The Edges of Lean — Ep 101 Continuous Improvement and Hidden Disabilities with Katherine McCord


Katherine McCord was the little girl who played HR rather than princesses, and when other kids were selling lemonade, she sold shares in her imaginary “company”. She even fired her mother when she was five years old. Katherine, a physically and neurodiverse woman, built her career on inclusive innovation in People Operations and HR Tech. She lives by the motto that difference is not a deficit and is here to share her insights on how lean practitioners can understand and support people with hidden disabilities.




 Katherine McCord

Katherine is a champion of inclusion and innovation in human resources. As a neurodiverse and physically diverse woman, she has built her career on the philosophy that difference is not deficient.

In 2014, Katherine founded her national people operations consulting firm, Titan Management. In 2021, she disrupted the HR tech space by creating the first fully accessible, bias-mitigating applicant tracking system that removes resumes and highlights company diversity. An energetic and interactive speaker, Katherine has been featured at well-known conferences, such as Web Summit, HR Disruptor, SHRM, and the London School of Business. At the stage, she blends entertainment with education to provoke thoughtful reflection and motivate change. She is bringing her trademark spice!




00:01:35 – Hidden disabilities are mostly not seen or misunderstood.

00:09:56 – Inclusion is simple and beneficial.

00:11:01 – Build psychological safety for inclusivity.

00:16:14 – The hiring process needs improvement.

00:21:48 – Revamp the hiring process for inclusion.

00:27:37 – Inclusion drives talent and profits.

00:35:16 – DE&I leaders should be flexible, global, and growth-oriented.

00:36:45 – Flexibility and communication are key.

00:43:20 – Understand and support diverse employees.

00:48:45 – Break ego, respond in curiosity.





  • Disability inclusion encompasses a wide range of disabilities, including invisible disabilities, and involves legal, medical, and social aspects.
  • Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the body and mind process information and stimuli, and it has conditions such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia.
  • Intersectionality refers to the coexistence of different human elements, such as race, gender, and disability, and it is vital to consider the unique experiences and needs of each individual.
  • Presenting psychological safety is crucial in fostering an environment where people can feel safe to disclose their needs and ideas without fear of repercussion.
  • Companies should focus on building inclusive hiring processes that set candidates up for success and consider accommodations that are often low-cost or free.
  • Disability inclusion in the workplace can lead to healthier, happier employees, increased productivity, innovation, and customer satisfaction.
  • DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) concepts are gaining traction in the business world, but there may be challenges in justifying the role of DE&I professionals and implementing inclusive practices.
  • Effective communication and flexibility are keys in working with individuals with different abilities and disabilities, and it is vital to create symbiotic teams that leverage strengths.


Memorable Quotes From Katherine McCord


“When your humans are comfortable, they can do their job better.”




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