Aisha_Khan

Master of Social Science.

Background in admin / operations / projects in business and startups (Australia).

Currently working to understand how I can contribute to and further support the EA Movement both personally & professionally. I value feedback and a good chat, so feel free to contact me anytime - aisha@aishakhan.com

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Pre-announcement and call for feedback: Operations Camp 2019

Hi Eirin,

I am always happy to help where (& if) I can! Otherwise, absolutely make sure to post updates and learnings from the camp, I’m sure it will be insightful and a great exercise in community strengthening and team building.

Best of luck!

Pre-announcement and call for feedback: Operations Camp 2019

Hi Jorgen,

The concept of an EA Norway camp sounds interesting!

I would agree with @Jan_Kulveit that 4-6 weeks would be too long, and agree on a shorter revised time, possibly initially over a weekend(s).

I would refer back to the ongoing questions of the intrinsic motivations and goals of the camp - or more precisely; Where it may fit in an overall employment / professional development stream for EA Norway.

There could be a few motivations models here to test;

Model A
Creating a Pre-Event Weekend Camp in order to test a number of assumptions, gain community feedback, give talks and gather learnings of expectations, needs & requirements from all involved. As a loose-style event, the focus at this stage is on information gathering - to inform EA Norway’s future decision making, processes & events.


Model B
Creating a dual-purpose camp to cover the following:
- Learning & development of pre-employed individuals interested in joining the EA movement as employees / interns.
- Professional development of existing employees.
- Allowing these two groups to mix and learn from each other over the course of the camp.


Model C
Using the camp as an ongoing event for the professional development of new & existing EA employees, while directing potential employees / interns to an online platform for learning & development first (see below).


Note | Developing an Online Learning Management System (LMS) / Resource Wiki
Just a note here about adding this to the above models; if such a resource could be developed, it may be able to cover a lot of initial and beginning-stage requirements and needs of individuals interested in working within EA orgs and for new EA hires themselves.

This may help to cut costs, standardise learnings and feedback. It may also be used to help to aid both individuals’ and organisations’ HR decision-making processes. It could take some of the ambiguity away from both sides of the equation - and take some of the pressure off of camp attendees if they know they have a digital ‘next-step’ to take, or have already done so or in the process.

———
Whatever is decided, learnings & experience will surely come out of the event!

I won’t be able to be there in person, but keep me in the loop - I’m more than happy to help if only online / remotely.

So you want to do operations [Part two] - how to acquire and test for relevant skills

My responses to the ‘Remaining Questions’ area of the Article:

• How did you recognize that your were/weren’t a good fit for operations roles? Is there something you recommend others to try?

In my personal experience with operations roles, I found the following 2 points the most telling in terms of success in a role:


1) Values Alignment as Key to Maintaining Motivation, Consistency and Ongoing Personal / Professional Development
Having the daily & weekly motivation to continue when things get busy / tough. This is rooted in the need to have aligned values with the organisation. Having the values-driven goal of ’making large sums of money & gaining outward signs of prestige’ may be favourable for some graduates or individuals at different stages of both their personal and professional development. Others may really be motivated by giving, helping and showing some sort of positive support / impact on pressing social and environmental issues - and would really be motivated by know that their chosen workplace organisation is also focussed on these key values - as interpreted by their organisational goals.

Values alignment give you that touchstone of motivation when times get hard or setbacks occur, when things get ambiguous and when a potentially draining task must be worked on over a long period of time or to a set deadline.

If you are a new hire, try to understand the differences between feeling uncomfortable as you are learning and adjusting, and the discomfort of values mis-alignment.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
However, if you are feeling as if you are constantly ‘drowning’ or ‘overwhelmed’, try first to speak to an appropriate colleague - and try to work out a better way of dealing with work commitments. Unless something really is wrong, sometimes adapting to work, learning your pacing, what levels of productivity you really can achieve on a daily basis and understanding work loads - and if/when you may need to ask for help.

If these don’t seem to be the issue - it might be a culture problem.

2) A Healthy Workplace & Organisational Culture
As stated in my Operations Part 1 comment, a healthy workplace culture is something which can make or break the success of a new hire into a role. This covers everything from knowing the values and mission statement of an organisation - and whether these values are only given lip service, or if they are incorporated largely into the workings and culture. It’s a huge undertaking to get people organised under a single entity and set of goals, to ensure health of connections and communications on a daily and yearly basis.

A lot of things can go wrong through simple errors, misunderstandings, and communications breakdowns - where it’s likely not anyone’s fault, but a healthy team being able to recognise and correct for errors and curve balls.

Managing people is a large component to an organisation. This though, can differ greatly between organisations. If good values are instilled and re-iterated from the beginning, if the time is taken to train and settle a new hire into the organisation, and if there is an honest, open and non-critical space for respectful feedback and learning, to be able to ask questions, take responsibility of a role - even when a hire is still not 100% sure of themselves, and the focus on rectifying mistakes, learning from them and endeavouring to grow from lessons - then a new hire really does have the ideal environment to thrive.

This includes being able to find mentoring from a more senior colleague - especially in the first 6 months - 1 year of work. As much as it is a joy to find the almost impossible new junior hire who knows exactly how to do everything, better and faster - even the most experienced and senior hire will probably have to ask questions, read and learn about a company, it’s values, company culture and how it gets things done, before being able to do much more.

Also, sometimes, after a time, you may simply not feel like you’re ‘fitting in’ as an employee, or you might not entirely ‘grok’ the company culture. This, though unfortunate, is most probably not anyone’s particular fault (again, I’m looking at the averages here, not extremes in personality clashes or toxic company cultures). Difference can be both accommodated or it can facilitate change - so check both ‘sunk cost fallacies’ and ‘practicing perseverance in professional development’ during decision-making (either as a new hire or as a decision-maker in an organisation).


• What are the best ways of acquiring new valuable skills for operations roles?

I think Eirin & Jorgen covered this thoroughly in terms of gaining work experience, getting involved in projects or activities and low-cost, high learning yield activities.

“From little things, big things grow” - Paul Kelly

• What should promising candidates do to signal their fit and experience to potential employers to help smooth out the costly recruitment process?

1) The Self-Initiated & Tailored Presentation / Project | As Part of Your Application / Expression of Interest
Like your previous projects and experiments you have had the chance to perform, why not use this experience to make a tailored & specific project, related to a real organisation and/or role you are interested in.

Aim to draft, create & present this tailored project within a 2 week period (1x AGILE sprint) to an actual employee / representative of your organisation of interest.

Like your previous projects, this could include: -
• A website
• Slideshow presentation
• Small coding app
• Compile a report
• Build a marketing proposal

Connecting & Learning
Then - either as part of an employment application or as a ‘cold contact’ - Find a relevant person to contact within the organisation (possibly an HR representative, via LinkedIn / organisation contact directory) and send a message stating your interest in working with the organisation in the future. Offer your project as a part of your interest and ask (politely) if there is a chance to gain feedback.

The person who you contact will most likely be very busy - and you may not even get a response. Feel free to contact again (a simple, polite touch base email) in 2-3 weeks and then perhaps in 2-3 month’s time to gauge if there is any interest in your project. It might not work, you may be ignored or given a vague response, and that will likely hurt personally, as rejection does.


Connecting & Learning | Real World Feedback as Part of Your Growth as an Individual & New Professional
However, do your best to not take it personally, treat yourself for achieving the exercise, regardless of the result. You could do a personal post-moratorium / review of the process to hone your next application. And if you are able to, chalk this up as a well achieved learning & growing experience. Keep your project in your portfolio of experiences and look for another organisation / position. Don’t feel too afraid of touching base every 6 months to a year if there has been a positive initial response however; especially if you do end up further into the recruitment process and are given positive responses - especially if specifically stated that you should keep in contact.


2) Seek Real World Advice | An Exercise in Putting Yourself Out There
If you can, it can really help to start having conversations with people who are ideally in an employed position in an organisation and role similar to your own interests.

Even if this person is ‘only’ a family friend or someone working in ops in a company / industry your aren’t interested in, you can learn something from them.

So, as awkward as it can seem, ask if you can take them out for a coffee meeting (pay for their coffee too!) and see what you can learn. A lot of people may be too busy to help you, but if you ask enough people, you will get a meeting - and even if you think you’ve learned nothing from the meeting, don’t worry, you have.

• Given the answers to the above questions, what can local and national groups do to find and train potential candidates and help in the recruitment process?

Developing EA Specific Frameworks & Tool / Platform Usage
Putting together information, frameworks and tools from EA Organisations and the HR industry may result in a number of positive outcomes. Though I have not done any research on this as yet, these outcomes may include: -

• The development of HR / hiring / employee best practices and frameworks which could be disseminated as an open source resource to the greater EA network.
• Updating of current EA resources and bodies of knowledge.
• Finding solutions to strengthening current and future EA memberships, where a more streamlined and consistent practice can be developed in order to help EA members and EA organisations meet & fit with each other in less time - more smoothly and with well measured expectations & outcomes.
• Possible formation of an EA HR organisation, group or consulting body to work on this direct need.
• Building a larger EA network of professional contacts and industry connections.
• Creation / further development of an EA learning & development education portal / learning management system.
• Serving as another aspect of getting the EA Movement’s awareness into the professional industries which may affect both earning to give and experienced operations hiring potential.

———
Adding obligatory apologies! I have likely repeated a few points here, some of which Eirin & Jorgen have already covered - and what may well have already been covered in previous EA discussions.

So you want to do operations [Part one] - which skills do you need?

Hi Eirin,
I’m happy there were relevant points to add to the conversation!

To respond to your query:

Partnership Streams
‘Partnership Streams’ is a rather generic term which is applicable across many areas and types of businesses & institutions.

A partnership stream will be entirely specific to each partnership and have a purpose. This includes understanding of what each partner gives and receives from each other - and most importantly, why.

Some companies are well versed in developing partnerships and have a whole process in researching & developing new and existing partnership streams - be aware, a partnership needs to values match.

It’s good to consider all partnership streams of worth to be long-term investments in relationship building (like a marriage).


Current EA Movement Weak to Strong Partnership Streams | Universities Allowing On-Campus Hosting of EA Events
In the case of the EA movement, I understand the undergraduate and university weak-partnership stream development comes from EA hosting information sessions, talks & events on campus in order to raise awareness of the movement and grow membership / interactions from the collegiate body.

This weak-partnership stream could be developed further into a strong / specific partnership within specific departments of universities as well as in direct communications with the office of Vice-Chancellor etc. with the following goals:

- Continuing to build EA awareness and membership growth within the student body.

- Raise awareness of EA in the university administration, alumni and executive bodies in order to;

1) Bring in membership, donations / work to give - from university employees.

2) Expose the EA movement to the business partners and donors of a given university.

3) Build a partnership with alumni donors & build out EA presence at alumni events.

4) Bring the EA movement to mind during an alumni's career transition.

Disclaimer: I don’t know the details of how well connected the EA movement is with individual universities. We may already have well developed ties in certain universities - offering the social leverage to propose such partnerships on a case by case basis.

Considering assigning a go-to EA Member liaison for each university could be another worthwhile exercise in further building these partnership streams.

Partnership Stream | Example: Reaching Employed MBA Holders
To keep with the example of reaching already employed MBA graduates with experience in business analysis / operations, there could be a few ways to interact:

1) Via Social Media | HR Strategy eg, LinkedIn
HR firms regularly track and connect with individuals on LinkedIn in order to keep their talent pool healthy & to continue understanding the ever-changing business / job seeker demographics.

Some HR teams will be focussed on finding individuals who will match their experience, standards and values (starting with keyword searches) and literally cold-message an individual to gauge an individual’s interest in an offered position or at the very least, in staying in contact.

A dedicated EA working in a HR capacity could continue to build out this process starting with EA members on LinkedIn, then expanding to 2nd and 3rd level connections as well as cold-contacting relevant orgs & individuals.

A note on LinkedIn: LinkedIn has it’s own education / mentorship & advice platform, this may have some useful resources for EA orgs and EA members - though I haven’t explored it myself.


2) Selected Industry Events | EA Movement Booth / Talk
If a certain industry event has been identified as a possible rich source of A) Potential new EA members, B) Potential new EA donors, C) Potential new EA employees and/or D) Potential new business partnerships, then EA could host a booth or better yet, give a talk. This talk could be tailored to the event and the sort of industry professional attending (including what likely level of employment hierarchy they are placed). Having a call to action to get together & speak after the event to allow interested individuals to learn more about EA is key.

3) Direct Partnering with Firms
To build a relationship with a firm (let’s use the example of McKinsey). This partnership could be one in which McKinsey offers a short-term business analysis consultation to an EA organisation as part of the charitable and giving back component of McKinsey’s corporate responsibility programme. This could also extend to McKinsey hosting a business analysis / operations workshop for EA (either for a specific EA team face-to-face or via video conference). Internally, an employee may wish to work with EA on a project as part of their own giving back strategy.

This could be seen as an EA partnership in terms of a charitable partnership / relationship building. No doubt the EA movement could foster this - as EA seems to have a favourable international reputation (especially in the effective measuring of charitable projects, research into existential risks and in offering education and career advice to those who are seeking an EA aligned life).

The difficult part would be this - EA would most likely NOT be able to speak directly with a firm’s employees about coming to work at an EA organisation - that would fall under employee ‘poaching’ violations. Ultimately, companies don’t want to lose their talent. They want them to stay for as long as possible and to develop their value internally. So, partnering with the intent to poach employees is a no no.

However, it is not unethical to become a healthy presence and partner with organisations where an employee looking to do something else with a more values-aligned organisation would easily bring to mind the EA movement after having such exposure in a professional capacity. It would also help that they would know an EA member personally and/or it would be easy to connect with them.

I'd also note that a corporate responsibility team can sometimes be scrambling for ideas as to who to connect with in terms of giving talks for internal corporate 'breakfast' events / speaking events. EA could be invited to do a series of direct talks to chosen companies & may be very well received.


Partnership Stream | Technology Company - Eg. Google Partnerships for Startups, Business, Marketing, Education & NFP’s
Technology platforms will also partner with an organisation of whom it considers a relevant match in terms of industry, human / technical development and shared business goals*.

The level and type of partnership will vary according to the organisation and industry.

An example is Google Partnerships with technology startup incubators. Amazon Web Services (AWS) will do the same - offering things like credits, platform advice and technical trouble shooting, grants and discounts for members of an organisation or the organisation itself.

Partnering with an HR firm could also be a direction to explore - though there would need to be research done to learn more about this direction & it’s possibilities / opportunities for the EA movement.

*Please note, although a past business I worked at partnered with Google and I use G-Suite, I am not affiliated with or am advertising this or any other company mentioned at any point - these are only examples & cases.
Partnership Stream | For Corporate Social Responsibility / Charitable Giving
This is another topic - but I’ll add:

In terms of charitable giving, organisations will have varying levels of openness to partnering with the EA movement.

This falls under each company’s corporate social responsibility charter - which can cover partnering and donating (as a major donation or as individual employee elected contributions etc).

Companies pursue partnerships with charitable organisations with good reputations as part of their corporate social responsibility - and what better reputation than a movement of charities and organisations who’s core values include tracking and accountability of their projects / research findings?

———
I hope this helps Eirin!

Also thanks for the heads-up - I will read the new post & respond. I’ll also read & write a response to Operations Part 2.

So you want to do operations [Part one] - which skills do you need?

My Background : Master of social science, having worked in admin / projects in business & startups (Australia)

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Firstly, Some Personal Observations / Notes (in response to supporting @Raemon’s commentary)

A Note on Knowing Your Organisation’s Goals & Structure:
Startup | Running Lean, Ownership & Burnout
Ownership and responsibility will differ in different organisational contexts:
In a startup, you can gain 100% ownership of your role (Product / Operations Manager etc) as startups run lean and tend not to have a large operations staff - ie. everybody’s doing it to some degree, and / or it’s resting on one person only (including other roles). This is great if you want to run cheap and fast if you have an AGILE / LEAN goal of getting your product / service out at a certain deadline (with the thinking that you can rest a little after that) before the next work sprints.

And sure, this is a way to run fast and light when aiming for a specific goal (product v0.2 launch, securing stage funding etc). However burnout - as @Raemon points out - is a feature, not a bug in lean startups. We have to account for being human and needing a more balanced approach (especially if your whole organisation isn’t dependent on these ‘break or bust’ deadlines).

If I am correct in surmising, we want to continue to develop and value EA aligned members as long-term value adding capital; treating them/us as disposable components to the organisational ecosystem (which can happen in the startup world) may not help the movement.

However, taking on organisational startup principles, tools and frameworks are a good thing in my mind.

Lean Organisation | With Sustainability as a Core Goal
In a more stable, incremental growth organisation which is planning to be around for the longer term, a filled out operations team is necessary. That’s so team mates can work together, be clear on responsibilities, be able to break down tasks and requirements together and keep a stable, consistent quality of work (ie. running the organisation as smoothly as possible), and be able to healthily support the core purpose of the organisation. This then, is where most of our funding will end up - as human capital naturally requires it. Of course, tools and platforms & automation of tasks mean we can still run with a relatively lean team (as opposed to needing 50 or so operations staff in years past). It also means that team mates can support, mentor each other and work together when a gap or point of lag is identified.

In my mind, we still have to think business in terms of human capacity, using tools and frameworks and in planning and forecasting. The beast is different, but it still needs the relevant body parts and systems to run on the savannah, so to speak.


———
My Notes: On the ‘Remaining Questions’ section of this Article

• How to best test if you have the necessary innate traits?

Nature Vs Nurture | Talent Acquisition
I also think it will be a 50/50 on nature and nurture with ‘innate talent’ and experience in new hires. I’ve found that in operations, if you have a good mentor and motivation, the art of it can be learned - especially paired with the feeling of being able to ‘own’ your role and be allowed to make reasonable decisions - and to correct course when an issue or mistake occurs. Knowing your organisation’s purpose and aligning deeply to it’s causes also helps when you are elbow deep in repetitive work on a Thursday afternoon, and you need to remind yourself why you are doing this work (having belief & valuing your organisation is paramount). NFP’s and organisations with higher level causes tend to retain their staff longer because of this (as opposed to simply having ‘make more profit’ as their core purpose).


• How to test to what extent you have the acquirable skills?

Personality Tests | Not Quiet Scientifc
When thinking, ‘what else’ could I add to this question, I would say that there are numerous online personality tests which are supposedly able to give you insight as to what sort of a potential worker and role you may fit. I have heard the science of these tests vary greatly and are more likely to be bunk. However, I have been tested by such online tests in the past for employment prospects, many organisations rely on these tests quite heavily in HR decision-making. I would surmise that, when faced with a healthy median of applicants, you generally won’t know how someone will ultimately perform until they are in the role itself. Perhaps these online personality tests help to give hiring managers more of a psychological support in their decision making, if not in finding actual, replicable results.

Office Experience
If you are lucky enough to get some office experience under your belt, and be able to find a mentor or more senior colleague who can take you under their wing, then you may have a higher chance of operations / admin success.

Culture Eats Good Intentions
I do want to point out that in this example, your plans to learn can be eaten up by bad company culture. Sometimes even the best potential candidates may suffer and learn little if the organisation itself doesn’t have a relatively healthy employee and culture mix. So there’s a degree of uncertainty (which most employee candidates face) outside of trying to find the obvious red flags from tools such as Glassdoor and industry news publications.


• What are the best ways of acquiring new skills valuable for operations roles?

Best ways of acquiring operation roles skills is, in my opinion, getting the chance to work directly in almost any business in an operations / admin role. In a SME, you may get a better chance to get your hands dirty across most aspects of an operations role - a larger organisation may be more rigid in its roles, and an individual may not get the chance to develop overall operations experience.

This does present a chicken/egg paradox to undergrads, especially if the quality of their academic learning and output is time intensive (it can be difficult to know whether a university job on the side will ultimately help or hinder active students).

However, as Tara Mac Aulay stated succinctly (EA Podcast) in her own story to the part of operations management - working in a fast food business can be a brilliant experience in learning the operations of a business. And if you strip away the differences in values and business goals of most organisations, good operations will be a key factor in any organisation’s success.

Otherwise, showing up for projects, discussions and events in the EA or other movements shows a can-do attitude which not only helps the individual, but an organisation in assessing a potential candidate’s probability of doing well in a given role.


• What should promising candidates do to signal their fit and experience to potential employers to help smooth out the costly recruitment process?

Signalling | Possible Qualification for Potential Hires
MBA / Business Graduates. If we wish to think further, delving into connecting with business graduates with a need to align their values to EA organisations could be a brilliant area to investigate (which I understand has been noted in previous EA research). It may be interesting to see how many business graduates are compelled to work with an EA aligned organisation - to take on work at a significantly less salary in return for values alignment. I would surmise that not every business graduate wants to automatically become a McKinsey / PwC analyst - Or perhaps would be interested in EA orgs after a stint as an analyst.

Signalling | Operations Individuals from a non-EA Background with Interest in the EA Movement
Someone who has had proven experience in operations / admin in a non EA business will give a guarantee of experience to offer. I understand that the question has been posed as to the effectiveness of hiring people from non-EA backgrounds. However, I would generalise here again and say ‘on a case by case basis’, many young/mid-level professionals would jump at the chance to work within the EA movement if their own internal compass is desiring a refocussing on career purpose and on doing their part in tackling larger, existential issues of which the EA Movement encompasses.

Signalling | Technical Certifications and / or Willingness to Learn / Gain:
Whether we are looking at business graduates, non-related disciplines and/or existing EA members and undergraduates, a potential hire could go for the following certifications to bolster their skills & experience:

- PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification - the international gold standard of competence and tested ability for building business project management chops: https://www.pmi.org/certifications

- Spreadsheet certifications are also an excellent signal of admin competencies. The office unicorn is often the spreadsheet whiz. Data science, stats & maths undergrads may have the heads up in this area as well if they wish to grab certification to embellish their degree.
Excel certifications - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/office-certification.aspx.
Google Sheets - https://gsuite.google.com/learning-center/products/sheets/#!/

- Cloud Certification - as orgs can run cheaply on cloud-based platforms, knowing or having certification in, say, the popular Google Cloud / G Suite platform - https://cloud.google.com/certification/gsuite.

- SQL certifications are also a help - especially if running databases and documentation standards are of value to an organisation.

- Amazon Web Services (AWS) is also an excellent direction for finding very useful and relevant certifications on the more technical / programming side of business operations - https://aws.amazon.com/certification/

- Business analyst or audit certifications surely help in building overall understanding of a business, as well as being able to zoom down into the granular workflows, databases & policies.

- Financial - Experience with the following key living business ledgers:
1) Balance Sheet
2) Profit and loss statement
3) Cash Flow Statement
These are also used to balance funding and grants and usually sit within a spreadsheet application / platform.

- Proven experience working in admin / operations / project management within a company / office. The willingness to learn should also be taken into account with someone who may not have such experience as yet; which brings me to the last point:

- Sociability, commitment & consistency, having a growth & problem solving mindset, respect for on-the-job learning, value alignment in EA movement and the belief that supporting, running & maintaining the ship is key to being able to have it complete it’s raison d'être.

I’d also note that some people could come in on a technical, research or other discipline in an organisation and later find a penchant for good operations management.


• Given the answers to the questions above, what can local and national groups do to find and train potential candidates and help in the recruitment process?

EA Org Self-Audit | Requirements and Needs | Building out a Roadmap
I would recommend an EA org act as their own business analysts and to sit down and write out all the requirements needed in their organisation (leaving nothing out - including daily tasks) - Including how often they need certain tasks done with some projection into the next calendar year. These tasks could be broken down and assigned into roles needed to be filled in an organisational structure chart.

This can all be a part of building a larger roadmap in this area, which may even be able to be utilised by other EA aligned organisations in the future (as an open-source resource).

Leveraging HR Industry Knowledge | Reinventing the Wheel?
I would suggest we could find in our first & second degree networks; HR managers who are willing to give their input into how they discern good operations potential and company fit. We could also cold-contact HR organisations with great track records for advice. An HR manager may also benefit from a pro bono consultation with the EA movement as their charitable giving component of their own resume. There are also whole HR CRM’s (including powerful platforms such as LinkedIn) which have been developed with making a HR person’s job easier. EA could stand to benefit from using these platforms & tools - as well as helping existing EA members build up to future possible roles with EA organisations.

If there are HR groups in the network or someone able to be contacted, then I say this could warrant an investigation.

There are also business groups and networks dedicated to standards of excellence in operations, projects & management. NFP’s are often given free mentoring and resources from commercial industries, which could be an interesting area to investigate. This also includes contacting NFP & NGO hiring organisations.

Partnering with Commercial Organisations in developing a professional HR stream or an EA HR group.
I understand it’s been noted before as a possible project / organisation to establish or partner with. An HR group who could be devoted to solving these problems or at least giving healthy and standardised pathways in HR and EA Movement building. Either as a partnership structure, a standards group or people with the HR skills and experience who would be able to help EA aligned orgs in their HR requirements. This could be not only useful in working with the existing EA network of members, but also in being proactive in bringing more operations professionals into the EA Movement.

As with the MBA / Business analyst signalling in candidates - Perhaps there could be a partnership stream with such companies? This may be a potentially challenging project to tackle, however you have another layer of proven experience in potential candidates from such a talent pool, so in terms of investment, even one good hire per year into the EA network from such a partnership may be a project which justifies and pays for itself.

Building from Our Current Findings | A Continuing Team Task group Opportunity?
As with the stellar work done by @Eirin and @Jorgen in this series of research and publications, this direction of inquiry is a rich field to continue delving into, not only for tackling the EA Operations Management bottleneck, but in further developing the EA Movement’s ability to assess our new and existing members, as a large human resource capability and assistance network.

If not already done so, an EA aligned working task group could be assembled in order to further support Eirin & Jorgen’s work on this topic.

Continuing to develop reporting in this series ranks highly in my personal understanding of the EA Movement’s needs. Building on what we’ve learned, can then be generated, and the findings used to help guide decision making in the future and suggested next steps.

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Side Note | Startup / LEAN Tools for Academic Use
I am gaining awareness from EA literature that academics in general could also benefit from an interdisciplinary set of frameworks & tools from operations management / startups for use in their own field of academics. No doubt, most academics would also benefit from having executive and virtual assistants as a common practice, but I digress - funding constraints et all. It would be interesting to see how, (as a non-academic) cross-pollination of these areas can be used to help the field as a whole. Perhaps academics who wish to take on better operations & project management tools could gain from startup culture lessons and tools. But that’s another sandwich to discuss.

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Was any of this helpful in any way? I'm working on being active in the forum this year, however I would rather refrain from adding non-useful / irrelevant noise to the mix.