Black History Month is a celebration of the heritage, the origins, the contributions, and the journey of all of those who like me identify as Black, African American or of the African diaspora. The arts – in all forms including music, dance, and written or spoken word – are an expression of creativity and innovation which makes the theme “African Americans and the Arts” especially appropriate to celebrate Black History Month.
Black artists have long used all forms of artistic expression to preserve history, celebrate achievements, and capture the indomitable spirits of those who achieved despite the obstacles in their way. The performances, stories and works of Black artists have also created a universal language for all people to enjoy and find common ground.
When I was young, I was introduced to the piano by my sister and began to find a deep appreciation for the discipline while playing it. My first experiences of being part of a team came from music. Through hours of practice, I began to understand that both individual contribution and teaming were required to perform together in harmony. There is no symphony of one – there are many individual parts, all working together to create that right melody.
Christopher Johnson and his sister learning to play the piano at home.
Business is no different. If you do not get the best individual contributions from each team member, there won’t be harmony. It is my core belief that for companies to succeed, they must create a winning formula that unleashes the potential of all their team members. When we think about a high-performing team, we are capitalizing on the best that each contributor has to offer.
That is what we believe to be the power of diversity and inclusion at Pitney Bowes. We have intentionally sought to create an inclusive environment in which all people have opportunity – to work, to grow, and unleash their best so we as a company can collectively deliver our best. I believe that part of the strength of our culture is that we continuously seek to enable our employees to show up authentically.
2024 is a defining moment for us at Pitney Bowes. We must win in the market and complete our mission to transform into a sustainable and profitable growth-minded company. This is the year where we evidence our success and achieve everything that we have worked hard for over the past decade. There are several operational proof points of progress that have already been made including growth in shipping, simplification of our business, improvement of our balance sheet, and continued improvement in margins across the business. However, more work lies ahead for us to deliver accountably for our shareholders, team members, and company.
To achieve the level of performance required, we must leverage the progress that we have made as an inclusive culture. Success simply requires us to; a) get the very best out of all of our team members and b) team effectively together.
During Black History Month, I encourage everyone to invest in our inclusive culture with a commitment to use this time to learn more and celebrate the Black experience, appreciate the contributions of all, and renew your commitment to live up to your best individual potential. That is how we as a company can be united in harmony and take advantage of the strengths that collectively enable us all win. If you’d like to learn more about Our team’s journey, please visit the Social section of our most recent Environmental Social Governance Report.