Managing the loss of good people

I’ve always been proud of our efforts to create a dynamic, vibrant, and collaborative culture at Lewis Media – with the sale of the business though, it means we needed to dismantle our team – the most important part of any organization’s culture.

When we were building Lewis Media’s culture, the things we tried to do were:

  • Develop & Document Shared Values
  • Engage all Team Members in Change
  • Involve People in Staffing Decision
  • Give and Recieve Feedback

And I’ve found that all the above still apply, even though we’re dismantling a culture, rather than creating one.

This week I’ll be saying goodbye to the last full-time team member on staff. Although he’ll be moving on to bigger (maybe better?) things, it’s still a sad time. Derek’s work with OnMyBlock and Lewis Media was both important, and formative. Without Derek, we defintely wouldn’t have had RockBand at our development retreats, and we definitely would have had less great music around the office. What’s been interesting to experience, though, is that Derek’s transition from the team has taken place over a period of 3 months, which has given us a lot of time to deal with the knowledge transfer and the projects that had been on his plate. Unlike other splits, this hasn’t felt as rushed – and I feel al lot better with the state of things.

I think the Shared Values that we had created, keeps everyone on the same page as to *why* the change is happening, and engaging them in the transition is keeping them on the same page as to *how* it’s going to happen. We had to chat with a number of the team members about which positions were going to be moving first, and that was difficult – but at the same time, those conversations gave us some invaluable information on what we did well, and where we could have done it better.

Either way, I’m glad to be able to say no, that everyone is happily at (or heading to) their new places of employ.


VP HCM Products at NetSuite and Founder of TribeHR and Lewis Media. Waterloo Region Enthusiast and active volunteer.

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