Five Simple Concepts


Flexible options for leaders, managers, individuals and teams.


About the Ostrich Wheel


Ostrich Wheel Definition

 os·trich wheel (ôs“tr¹ch /(h)wēl/) n., 1. A moment of reflection that illustrates your progress in one of the five simple concepts. 2. When you recognize you are applying an action specific to one of the five simple concepts.


How the Ostrich Wheel Works

Assess yourself on the five concepts. How effective would you say you are today in applying a given concept in your life? Then set your goals: how effective do you want to be? What impact would that have on your success? The Rudders of Change section is full of tips, techniques and action items to help your wheel roll.


The fleet, fast and flightless bird

Regardless of how you arrange the letters in the acronym, we don’t need to operate in fear around the discussion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We too can choose to pull our heads out of the sand and embrace many strengths like the ostrich.



Karen Stinson, ProGroup

"This is an invaluable resource. The book is based on an entertaining, easy to follow premise that too many people are burying their heads in the sand around dealing with our fast paced, increasingly diverse and evolving digitalized world. Reversing the Ostrich Approach to Diversity: Pulling your head out of the sand gives readers a fun, practical, easy to follow five-part model: The Ostrich Wheel. 

This fun tool rolls you through the book giving you the data, insights, skills and abilities to help you roll with the changes that are happening in today’s world from both a personal and business perspective."  —Karen M. Stinson, Founder, former CEO Professional Development Group, Author, Diversity Awareness Profile and Leader’s Guide 

Cassie Nelson, McGough Construction

 “Reversing the Ostrich Approach to Diversity: Pulling your head out of the sand is a must-read for anyone interested in building a more inclusive, innovative, and engaging culture. All employees can benefit from the skills, guidance and insight provided by this team. Initiating your own journey by looking inward and working to understand your own conscious and unconscious biases can be challenging and scary. This book provides an authentic, supportive guide to taking those critical first steps. Pleasantly surprising, I found the book both enjoyable and practical. It shared actions I can take as a leader and individual to impact how I interact with my coworkers and help the organization to create a culture where everyone is welcome.”  —Cassie Nelson, Vice President, Human Resources, McGough Construction 

Matt Rinkey, Illumination Wealth

 “Reversing the Ostrich Approach to Diversity is a must-read for any business leader. Every chapter if full of proven principles and actionable steps to improve company culture and profitability. Reading this book will help you become an ‘Employer of Choice’ in this rapidly evolving global economy. It provides you the tools necessary to build a positive and productive workforce, retain top talent, and create enormous value for all stakeholders in the process.” —Matt Rinkey, Founder & Chief Financial Life Officer, Illumination Wealth 

Erin Cannan, Bard College

 “Reversing the Ostrich Approach to Diversity encourages a ‘proactive, strategic-minded’ approach to challenging bias and honing inclusive practice while definitively answering the question, ‘Why Should I Change?’ Providing a roadmap for the self and society, this book offers practical advice for broadening your own mind, ensuring others matter and making the change around you. As the author points out, the rewards will be far greater when viewing inclusion with excitement and anticipation.” —Erin Cannan, Vice President of Student Affairs/Dean of Civic Engagement, Bard College 

Bryce Tache, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

 “Reversing the Ostrich Approach to Diversity is a valuable companion for leaders at all levels who aspire to be brave, authentic, and have the necessary conversations that can help create cultures of belonging.”  —Bryce Tache, Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Ryan Companies US, Inc. 

Jean K. Quam, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

 “Our differences make us stronger. Reversing the Ostrich Approach to Diversity gives us a roadmap to how to make that happen! This powerful, little handbook challenges us not to fear the diversity discussions but to embrace them. We can take action to produce change. The world is changing rapidly, and this book gives us the tools to tackle the tough discussions and the even tougher action steps.” —Jean K. Quam, Ph.D., Chair of Ideas in Education, Dean, College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota 

The Authors

Amy S. Tolbert, Ph.D., CSP



Dr. Tolbert is principal of ECCO (Effecting Creative Change in Organizations) International, a global firm, which specializes in helping individuals expand their productivity and organizations increase their profitability.

She develops multicultural organizations and individuals by bringing you cutting-edge topics, such as, multicultural and diversity & inclusion initiatives, sales education and training, leadership competency development, managing to style and creating breakthrough teams. 

She is well authored with four books, many articles, assessment tools, active blogs, author of a video based global communications training to develop intercultural communication skills called Open Mind, Open World.  

She earned her Certified Speaking Professional designation with the National Speakers Association. The CSP is the speaking profession’s international measure of speaking experience and skill. Fewer than 10% of the speakers who belong to the International Federation for Professional Speakers hold this professional designation.

As a Fellow, Carlson Executive Education Center, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, Dr. Tolbert earned her doctorate in Human Resource Development, focusing on international/cross-cultural and diversity education/training, from the University of Minnesota.

Although she has many accomplishments, she considers her adventures with her two daughters to be at the top of the list.

Patricia M. Jesperson, MBA



Patricia Jesperson is Chief Curiosity Officer, EmployeeEXP. With more than 25 years working on the people-side of the business, she specializes in working with employers to Create Better Employee Experience Outcomes.

As the curious type, she has spent the majority of her career exploring how to maximize the talent experience through efficient spend, dynamic communications and creating inclusive cultures. This drive for exploring “what ifs” enabled her to create The EmployeeEXP 8 x 9 Box Communication Analysis, a re-imagined/re-purposed 9-Box that invites organizations to explore the question, “How confident are you that what you spend on Employee Experience is aligned efficiently to attract, retain, and engage today’s diverse talent?

She is a speaker, writer and facilitator, often appearing at Diversity & Inclusion and Total Rewards conferences.

Alexis G. Parra



Alexis Parra is a freelance media content creator and multidisciplinary artist. She works in the intersecting of arts education and community organizing work, currently teaching photography workshops in Caracas, Venezuela.

For several years, Alexis has worked in community organizing through political education, national social justice campaigns and community social events. She has also worked as a production manager at Tinker Street agency and. with this experience, has learned how to effectively tell a narrative. This experience translates to her work with communities in an effort to activate agency and uplift stories that often go unheard. In the era of speak up culture, Alexis works to explore and utilize creative outlets for people to tell their stories. 

Alexis has spoken at numerous international conferences about this work in political education and its intersection with the arts, most recently taking her to Budapest, Germany and Russia.

She completed her BA degree at Bard College (NY) as a double major in both Human Rights and Photography and is a recipient of the Davis Peace Prize Fellowship.

IG: @lexigraceparra