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”,…

What I’m Looking For: A Rambling Post

“What are you looking for in your next role?”  That’s a question I’ve had to answer quite a lot lately, as I’m talking to CEOs and Exec teams about potentially joining their companies.  More than ever, camaraderie and shared values top my list of what I’m seeking. Yet I find that most interview processes aren’t…

Clearing the Mind Clutter

I have been on a 3-month hiatus from thinking about anything related to People Operations, which has enabled me to step back and view the role from an almost-outsider perspective.  Now, as I’m considering what I want and need in my next role, my brain has been firing up all kinds of ideas, and my…

Organizational Citizenship

I don’t remember where I learned that my job is to make my manager successful, but I think it may have been at McKinsey.  Obviously that wasn’t the entirety of my job, but it was an important part. I say this, because I’ve held onto this belief, and added to it, by also considering it…

Removing Writers’ Block

I just came home from a run in 94-degree heat, so it may be the delirium that is getting me to write this.  But I think it’s more that I’m tired of second-guessing my blogpost ideas. I often think about People-related topics and my work experiences while running, and maybe it’s the runners’ high that…

Strategic Planning

I was recently asked to lay out a strategic planning process that I could potentially implement.  Oddly, I like doing this kind of thinking, so spent a few days mulling over what my ‘ideal’ structure would look like.  In my career, I have witnessed only a few such processes up-close, and recognize that the devil is very…

I Wish Someone Would Invent…

Probably like a lot of other people, I am often struck with random invention epiphanies.  I’m not looking to become an inventor, however.  I just wish these things would exist.  E.g., About 10 years ago, I wrote to Martha Stewart and suggested she create an app that offered simple recipes for people who have only 4-5 things…

“Self-Care”

I have a viscerally negative reaction to the term “self-care”.  It evokes the old “Calgon, take me away!” ads with ladies in bubble baths.  And — perhaps because I never understood the utility of bubble baths (is it to clean?  to relax?  how relaxing is it to sit in cold water?) — I’ve always felt…

[draft] Core Principles

…am facilitating core principles for company.  makes me think about what are the values of my ideal company?  2 minute-brainstorm: Personal well-being = professional well-being.  Recognize that how your life outside of the office affects your impact inside the office.  Encourage personal pursuits and time. “Yes, it’s your problem.”  People should identify and own problems,…

Guest Blogpost I wrote for Scaling.NYC re: Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

A typical startup’s Head of People owns an ambitious and ambiguous agenda, usually with an anemic budget and very little guidance.  Prioritization and proper phasing of initiatives, therefore, becomes a key success factor (and essential for team sanity and well-being! 😉).  When your daily decisions can impact whether or not people are getting paid properly;…