr. Sara created the Wheel of Context for Sexuality Education to raise the level of dialogue between stakeholders and empower them to see beyond obstacles and find common ground.
“Life is balance of holding on and letting go” – Rumi
In conversation with founders of startups, two inclinations are common and clear: their passion for their work and the long hours they dedicate to hitting targets and moving their mission forward.
These are the ingredients of success. At the same time, they make it difficult for founders to keep their passion alive and thriving while still caring for themselves, their partners, and other significant people in their lives. As a result, founder burn-out is increasingly common, and an essential focus of this work.
Another focus is on co-founders who are adjusting to their new roles as executives. Research suggests that having co-founders as opposed to being a solo founder increases the chance of success significantly; however, managing those relationships effectively is critical to a startup’s success.
A typical engagement is funded by VCs and the board of the company and consists of panoramic assessments, executive coaching sessions, and regular touch points to deescalate crises and team dynamic issues.
Some of Dr. Sara’s previous organizational clients include:
- Pfizer, Inc. New York (Integrative Customer Insights Model)
- Takeda Pharmaceutical, US and Global (Customer Insights Model and Practice)
- New York State Department of Health (appraisal of school-based sexuality education materials, K-12)
- Johnson and Johnson, US and Global (advisory and customer insights)
- Pfizer, Ltd. Walton Oaks, UK (psychosexual care for the survivors of breast and prostate cancers)
- Boehringer Ingelheim, US (women’s sexual health products)
- Voluntary Action Camden, UK (peer-education program for community outreach sexual health education)
- Policy Studies Institute, UK (teenage mothers and unaccompanied minor projects)
- World Population Foundation, Netherlands and Pakistan (consultant for sexual health national programs)
- United Nations Population Fund (Advocacy for Comprehensive Sexuality Education)
- World Association for Sexual Health (strategic planning for the association)