57 episodes

After a decade+ of “blitz-scaling” companies, HR, talent, and People leaders now face an uncertain economy that has already seen big booms and busts. What will it take to construct the next generation of incredible businesses – and where can people leaders have the most business impact?    
Hosts Nolan Church and Kelli Dragovich have been through it all, the highs and the lows – IPOs, layoffs, executive turnover, board meetings, culture changes, and more. With a lineup of industry vets and experts, Nolan and Kelli break down the nitty-gritty details, trade offs, and dynamics of constructing high performing companies. Through unfiltered conversations that can only happen between seasoned practitioners – Kelli and Nolan dive deep into the kind of leadership-level strategy that often happens behind closed doors.

This show is for those who are ready to ditch conventional wisdom and figure out from first principles what works for their culture, business model, and industry, with the goal of building a resilient and enduring company. You’ll come away with real guidance for seeing around corners, building enduring companies, and carving out an impactful career – plus a newly-honed bullshit detector.

Topics frequently touched on in this season include: building high performing cultures, compensation negotiation, performance reviews, company design, equity, M&As, recruiting the best talent, and how to manage your own psychology as a people leader.

hrheretics.substack.com

“HR Heretics” | How CPOs, CHROs, Founders, and Boards Build High Performing Companies HR Heretics

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 42 Ratings

After a decade+ of “blitz-scaling” companies, HR, talent, and People leaders now face an uncertain economy that has already seen big booms and busts. What will it take to construct the next generation of incredible businesses – and where can people leaders have the most business impact?    
Hosts Nolan Church and Kelli Dragovich have been through it all, the highs and the lows – IPOs, layoffs, executive turnover, board meetings, culture changes, and more. With a lineup of industry vets and experts, Nolan and Kelli break down the nitty-gritty details, trade offs, and dynamics of constructing high performing companies. Through unfiltered conversations that can only happen between seasoned practitioners – Kelli and Nolan dive deep into the kind of leadership-level strategy that often happens behind closed doors.

This show is for those who are ready to ditch conventional wisdom and figure out from first principles what works for their culture, business model, and industry, with the goal of building a resilient and enduring company. You’ll come away with real guidance for seeing around corners, building enduring companies, and carving out an impactful career – plus a newly-honed bullshit detector.

Topics frequently touched on in this season include: building high performing cultures, compensation negotiation, performance reviews, company design, equity, M&As, recruiting the best talent, and how to manage your own psychology as a people leader.

hrheretics.substack.com

    Rippling vs. Competitors: The Ex-Employee Dilemma

    Rippling vs. Competitors: The Ex-Employee Dilemma

    In this episode of HR Heretics, Rippling is banning ex-employees who work at competitors from participating in a secondary stock offering. Is this ethical or a smart business move? Kelli and Nolan discuss the pros and cons of this controversial HR policy.
    *Email us your questions or topics for Kelli & Nolan: hrheretics@turpentine.co
    HR Heretics is a podcast from Turpentine.
    Discover Workvivo, Zoom’s employee experience platform, designed to delight your hybrid workforce. With dynamic and intuitive features people actually like using, Workvivo fosters a sense of belonging and boosts retention and productivity. Join Ryanair, Dollar General, and Virgin — head to https://bit.ly/hrhereticsworkvivo to book a demo (tell them Kelli and Nolan sent you).

    KEEP UP WITH NOLAN, + KELLI ON LINKEDIN
    Nolan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nolan-church/
    Kelli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellidragovich/

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:26) Initial Reactions and Previous Examples
    (03:07) Rippling's Justification and Cynicism
    (04:31) The Zero-Sum Game and Company Messaging
    (06:42) Openness vs. Pettyness & Employee Value
    (07:42) Future Implications and
    (08:50) Sponsor Break: Workvivo
    (10:25) Regulatory Implications and Cam's Argument
    (11:13) A More Brutal Form of Non-Compete & First Principles
    (13:00) Rippling's Perspective and Understanding the "Why"
    (13:58) Conclusion: Experimentation and Openness





    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hrheretics.substack.com

    • 14 min
    Pendo CEO Todd Olson on Co-Founder Conflict, Hiring Slow, and Pushing Limits at a Software Unicorn

    Pendo CEO Todd Olson on Co-Founder Conflict, Hiring Slow, and Pushing Limits at a Software Unicorn

    In this episode of HR Heretics, Kelli and Nolan engage in a heartfelt discussion with Todd Olson, CEO and founder of Pendo.
    Todd shares his personal and professional journey, from his early days as a developer to his current role as CEO. He provides deep insights into leadership, his unique hiring process, and why he believes HR is essential to business success where human connection and vulnerability are prioritized.
    *Email us your questions or topics for Kelli & Nolan: hrheretics@turpentine.co
    HR Heretics is a podcast from Turpentine.
    Discover Workvivo, Zoom’s employee experience platform, designed to delight your hybrid workforce. With dynamic and intuitive features people actually like using, Workvivo fosters a sense of belonging and boosts retention and productivity. Join Ryanair, Dollar General, and Virgin — head to https://bit.ly/hrhereticsworkvivo to book a demo (tell them Kelli and Nolan sent you).
    Attio is the next generation of CRM. It’s powerful, flexible, and easily configures to the unique way your startup runs, whatever your go-to-market motion. The next era deserves a better CRM. Join ElevenLabs, Replicate, Modal, and more at https://bit.ly/AttioHRHeretics
    LINKS:
    Pendo: https://www.pendo.io/
    HR Heretics podcast with JR Rettig: Building Legendary Teams: Trust, Transition, and Quality with JR Rettig of Pendo

    LINKEDIN:Todd: https://www.linkedin.com/in/toddaolsonNolan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nolan-church/Kelli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellidragovich/

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Introduction
    (03:00) Typecasting and the importance of being the CEO
    (05:00) Co-founder dynamics at Pendo
    (09:00) The CEO card and cultural decisions
    (12:00) Blending human elements with leadership
    (16:00) The impact of personal life on leadership
    (17:13) Sponsors: Workvivo | Attio
    (19:47) Todd on Elon Musk
    (21:00) Building a culture of followership
    (24:00) Hiring practices
    (27:00) The "why" behind joining Pendo
    (31:00) Interviewing Senior SDRs
    (34:00) CEO involvement in offer review
    (37:00) Hiring executives
    (41:00) The first 90 days of an executive
    (45:00) The role of HR in 2024
    (50:00) Hiring a head of HR









    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hrheretics.substack.com

    • 53 min
    The Future of Management

    The Future of Management

    In this episode of HR Heretics, Nolan and Kelli explore the rising trend of replacing managers with coaches, examining the pros and cons of this model and its potential impact on employee development.
    They also discuss the practicalities of implementing a coach-based management model, including the role of functional expertise and the need for rapid onboarding of coaches.
    *Email us your questions or topics for Kelli & Nolan: hrheretics@turpentine.co
    HR Heretics is a podcast from Turpentine.
    Discover Workvivo, Zoom’s employee experience platform, designed to delight your hybrid workforce. With dynamic and intuitive features people actually like using, Workvivo fosters a sense of belonging and boosts retention and productivity. Join Ryanair, Dollar General, and Virgin — head to https://bit.ly/hrhereticsworkvivo to book a demo (tell them Kelli and Nolan sent you).
    Attio is the next generation of CRM. It’s powerful, flexible, and easily configures to the unique way your startup runs, whatever your go-to-market motion. The next era deserves a better CRM. Join ElevenLabs, Replicate, Modal, and more at https://bit.ly/AttioHRHeretics

    KEEP UP WITH NOLAN, + KELLI ON LINKEDIN
    Nolan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nolan-church/
    Kelli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellidragovich/

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Introduction & The Big Changes in Tech
    (01:40) Tweaking the System
    (02:52) The NVIDIA Model: Pros and Cons
    (04:14) One-On-Ones and The Middle Ground
    (6:00) The Importance of Spontaneous Communication
    (07:18) Sponsor: Attio
    (08:15) Skillset and Capability Considerations
    (09:09) Assessing Candidates for New Environments
    (11:07) The Canva Model: External Coaches
    (13:00) Executive Coaching vs Functional Coaching
    (13:53) Wrap





    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hrheretics.substack.com

    • 14 min
    How Big Should Your Org Grow?

    How Big Should Your Org Grow?

    In this episode of HR Heretics, Kelli Dragovich and Nolan Church welcome Michelle Delcambre, an operating partner at Felicis (and formerly of Stripe & Databricks), to discuss company growth trajectories, and strategic HR practices around talent, comp, and exits.
    Michelle shares the development of Felicis’ ‘Benchmark Your Org' tool — which you can access here — it’s a free platform utilizing data from 15,000 companies, updated monthly, to help founders benchmark organizational growth. This conversation, which is one of Nolan's favorite episodes of the year, covers common founder mistakes and offers insights around pre-negotiated exit packages, comp strategies, company attrition, and so much more.
    *Email us your questions or topics for Kelli & Nolan: hrheretics@turpentine.co
    HR Heretics is a podcast from Turpentine.
    Discover Workvivo, Zoom’s employee experience platform, designed to delight your hybrid workforce. With dynamic and intuitive features people actually like using, Workvivo fosters a sense of belonging and boosts retention and productivity. Join Ryanair, Dollar General, and Virgin — head to https://bit.ly/hrhereticsworkvivo to book a demo (tell them Kelli and Nolan sent you).
    Attio is the next generation of CRM. It’s powerful, flexible, and easily configures to the unique way your startup runs, whatever your go-to-market motion. The next era deserves a better CRM. Join ElevenLabs, Replicate, Modal, and more at https://bit.ly/AttioHRHeretics
    LINKS:Benchmark Your Org: https://www.felicis.com/benchmark
    LINKEDIN:Michelle: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelledelcambre/Nolan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nolan-church/Kelli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellidragovich/
    TIMESTAMPS:(00:00) Intro(04:30) Actually useful benchmarks for founders(07:25) What metrics do people care about now?Boomerangs(09:30) Missing people data metrics(10:30) The talent vortex(15:35) Sponsors: WorkVivo | Attio(18:15) The anxiety of the “Regrettable attrition” metric and boomerang employees(23:07) Compensation challenges in startups(25:52) Tender offers and secondary markets(28:13) Innovative solutions for employee equity(38:41) Pre-negotiated severance and employee retention(43:56) Common mistakes founders make(49:36) Wrap


    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hrheretics.substack.com

    • 49 min
    Toxic Managers

    Toxic Managers

    In this episode of HR Heretics, Nolan and Kelli dive into the devastating impact of toxic managers, featuring real stories of burnout, mental health struggles, and even suicide.
    They delve into the misconduct of a Baidu executive who displayed horrific behavior towards her employees and the extreme pressures leading to suicides among investment bankers, highlighted by a tragic case at Bank of America.
    From recognizing the signs of toxic management to building a strong support network, Kelli and Nolan offer actionable advice on navigating difficult workplaces and prioritizing your well-being.
    *Email us your questions or topics for Kelli & Nolan: hrheretics@turpentine.co
    HR Heretics is a podcast from Turpentine.
    Discover Workvivo, Zoom’s employee experience platform, designed to delight your hybrid workforce. With dynamic and intuitive features people actually like using, Workvivo fosters a sense of belonging and boosts retention and productivity. Join Ryanair, Dollar General, and Virgin — head to https://bit.ly/hrhereticsworkvivo to book a demo (tell them Kelli and Nolan sent you).
    Attio is the next generation of CRM. It’s powerful, flexible, and easily configures to the unique way your startup runs, whatever your go-to-market motion. The next era deserves a better CRM. Join ElevenLabs, Replicate, Modal, and more at https://bit.ly/AttioHRHeretics
    Related Articles:
    * Top exec at Chinese search giant Baidu tells workers ‘I’m not your mom’ — then loses job
    * Death of Former Green Beret (IB Associate at BofA)


    KEEP UP WITH NOLAN, + KELLI ON LINKEDIN
    Nolan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nolan-church/
    Kelli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellidragovich/

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro(00:37) Toxic Managers: Baidu Executive's Shocking Behavior(01:03) Toxic Managers: The Tragic Case of the iBanker(01:34) Kelli's Take on Toxic Management(04:26) Nolan's Perspective on Work-Life Balance(06:40) Sponsor Workvivo | Attio(09:19) The Impact of Fear-Based Leadership(11:15) Balancing Work Expectations and Employee Well-being(13:57) Encouragement and Community Support(16:17) An Element of EQ Is Necessary(19:19) Wrap




    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hrheretics.substack.com

    • 17 min
    The Future of Tech Operators with Casey Woo, Founder of Operators Guild

    The Future of Tech Operators with Casey Woo, Founder of Operators Guild

    In this episode of HR Heretics, Nolan and Kelli sit down with Casey Woo, a former public market investor turned 7x high-growth executive (including WeWork). He is now the founder of Operations Guild and General Partner at FOG Ventures. Casey shares eye-opening experiences from his time at WeWork and describes working with Adam Neumann, and the dynamics of rapid business scaling. They also highlight the impact of AI on business operations, the rise of the business operator, and discuss what skill-based ‘‘specialist generalists” do.
    HR Heretics is a podcast from Turpentine.
    Share this with your friends, forward to your enemies. Hit subscribe now.
    Discover Workvivo, Zoom’s employee experience platform, designed to delight your hybrid workforce. With dynamic and intuitive features people actually like using, Workvivo fosters a sense of belonging and boosts retention and productivity. Join Ryanair, Dollar General, and Virgin — head to https://bit.ly/hrhereticsworkvivo to book a demo (tell them Kelli and Nolan sent you).
    Attio is the next generation of CRM. It’s powerful, flexible, and easily configures to the unique way your startup runs, whatever your go-to-market motion. The next era deserves a better CRM. Join ElevenLabs, Replicate, Modal, and more at https://bit.ly/AttioHRHeretics
    KEEP UP WITH CASEY, NOLAN, + KELLI ON LINKEDIN
    Casey: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caseywoo/
    Nolan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nolan-church/
    Kelli: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellidragovich/

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (01:14) Casey's journey and WeWork experience
    (08:39) Lessons from WeWork
    (14:19) Current Climate and Operators Guild
    (19:48) Sponsor: WorkVivo |  Attio
    (20:45) Current pace of AI development
    (26:26) The Rise of the Operator
    (35:03) Importance of generalists in business
    (41:10) Building a Community: Lessons Learned
    (44:42) Future of operators and founding businesses
    (49:56) Wrap




    This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit hrheretics.substack.com

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 Ratings

CamilleBrittany ,

Meaty

The content is such a great deep dive! Really meaty / interesting conversations and insights. No high level fluff! Really loving this podcast.

Sports fan00 ,

HR Heretics

Wow! So interesting and loved hearing the behind the scenes stories from Patty McCord! Great questions and honest answers… How refreshing to hear the truth about HR, Recruiting, secrets from the C Suite…. Do yourself a favor and listen! Then do yourself a favor and watch on YouTube! So enjoyable! I’m all in - waiting the next episode👍

Ajdcnslaiendns ,

Great Content and Refreshing Perspectives

Such a refreshing and REAL take on HR in today’s tech landscape

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