Entrepreneurial Organisation

Hello All, As noted in the above title, I’m going to enquire about an entrepreneurial organisation. I have been looking into a role and the company are now looking to develop a HR department. The role I am looking into is varied and the recruiter has advised that it will include a few ad hoc tasks during the first few months. However, my concern is if the current employees will accept change? They all seem to follow the same entrepreneurial mindset as the CEO and the way of working is very agile. There do not seem to be any processes put into place in regards to recruitment etc. The company has been running for over thirty years and has great success, but it does seem very relaxed in its approaches to professionalism . I’m just concerned my experience isn’t enough to support a new HR function . Any previous knowledge/experience working in an agile company in a HR role would be appreciated Annie
  • Oh hello... how very exciting an opportunity to be at the early stages of development and being introduced to an organisation not constipated by bureaucracy. Embrace the new world immerse yourself and identify the gaps that could create problems and work innovative ways to close the gaps and keep the energy alive for them. All the best
  • I guess the key question for me would be not about agile organisations or not (and agile doesn't mean a lack of policy or certain ways of doing things) but why after 30 years the CEO has decided to introduce a HR function. What has driven that change and how widely supported is this initiative? That for me would be the key cultural factor I was exploring in my due diligence.

    You mention recruitment....what's the problem with what they are doing? What needs "fixing"? And says who?

    Apart from that it will probably largely come down to behaviours and mindset rather than skills. What sort of HR practitioner are you? Are you the sort who can adapt and change, understanding a bigger picture or do you prefer certain structures to be followed and certain levels of rigour and regiment?

  • In reply to Keith:

    I sometimes think there are two sorts of HR people; enablers and police officers.
    Simplistic approach but I find it useful on occasion.
  • I totally agree with the observations already made, it really does depend on how 'agile' you are. I started my HR career in a high growth start-up, every day was completely different and every day a new challenge came my way, in a culture of evolving systems and processes. I loved it and it gave me great exposure and stretch across the HR platform, but I could see it didn't suit everyone! In my view, if you are looking at developing a wider, generalist career, entrepreneurial cultures are a great place to be.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    22 Jan, 2021 10:55

    Hi Annabelle... and welcome to the Community!

    We've had some previous threads which have touched on this topic... although in a 'start up' context. Maybe some useful advice though re mindset.

    e.g. www.cipd.co.uk/.../setting-up-a-hr-function-in-a-start-up-business
  • Hi Annie

    You are going to need to approach everything from the perspective of “how can I find a way to help you make this happen” and excise from your vocabulary “you can’t” and “you shouldn’t”. You might sometimes need to point out, “if you do that thing in that way, this is what will happen” but be very clear if you are pointing out a worst-case scenario that the odds of it happening are low (if that is the case) because as well as HR people being enablers or policemen, there are also quite a few prophets of doom. You will need to share their comfort level for risk. It is the kiss of death to get a reputation for being risk adverse and a block to the organisation doing what it needs to do. 

  • I agree with the points already made. I joined an agile company, similar to the one you've described and I have found it to be the most rewarding experience. I was welcomed with open arms and open minds. The processes I implemented were necessary ones, that were openly discussed with all, which resulted in greater acceptance. You mention relaxed in professionalism as if this is a negative, what is your deeper concern? I have found that longer term my role is to focus on employee experience rather than policies and procedures. And I much prefer it this way!
  • Hello, thank-you for your response! I definitely think it would be an opportunity, putting together a plan as we speak of areas which could be of potential risk. All the best to you too
  • In reply to Annabelle:

    Coming back to enablers and policeman, I'd advise you to focus on areas where you can contribute most.
  • Hi Keith,

    Thank-you for your response. The company seems to have grown almost too quickly for them to sit back and reflect and they now want to become more corporate.

    I’ve had meetings with a few employees and they all seem positive on the idea of structure and support from a HR perspective.

    In regards to recruitment, they like to conduct interviews on a more informal basis, without too much focus on fair recruitment practises.

    For me, it’s refreshing that they recruit on attitude and personality, but it requires more regiment in regards to scoring candidates fairly such as competency based scoring sheets. These can then be used when feedback is requested.

    I come from a very disciplined organisation, so it definitely will be a very big change! However, change isn’t always a bad thing and it could bring lots of opportunity.
  • Thank-you Elizabeth and Peter - some useful tips! Communication is everything, I completely agree on being an enabler to their objectives
  • Thanks Ginnie for your feedback - a generalist role moving forwards will support my studies currently. It’s positive to hear your success within a similar culture!