I’ve spent most of my career so far in growing international tech start-ups, both in France and here in the US. The skill-sets I’ve been able to expand over time ranges from Financial Operations all the way to People Operations. What thrills me and drives me is this great opportunity to support and scale an organization and its mission from the ground up while fostering a strong company culture. 

For me, a successful company comes from its talent! I would be honored to share the successes I’ve had across different fields and especially People Operations (Culture, Recruitment, Professional Development, Career, Management tools, DE&I etc.).

What comes to mind as far as advice for an Operator launching (or considering it) in a new/global market (forMetris in US)

There is a lot of research involved in considering a new market, in a wide range of expertise from TAM, Competitors, Marketing, Laws & Regulations and so much more. Needless to say that unless you’re a big corporation, you don’t necessarily have all those expertise nor the bandwidth really to do all of those in-house. It becomes crucial to quickly identify reliable partners (private or public) that can help you. They would have to understand your industry, have those array of expertise readily available and a strong network in your existing market and your targeted market. Of course, all the support you can get is valuable, and you would have to be committed! All of those takes a lot of time and effort, you would have to be committed and ready for the financial investments required to “make it”! And more than ever, as an Operator, this is where you would most likely test drive every single “job” in your company.

For a scaling business, what are some strategies for fostering a strong culture?

As daunting as it may sound, defining your culture at the very beginning is crucial and will serve your business in the long run. There is a lot going on at the creation of your company, but if successful, it will never slow down. And it’s very hard to shape a strong culture while everything is accelerating. Defining your culture early on will shape your business. It will shape processes, mindsets, approaches and mostly, drive the talents you hire who in turn will fuse and scale your culture. 

How do you test for culture fit in a screening/interview process?

There are great articles we’ve found very useful to sharpen our toolkit when it comes to interviewing for culture, one of which from this
First Round Review article. Asking questions around a candidate’s ideal work environment, or manager or type of work as well as what they have today and what they are missing, coupled with concrete examples, are always insightful. We also make sure the candidate meets with a very diverse set of interviewers throughout the process (gender, level in the organization, background, department) trying not to burden the process though acquiring different perspective (as well as providing) also helps avoid hiring someone like you over and over.

What systems or tools have you implemented which the greatest overall impact on your people and businesses? 

More of a process than a tool really, our comprehensive feedback process has been very impactful so far. I’ve seen how an organization can fall from not prioritizing this, and I’ve seen the impact it has yielded within my current organization. This touches on all aspects of feedback (Monthly 1:1’s, Mid-year, and end of year reviews, CEO informal coffee chat, Ask Leadership Anything sessions, Quarterly engagement survey, Open door policy, communication workshops and more). Infusing a learning and growth mindset, fostering creativity, collaboration, and the sharing of positive and negative is what helps the best ideas to arise and sometimes becomes products, or prevent negativity to spread and lose talents.

Any other advice or thoughts you’d like to share with your Operator community members?

I am really grateful to be part of this community and eager to learn from all the shared experiences and backgrounds. I love what I do and the fact that I am NEVER bored in my role, and as happy as I am to share my modest experience, I am looking forward to learning even more from all of you!

Thanks to Leticia for sharing her deep knowledge with the OG community. 

Connect with Leticia Richard on LinkedIn here. 

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