Story of Petal’s Values

It’s been ages, right? I generally have a hard time writing blogposts while working at a company because a) people automatically assume that I’m writing about my current experience, and b) I don’t really have the time. It’s too bad because I really love writing to think. I arrived at a solution: to make writing…

Top 10: Read This First

My blog is kind of disorganized and random.  For those who want to skip to my favorites and/or the ones that readers have indicated are helpful, here is a list of the Top 10: Why Call It People versus Human Resources? Scope of the People Function Being a PM When Your Product is People Maximizing…

Superpowers as Comparative Advantage

I get a bit irked whenever leadership consultants use the terminology, ‘superpower’, as in “What’s your superpower?” because it builds up the question too much, especially knowing that the answer will likely be a let-down, like, “I’m a great organizer” or “I’m very analytical”.  That’s not really a ‘superpower’ based on my understanding of what…

Convergence of Philosophy and HR

When I switched majors from Molecular Biology to Philosophy in college, my rationale was, “Well, when I become a doctor (the original plan), I’ll never get exposure to philosophy, so I might as well learn it while I’m in school.  That’s what a liberal arts education is about, after all!” Little did I know then…

Is “Authentic Networker” a Contradiction in Terms?

Yesterday, I sent an email out to >50 friends and advisors, letting them know that I’ve taken a new role at a Series A startup, and thanking them for their time and guidance through the search process.  The length of the bcc list astounded me — I hadn’t realized until then that I had leaned…

Maximizing Flow States: A Key Goal of a Great People Organization

In recent years, the notion of ‘employee engagement’ has been elevated to a major raison d’etre for progressive People teams.  There are seemingly tons of new companies pitching services and products to raise engagement, and a multitude of survey companies offering to more accurately measure and suggest actions to improve it.   For neophytes, let me…

Scope of the People Function, Part 2

I don’t want to be ‘that person’ who is constantly beating the drum about all of the work that our team has to do, but I just spent the last few hours laying out all of the activities that a solid People team should be involved in — mapping the Inputs, Outputs, and How/Tools/Channels that…

How People Works With Other Functions

If, after reading my conception of an ideal People function (in a previous post), you are thinking, “Holy smokes, this person thinks the People team should run the company!”, let me clarify:  in many cases, we ultimately aren’t decision-makers, so no, we don’t run the company. Instead, we act as program managers who: Frame key…

2 Critical Questions CEOs Should Ask Head of People Candidates

In my previous post, I mentioned that when a CEO and the Head of People are not aligned on the scope and goals of a People function, that is a recipe for failure.  It’s important to have that discussion upfront, ideally through the candidate assessment process. Two other critical areas that should be explored during…

Scope of the People Function

The People function (aka People Operations, HR) is and has been evolving rapidly over the past decade, led in large part by progressive tech companies like Google.  This has led to some confusion about what the scope of People should look like, with some companies simply rebranding their back-office HR teams as “the People team”,…