The Challenge

L4 Digital, a Seattle-based digital services company, was on a rapid growth trajectory when it was acquired by Globant. This meant that the management team needed individual contributors to step up into leadership roles in the Engineering function – just as the company itself was transitioning to new ownership. L4 wanted management and practice development that provided some structure, but that was in alignment with their non-hierarchal, collaborative culture. How could L4 quickly develop a management team that reflected their own guiding principles during a time of organizational change?

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The Solution

HumanPoint’s group coaching solution allowed L4 to develop their leadership team efficiently, while providing an environment where new managers could strengthen relationships and learn from each other as they prepared for transition, rapid growth, and expanding responsibilities. Brandon Albers, L4’s CTO, and Ben McAllister, VP of Engineering, brought Amy Hedin and Molly Fitch from HumanPoint in to help them first define the L4 way of leading and developing people, and second, create a custom approach that would engage a busy technical audience. HumanPoint’s deep experience with the development environment allowed them to understand L4’s challenges so that they could create a completely customized program that was relevant to L4’s exact needs.

Amy Hedin and her HumanPoint team collaborated with Albers and McAllister on both design and delivery. Together, they documented process flow, built the tools, and shaped the curriculum that would drive the L4 way of leading and developing people.

McAllister appreciated HumanPoint’s strategic approach to creating accountability and openness. “I came up with a bulleted list of the aspects of our engineering practice that we wanted to address, which rolled out from the company values that Amy helped us to articulate. That gave us a framework to align short- and long-term goals for people. We identified the facets and responsibilities of each role in the group, which gave us a kind of organizational awareness. We have a team that is very ‘engineering-minded,’ and building this guiding document really helped us get ahead of people’s concerns so that they didn’t become bottlenecks in our conversations.”

“There’s a lot of time and effort that go into making this content relevant,” says Albers. “The curriculum is meaningful, it targets us as an organization, and each of the units are tailored to who we are and where we are at. Each session is tied to one of our core values, but also to real-world scenarios, because Amy and Molly know who we are and what we do. I’m able to meet with HumanPoint and set the vision, and then they do the leg work and execute on it, with regular check-ins with me to make sure we’re headed in the right direction.”

Once HumanPoint and L4 determined the curriculum, they then began bringing the L4 management team together to learn in small group coaching sessions, working with 35 managers over the course of 2 years. “Amy’s methodology was to create smaller groups that rolled up into a larger message; a tiered approach that allowed people of any level of maturity in leadership to come in and gain valuable skills,” says Albers. “It was a great way to have a consistent process that you could drop new leaders into throughout the year as they progressed internally.”

“Everyone that they’ve brought in has been spot-on,” says Albers. “They’re senior-experience individuals, so they bring a lot of expertise. It gives me a different conduit for insight into the organization – how the sessions are going, trends they are seeing and hearing. The coaches are all different, but they work really well together.”

HumanPoint’s Performance Management Coaching program built on L4’s existing processes to build a culture where managers and peers created ongoing development through continuous feedback. HumanPoint’s group coaching sessions typically bring 3 to 5 people of similar management level and experience together for about an hour, once or twice a month. Participants receive preparatory material via their private coaching portal prior to each session. Groups are matched to HumanPoint coaches based on experience and personality fit, with reliable quality in delivery across the coaching team.

“Everyone that they’ve brought in has been spot-on,” says Albers. “They’re senior-experience individuals, so they bring a lot of expertise. It gives me a different conduit for insight into the organization – how the sessions are going, trends they are seeing and hearing. The coaches are all different, but they work really well together.”

Albers says that HumanPoint worked particularly closely with the L4 team over the sale of the company and the integration into the larger organization. “Anytime some big change happens in a company, the conversations usually start with fear about what is going to change. We’d never been acquired or been through an integration. So having this coaching structure, guided by these senior people who could understand and affirm the anxiety, but then move the team forward, was really valuable. It was a consistent touchpoint that helped the whole team stay grounded.”

The collaboration between HumanPoint and L4 was built on trust, open communication, and honesty. “What fostered the relationship was alignment with our values, transparency, consistent delivery, and consistently good coaches,” says Albers.

“HumanPoint earned my trust by working alongside me in the trenches,” says McAllister. “I feel like they are a couple of my strongest professional relationships. Their coaches took risks with me by pushing people to be coached in new directions. They’ve helped me cure some difficult relationships. I can’t talk enough about how easy they are to work with, and having their experience at the table has really helped anchor us through this period of transition.”

The constantly evolving, feedback-driven model for the program truly fit with L4’s engineering culture. “Amy really took the time to get to know us to tailor the program around our core values and put together a cohesive system. It’s not just a generic program roll-out. The structure is ongoing; it develops as it moves through the groups. I’m starting with Amy working on high-level direction, content is delivered to my director team by Molly, modification happens based on conversations there, and then it goes out to the other groups of leaders. There’s a lot of feedback, and the cyclical conversation aligns with us as an organization, which makes the sessions meaningful. HumanPoint took something that could have been packaged and dry and made it something that people look forward to, because they are getting value out of it.”