Turning your team

Fred Wilson writes incredibly insightful posts about managing growth and this one is one of my favorites:

Turning your team

The gist: the skill set and type of leadership required from your executive team is a moving target that changes dramatically as the company scales.  As Fred puts it: “your first VP Sales who built your first sales team, is not likely the person who can manage a $200M quota”.

Sometimes the people in these roles can scale as quickly as the organization, but more often they can’t.  Fred really hits the nail on the head on this one as well: “Turning the team is not the same as firing someone for poor performance. It’s firing someone for doing their job too well. They killed it, and in the process got your company… to a scale that they themselves aren’t a good fit for”.

Turning your team requires bold decision making and foresight, but like any other bold decisions, it pays massive dividends when it was the right call to make.

One of the biggest challenges with effectively turning your team is detection and timing. Is the recent snafu just a hiccup? or a leading indicator that it’s time to turn a member of your team?

Would love to hear some more structured thinking/evaluation on this one. Anyone willing to share?


Turning your team

It’s Time to Split HR

I think it’s fair to say that many HR organizations struggle to keep up with the fast-paced evolution in the modern work environment. Some of the reasons for that are structural in nature: from the reputation that these organizations have and the challenges that it poses on attracting innovative talent, to CEOs failing to prioritize investment in this area as their companies scale. 

Many complain that HR is broken but few suggest ways to fix it. Well here’s one solution, proposed by Ram Charan:

It’s Time to Split HR

The gist: split HR into two separate roles:

  • HR-A (administrative) – your typical HR person, managing comp, benefits compliance etc. and reporting to the CFO. 
  • HR-LO (leadership and organization) – a high potential person from ops/finance (with real business expertise), responsible for improving the business capabilities of the company and reporting directly to the CEO. 

Will this be enough to fully “fix” HR? Probably not, but it can be a pretty big step in the right direction. 

What are your thoughts: is HR really “broken”? What are some of the other ways to “fix” it? 


It’s Time to Split HR