The big news to Broadspring this week was the termination of a business deal between Launch Vic and a company called 500 Start Ups essentially over sexual harassment.
Reported by Smart Company rather than direct HR news sources, this decision to end a business relationship over company culture.
Earlier in the year the US CEO had allegations of sexual harassment made public amidst claims that the start up support was sexist and consistently sexually harassed female entrepreneurs.
It may have been the actions of only one man but that man was the CEO.
What goes on at the top is interpreted as what is condoned, if not encouraged, within the company as a whole.
The female Victorian CEO resigning this month was the final straw for Launch Vic who said that without a local strong relationship the deal couldn’t progress. The CEO resigned as she went to Silicon Valley and found competing priorities and a business with a lot on its plate.
Why is this HR news?
1. Culture affects behaviour, and behaviour affects customers, business partners and suppliers
What goes on inside the business is observable to those on the outside and judgements will be made
2. People talk about the way they are treated by others. This is how reputations are built and broken.
Social media allows views to be shared very widely.
3. A business making internal changes especially to culture should not underestimate the energy and resources that making widespread change requires.
The comment of “competing priorities” suggests that 500 StartUps is trying to make significant change while growing and expanding the core business. Could be trying to do too much too soon.