Thinking. Contemplating. Reflecting. Brainstorming. Experimenting. Trying. Procrastinating. Doing. Risk-taking. Thinking some more. These are the immediate thoughts that come to mind when I think about the evolution of my company, ScaleHR. As the popular saying by Yoann Bourgeois goes, “Success is not a straight line upwards, it’s a journey with many falls, and the strength to get up, no matter how hard the fall.” This could not be more true for any founder of any new business. It’s been hard work, with many days of me feeling a sense of defeat, doubt, or lack of confidence. On the flip side, those days where you feel like you’re on cloud 9 and super confident that you’re on the right track are what fuels me to keep going.
Many people have asked me why I seemingly like to navigate the hard path. Interestingly, the answer is relatively simple. At the end of the day, all I want to do in my work is lift up and develop others, help make others successful, and bring people together to create value. The path to success – however you define success – is not supposed to be easy. Creating, idealizing, building, and doing something awesome is extremely fulfilling for me. This has been a constant throughout my crazy career.
I started ScaleHR right after the COVID-19 global pandemic started. People thought I was nuts, but I saw this as a perfect opportunity. When I started ScaleHR, I really didn’t know how I wanted the business to evolve. All I knew was that I wanted the first two years to be focused on helping SMB organizations and the people who work in them be successful from an HR perspective. The work included fractional HR leadership, HR outsourcing, project management, consulting, strategic advisory, coaching, mentorship, training and facilitating, and everything in between. After all, I am a true HR Generalist—I started my career as a Generalist, and while I have led HR for growing organizations, I take a generalist approach to how I practice HR.
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As Q4 2022 approached, I knew I had to hit the brakes and go back to the drawing board. It wasn’t that the business wasn’t working and growing; it was to pare down what our core focus would be going forward. While the past two quarters have not been successful from a financial perspective, I succeeded in figuring out my go-forward focus, and I couldn’t be more excited. I leaned heavily on the expertise of my business coach, Inthida Ngeth. If you don’t know Inthida, you need to change that because she’s simply fantastic. Through a rigorous and highly structured process, I came to the realization that where my heart truly lies is in developing people—as I mentioned earlier, I have been doing this my entire career. As a result, I made the hard decision to stop doing certain things and solely focus on everything to do with developing people. I can’t tell you how liberating and freeing it was when I came to this realization. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy HR, but it was time to “stop doing it all” and focus on the things that generated the most joy and fulfillment.
Once I figured out my path forward, I immediately dove into building the business strategy. Within the tech industry, one of the biggest challenges for HR leaders and practitioners is finding the right skills development opportunities. I get asked several times every week by the “HR in Tech” community for suggestions on learning, workshops, programs, websites, etc. I can’t, in good conscience, suggest a college or university, as they’re often a decade behind the times, time-consuming, and really expensive. So I end up suggesting what appears to be a hodge-podge recommendation. I end up leading people to the United States, which is not necessarily a problem, but for the Canadian HR in Tech community, it’s not always ideal.
The modern HR practitioner is business-focused, tech-savvy, agile, solutions-oriented, constantly developing skills, focused on value, and both a strategist and doer. ScaleHR is all about providing the HR in Tech community with invaluable, high-touch and cost-effective learning solutions to be more successful in their work and develop their careers. How we will achieve this by offering diverse methods for participants to learn—traditional instructor-led workshops, micro-learning, video, coaching, mentorship, case studies, peer-to-peer learning, projects, events, think tanks, white papers, in-person, and virtual.
The time has come to deploy my own version of “democratizing learning.” As a relentless advocate of building community, a core part of this new path is bringing in HR leaders and practitioners in the tech space to teach and educate the community. No one single person can do it all, nor can one person have the expertise to do it all. The quote, “It takes a village to raise a child,” can be attributed to this community-based approach where we are bringing together the expertise of a community to help one another.
HR is complex, and it’s really hard. HR was thrown into the limelight when the global health pandemic hit our shores, and we were scrambling to make sense of everything that changed overnight—remote work, extreme reliance on work technology, leadership, financial instability, and so on. The skillset of HR is as diverse and broad as ever, and we are seeing a massive demand for ongoing and continuous learning and development. This is particularly true in the technology industry, where most tech companies move really quickly, are agile in their business operations, and face immense challenges and competitive pressures. The HR in Tech community is where ScaleHR will focus.
Learning and skills development will never go away. It will always be a significant part of the toolkit of leading tech companies and sought-after HR talent. Going forward, our business path is simple. It’s about building up leadership teams and upskilling HR in the tech industry—learning, coaching, mentorship, and strategic advisory. Everything we do will focus on skills development and learning. If you are a leader in the HR Tech space looking to accelerate your learning, register for the Lead Your People Program on June 21st.
We will be launching our refreshed website on June 14, 2023, while we are in Vancouver running SocialHRCamp. We have invested heavily in learning software that will set us on the right path to achieving our goals while democratizing learning.
We know that we have a lot of work to do, but we’re relishing how far we have come and are excited about the future path that we have decided to take. Will it be easy? Hell no, but we’re up to the task, and we invite you all to join us on this journey.