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”,…

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…