Reinventing the world of work – our journey as a growing business

Looking back at 2014 is a very proud moment in edge’s ten-year history.
In just one year we achieved the transformation from a grant-based talent development and placement organization towards an organization delivering crucial support in unblocking business performance – and we’re well on track to profitability!

Today we want to share some of our successes and learnings from our journey.

Where are we in December?

We had enthusiastic and constructive conversations with dozens of small and growing businesses in seven countries. CEOs, COOs and HR decision makers told us the value of spending time to discuss people performance in an analytical manner.

One of our key products are diagnostics products, giving clear information on how well the team is set up to achieve performance. Especially in Latin America where we have rolled out diagnostics earlier in the year we have since started follow-up engagements to address some of the identified opportunities and threats.

The top management of two companies have found it most helpful to cover talent related management topics in regular sessions over a full quarter, in turn allowing them to feel safe while applying new approaches supporting the growth of the company.

We are very grateful to be a trusted partner in a transition moment of a CEO role in one of our clients.

Our bestseller has been the RightHire product in various facets: Some companies value our expertise in creating a clear role profile, others ask for support in building attractive employer branding or the best tactics in targeting talent. Beyond traditional hiring products we’re excited to have implemented personality and team mapping thus setting the new team members up for long-term performance.

We are having honest conversations with investors and grant-making foundations around diagnosing the human capital in start-ups and building a pilot to de-risk investment decisions for early 2015.

Being able to contribute beyond work with individual clients and shaping opinion and trends is very close to our heart. edge is now invited on panels at events in the SME space. We have partnered with 3 accelerators on trainings of their business cohorts. We are becoming a go-to partner for international foundations where they need support on the ground around understanding human capacity and making conversations work.

 

How did we get here?

  • We stayed curious about our business model. After our market research in Quarter 1 we were about to close in on a new product suite and business model. Only by staying curious were we able to go as far as we have gone. “Would we deliver scalable online services or tailored one-on-one consulting?” – “How do you compare with other HR players?” Like any other start-up we received advice and dooming predictions from all sides. It was sometimes uncomfortable and scary to go for meetings without a product suite. Sometimes we would create “tentative product sheets” and a month later contradict ourselves.
  • We truly trusted the team. Having the full team contribute to strategy and question each other on whether we’re on the right path has definitely helped in creating the products. Even more crucial was the mindset shift in management: In edge everybody has permission to approach any client, all can spend money on research, sales and delivery and everyone is asked to innovate and deliver all of our products. We are eliminating titles and micro-management and instead the team members support each other to focus their energy on where they are most likely to add value to edge.
  • We let the customer decide: The deepest assumption of our products is that the client knows himself best. All our services evolve around providing data to the management teams, offering options and facilitating conversations. We don’t provide simplifying answers in a transactional manner, but rather enable every person in the client business to take better decisions and deliver real business value. This in turn means that all product development decisions are truly based on the users’ responses and needs – and not on our idea of what we believe.

There’s more to share and even more to learn moving forward. If you like what you read, please join us on our journey in 2015!