Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why HR Needs to Understand Founder Exit Strategy

Exactly what is “Founder Exit Strategy”? Long ago, I discovered that being successful meant always planning all activities with a focus on what the entrepreneur plans to do with the business in the end. Does he want to take it public? Is she planning on a short exit through selling the organization? Do they plan to bequeath the business to their heirs? This is what I call founder exit strategy.

Each department should be responsible for their part of meeting that goal. HR should work closely with Marketing to share resources, cross-team, to strategize on what activities can be done to acheive the exit strategy. Let’s say the plan is to go IPO. Are there external funders or other stakeholders that need to be advised? Will the company need them to achieve their goal? If so, what VCs or other funding resourcers do we want to attract? What messaging will attract these VCs? What sort of personnel will be required and how do we want to attract them?

Brainstorm ideas, prioritize those to focus on the short-term, new initiatives to test as resources become available, and develop a complete plan that addresses the needs of all stakeholders. You may also want to transform the work environment to facilitate the implementation of the plan. Team growth or decrease may require changes to the floorplan configuration for more conference and meeting spaces, or an expanded space for R&D, training venues, modernization, for examples. Marketing can work to ensure that the space conveys the same attributes which align with branding and messaging. For example, you can’t have an internet company in an office that looks like a bank. Dress codes are different as well. The HR policy makers may be persuaded to add word-of-mouth benefits, like being a pet-friendly office, or “ties not allowed” – something interesting that becomes a potential conversation starter or a mnemonic.

What other ways do you see synergy between marketing and HR? Leave them in the comments below. Cheers.


  1. I fully agree that HR and marketing must work effectively to achieve the desired goal of the company.
    Unfortunately in many companies avoid marketing collaboration with HR and establish direct communication with financial management.
    Direct communication and marketing - financial management in many companies creates corruption and mismanagement and waste of money in this way systematically destroys the human and material potential of causing destruction and liquidation of companies.
    I think that this problem be solved by a new organizational structure and classification that provides the HR supervisor and a coordinator of activities between marketing and financial management.

    Thank you for your understanding and best regards

  2. The HR and Marketing department is not only work together , while the other field also has to take part to meet the successful goal.

    Human Resource Program