WHO: This Spark Festival event was a collaboration between Tova Angsuwat (People Operations at Google) and I, presented to the start-up community and sponsored by the Google Cloud for Startups Program. 

WHY: Tova and I wanted to address the growing challenges start-ups and high-growth businesses face in hiring and retaining talent. 

WHAT: Our different but complementary areas of expertise created the opportunity to address the topic from two discreet angles: creating a culture of sustainable productivity and hiring the keepers.

HOW: In roundtable format, Tova and I each shared insights from our experience and research, inviting attendees to share their challenges, observations, questions and advice with the group. In this way, we were able to establish the most prevalent issues, and discuss concrete tactics to address these in fast-paced environments. 

Check out the top take-aways from the event here.

The co-host said…

Jenna and Tova @ Google, Melbourne – Cat Bouwhuis Photography

Leveraging her 10 years working across Google’s People and Culture function, Tova is a regular speaker at events across the startup and tech sector. Here’s what she said about working with me:

“It was a pleasure partnering with Jenna for our Google-sponsored event. She was organised, thoughtful and a great person to collaborate with in creating the content for the event.

She went beyond sharing theoretical insights and gave specific examples and tactical tools that teams and leaders could use immediately. Whether a company is in an infancy or massive growth stage, Jenna’s tools, advice and consultation would be incredibly valuable for building highly productive teams.”

– Tova Angsuwat, People Operations, Google

Attendees said…

Exploring experiences and actions – Cat Bouwhuis Photography

A diverse range of attendees arrived at Google’s Melbourne HQ: aspiring founders, experienced start-up leaders, people and culture experts, consultants, community managers and investors.

The group was highly engaged in the interactive roundtable format, sharing their challenges, experiences and advice alongside Tova and I. Some of their comments were:

“Thank you both for such an amazing morning of laughs and lessons!” – Anjali Kumanan, Founder, Your Stuff Made

“I really enjoyed your presentation and concrete advice for team productivity and well being; particularly how you baseline everything and kick off mini experiments to tangibly measure impact.” – Jenna Lohan, Program Manager, POps Rotational Programs, Google

“I really enjoyed the session. Great networking, but also the content was so relevant… it was good to hear we’re not alone!” – Sarah Dobson, Head of People Experience, FrankieOne

“Thanks for an insightful conversation/presentation – so many valuable insights to consider.” – Vincent Chun, Innovation Coaching Consultant.

“What a wonderful event this morning! Thank you Tova Angsuwat and Jenna Polson” – Startmate Fellow

“Thanks to Jenna Polson of TimeBeings and Tova Angsuwat of Google for the insights and useful takeaways” – Dickie Currier, Head of Partnerships, Startup Victoria

“Great event this morning! I took a lot away from it. Glad that we were able to offer support.” – Paul Dowd, Programmatic Media Lead, Google

And you?

Perhaps, like Google, you’re looking to kick-off a conversation with your community. A conversation that brings people together, but ultimately leads to action, the beginnings of a culture of sustainable productivity. Let’s chat.