OD @ the Edgelands
Entrepreneurs and Startups
An undiscovered Country

Ian Gee & Dee Ortner
Edgelands Consultancy
www.edge...
Who are we?
Ian Gee

Dee Ortner

Currently:
• Edgelands Consultancy

Currently:
• Edgelands, Associate &
Independent Consu...
Why Edgelands?
Edgelands ‘are those unnoticed, forgotten and
abandoned geographic spaces that are neither part of
the city...
Entrepreneurs & Startups
(ES) Edgelands
ES - a new kind of Edgelands
for OD to explore and support
“Building a dynamic entrepreneurial culture is one of the key characteristics of a
healthy economy. A society which encour...
Seed Forum – find your investor
We believe that OD
and HR have a
critical role to play
in helping ES with
organizing, working
and achieving!
What we did…
Literature search
Discussions with HR/OD/ES
Survey of HR / OD professionals
Survey of ES
The HR experience…
•
•
•
•
•

Gaining entry
Finding ES
How to sell
Credibility
Intrinsic value

•
•
•
•
•
•

Transactional...
•

“Most startups make bad HR leader choices. Most go for the transactional experience and
not the strategic. They need bo...
What ES says about
HR/OD
– Challenging to work with
– Experience with recruitment
companies has tainted all
aspects of HR
...
• “I see HR as a ‘nice-to-have’ service that is hard to focus on when
there are many ‘must-have-today’ tasks for a start-u...
Perspectives: ES versus HR
How ES sees itself

How HR sees ES

Visionary

Disconnected from
organisation reality - dreamer...
Perspective: HR versus ES
How HR sees itself

How ES sees HR

Business orientated

Process & transaction
driven
People, no...
AND... other problems exist
What goes wrong
in the ES world?
– Market
– Business model
– Financing
– Product problems
– The team
– Focus
– Scale, evol...
What’s
needed?
To add value to a
growing and vital part
of the new economy,
HR and OD must:
• Redefine how it
works to ent...
Muse
Midwife

Mentor
Publish a series of articles this winter:
– Detailed reflections on both
surveys
– What OD can do to improve the
success o...
HR Survey
– Mixture of quantitative and
qualitative questions
– open for a month
– 3 target groups, 7 channels
of communic...
Ian Gee - OD @ the Edgelands - Enterpreneurs and Startups
Ian Gee - OD @ the Edgelands - Enterpreneurs and Startups
Ian Gee - OD @ the Edgelands - Enterpreneurs and Startups
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Ian Gee - OD @ the Edgelands - Enterpreneurs and Startups

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  • In our initial research we could find little or no reference to the role OD professionals were playing in supporting the success, or fast failure, of entrepreneurs and startupsGiven the importance of the entrepreneurs and startup ecosystem – this inspired us to research more
  • Overall not a good experience with HR RecruitmentWrong people at the wrong timeChallenging to work with HR people - HR does not understand the ES space and is cutting and pasting from corporatesDifferent relationships to timeNo real stores as to how strategic Hr has made a differenceHR not clear on what it offers self serveNot being sure what HR offers makes it hard to trustHR seen as all about admin and transactions, policies and proceduresNice to have but not essentialSeen as lazy! Not as committed as ESIn new markets HR a new phenomena
  • Ian Gee - OD @ the Edgelands - Enterpreneurs and Startups

    1. 1. OD @ the Edgelands Entrepreneurs and Startups An undiscovered Country Ian Gee & Dee Ortner Edgelands Consultancy www.edgelandsconsultancy.com
    2. 2. Who are we? Ian Gee Dee Ortner Currently: • Edgelands Consultancy Currently: • Edgelands, Associate & Independent Consultant • 30 years of national and international OD practice • OD Director, Nokia Corp • Senior OD Practitioner, Shell International • Senior Fellow, OD, Office for Public Management • 30 years in industry, academia, federal government and nonprofits • 13 years as graduate instructor in strategy and information management 2
    3. 3. Why Edgelands? Edgelands ‘are those unnoticed, forgotten and abandoned geographic spaces that are neither part of the city nor part of the countryside. Places where things happen outside the norm. Places of a different kind of freedom’ * * Edgelands Michael Symons Roberts, Paul Farle
    4. 4. Entrepreneurs & Startups (ES) Edgelands ES - a new kind of Edgelands for OD to explore and support
    5. 5. “Building a dynamic entrepreneurial culture is one of the key characteristics of a healthy economy. A society which encourages new business and recognises the importance of start-ups and small firms will be successful on the global stage.” Richard Branson at the launch of “Start up Britain”
    6. 6. Seed Forum – find your investor
    7. 7. We believe that OD and HR have a critical role to play in helping ES with organizing, working and achieving!
    8. 8. What we did… Literature search Discussions with HR/OD/ES Survey of HR / OD professionals Survey of ES
    9. 9. The HR experience… • • • • • Gaining entry Finding ES How to sell Credibility Intrinsic value • • • • • • Transactional Waiting to be asked What/how to charge Anyone can do HR OD = big company stuff Steep learning curve
    10. 10. • “Most startups make bad HR leader choices. Most go for the transactional experience and not the strategic. They need both and most HR pros don’t have both.” • “…..Research suggests that successful entrepreneurs are skilled at surrounding themselves with subject matter experts but you don’t often hear of HR expertise being within the mix – a missed opportunity!” • “Sometimes difficult to interface as organizations can be chaotic (and) get things done an order of magnitude quicker than large companies once they buy in.” • “Some entrepreneurs can barely afford to pay their own basic bills or see beyond the next year, and are channelling cash into their product, so HR consulting at a deep and sustained level is rare, even if it could be considered strategically useful.” • “It is great to work with enthusiastic self-starters…….Sometimes though, time pressure for the here and now, overshadows the HR potential these companies have and thus is or will be the biggest show stopper for their future growth.”
    11. 11. What ES says about HR/OD – Challenging to work with – Experience with recruitment companies has tainted all aspects of HR – Cannot quantify the benefits – Difficult to find ‘good’ HR/OD people. – Friends, family and other ES can provide HR/OD advice – you don’t need a professional
    12. 12. • “I see HR as a ‘nice-to-have’ service that is hard to focus on when there are many ‘must-have-today’ tasks for a start-up.” • “38 years ago I was supportive of the new HR professionals coming into the workplace that took over from out-dated, jaded professionals in what was called personnel. Sadly, HR is going the same way and has become introspective and defensive. HR also has a high number of individuals that are unhappy with their professional status and profession.” • “Everybody wants a piece of the pie.” • “HR is core to organization strategy and in a startup, the priorities are ambiguous. HR needs to embed with the entrepreneur without which it will fail.”
    13. 13. Perspectives: ES versus HR How ES sees itself How HR sees ES Visionary Disconnected from organisation reality - dreamer Focused Single Minded Product/Service oriented Chaotic / JIT Single issue focused Product not people Hard working Fast Practical Decisive Innovative Forward thinking Selectively working Slow on People Issues Missing a trick Dithering Amateur Trapped in the moment
    14. 14. Perspective: HR versus ES How HR sees itself How ES sees HR Business orientated Process & transaction driven People, not business Inept in business Outsourced functionaries Mono maniacal Over focused on people Trapped in today Function-driven Broad focus Skilled Professional Insightful Relevant Forward thinking Realist
    15. 15. AND... other problems exist
    16. 16. What goes wrong in the ES world? – Market – Business model – Financing – Product problems – The team – Focus – Scale, evolution
    17. 17. What’s needed? To add value to a growing and vital part of the new economy, HR and OD must: • Redefine how it works to enter the ES space • Adopt a partneroriented and entrepreneurial approach
    18. 18. Muse Midwife Mentor
    19. 19. Publish a series of articles this winter: – Detailed reflections on both surveys – What OD can do to improve the success of ES – OD and the Entrepreneurial Gene – The HR Odyssey – from Muse, to Midwife, to Mentor - who are you and who do you want to be? Develop range of training opportunities: – Becoming a Muse, Midwife and (or) Mentor – Selling OD to an ES – Examining a year in the life of an ES – an open simulation – Understanding OD and the Startup Landscape - Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur – Coaching and Mentoring the OD professional
    20. 20. HR Survey – Mixture of quantitative and qualitative questions – open for a month – 3 target groups, 7 channels of communication – 110 respondents – 83 experience of working with ES ES Survey – Mixture of quantitative and qualitative questions – Open a month – 2 target groups, 7 channels of communication plus a “Mission” on Empire Avenue – 145 respondents
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