Overseas Partners; Splitting HR; Millennial Myths; Ventura Air Services
August 27, 2015
10 Traits of Super Successful Entrepreneurs; Most Powerful Women; Income Inequality; How to Win
September 11, 2015

22 Hour Interviews; Onboarding at Atlassian; Appster’s Daily Standup; Over 50 Entrepreneur?

"…insights for scaleups"


Turned Entrepreneur After 50? — top writer Hank Gilman is blogging for Forbes and doing a series of small profiles on folks who became entrepreneurs after they turned 50 (second acts, in other words). Qualify or know someone who does? You can reach him at [email protected].

How Appster Communicates Across 3 Continents — with $3000 Josiah Humphrey and Mark McDonald founded Australian-based Appster in 2011 (ages 20 and 19 at the time). 48 months later the company is expected to reach 500 employees and $20 million by the end of the year and their 100% annual growth doesn't seem to be slowing. To drive communications with employees working in the US, India, and Australia (and soon the UK), Humphrey and McDonald implemented "daily standups" via Google Hangout and weekly "time travel Tuesday" meetings. This Fortune article details how they structure these meetings, which they gleaned from the Rockefeller Habits.

22 Hour Interviews — co-founder McDonald attended my one-day Scaling Up workshop in Melbourne this week and shared many of the best practices they've adopted to manage the rapid growth they are experiencing. In addition to monthly management meetings which include 2 hours of executive education; they adopted the Topgrading method of interviewing after experiencing a general 50% failure rate across all their hiring. Since then, using Topgrading's Job Scorecard, screening interviews, TORC reference checking process, and extensive SIDS interviewing process, their success rate has soared to over 90%. Notes this Business Insider Australia article from last year:

The process takes about 12 to 15 hours for entry-level employees, while team leaders and middle managers are interviewed for 22 hours. Senior executives can expect to spend about 150 hours being vetted.

Take 2 minutes to read the article for more specifics on their rigorous hiring process.

Outstanding Publicity Australia-based Appster garners a lot of intriguing press around the globe, all part of a concerted PR plan to make their firm attractive to potential hires and underpinning the importance of marketing to the recruiting process. McDonald shared with our audience how the articles leave an impression that Appster is going places which helps them compete for highly sought after tech talent. How is marketing and PR helping you to attract a large number of A-player candidates?

Atlassian's Structured Onboarding Process — Congratulations to co-founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes and the team at Atlassian for being named the #1 Best Place to Work (over 100 employees) in Australia this past week. With 1500 employees and growing – and one in four employees new within the last five months – it's an ongoing challenge to maintain the culture. Key, according to Farquhar, "is the adoption of more structured onboarding programs to deal with the small windows to train staff before the next newcomers arrive." This BRW story about Atlassian's win goes on to note:

Farquhar recently spoke with a former human resources manager at Google who said that over 15 years the top three things that staff valued were firstly challenging work, secondly quality of colleagues and thirdly work environment. "I'd say that's exactly the same at Atlassian," Farquhar says.

Take 1 minute to scan the article for the HR-related systems Atlassian has put into place to maintain a healthy culture. And congrats to Physio Co., another Rockefeller Habits driven firm, for snagging the #2 spot (under 100 employees). Thank you to Gazelles Australian coaching partner Brad Giles for pointing me to this article.

Morning Huddles In School — speaking of meeting rhythms, Symonds Elementary School in Keene, NH, hosts morning meetings for all K-5 students. Notes this Edutopia article, morning meetings have four key components:

  • Greeting: Students and teachers greet and welcome each other.
  • Sharing: Students share something about themselves or their lives, and the rest of their peers listen, then ask follow-up questions or offer comments.
  • Activity: The group completes an activity that encourages teamwork while re-emphasizing social or academic skills.
  • Morning message: Students read a short message from their teacher, usually describing what is to come in the day ahead.

Notes Hazel Jackson, our coaching partner in Dubai who forwarded the info:

It's an amazing twist on the morning huddle. What I really liked is the intension to make it a safe place for learning, that it enhances social skills and creates a predictable start to every day. All things we have in our huddles but perhaps we forget these benefits."


Have you ever wondered if your company would be a good candidate to work with an executive growth coach? Click here to watch Gazelles International President Keith Cupp describes the four most important attributes of successful clients.


Align Software puts everyone on the Same Page – Literally! See, in real time every person in your organization and how they are progress on their priorities – alongside how these Align to the Company Priorities! Scale Up your Rockefeller Habits implementation with www.aligntoday.com– on your computer and on your phone.

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Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.