Re-Humanizing the Workplace (and beyond!)

Behind the scenes, StartHuman is a collection of avid researchers, learners, and critical thinkers who obsess over human interaction. We think deeply about what makes humans tick, what truly influences behavior, and what it means to be human in the first place. After years of education, research, and experience we have found one thing to be true—every workplace is dependent on human interaction but very few know how to do it well. We are passionate about applying what we’ve learned to partner up with leaders and their teams to break down the barriers and bring out the best in their people. We believe that, by building a better workplace, we can build a better world.

Amber Barnes

FOUNDER & CHIEF LEARNING OFFICER

Amber always had an interest in learning. She earned a degree in education knowing it was one of the puzzle pieces that filled in her life’s vision. However, it wasn’t until Amber began working as the Learning & Sales Development Consultant at Wells Fargo that she discovered a passion for leadership & developing people.

Amber had a front-row seat as she watched leaders go through the ups and downs of leading and developing their people. Over time, she started to see a pattern— managers were either people-focused and well-liked by their team or they were goals-focused and top in their sales. But it seemed like there was a trade-off. It left Amber wondering “is it possible to have both?” “Can an organization both take care of their employees and also reach their goals?”

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Kerri Meyer

CHIEF EDUCATION OFFICER

Kerri started working in the training and development space before it was an established department in most organizations. In 1997 she became Director of Training and Development for a payroll company and it was during this time that she realized she had a true passion for bridging the gap between operational goals and “the human factor.”

Solving problems through people, process and discovery is what energizes Kerri, and she was able to do just that while at Intuit, Symantec and Veritas. After earning her MBA, Kerri found ways to apply her business and operations skills to the learning environment to ensure a return on people investment. Creating systems, programs and experiential learning experiences using sound learning practices, allowed her to both develop people and to return measurable results to the organization.Read More…

Kevin Lloyd

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

Kevin has been in the learning and development world since 1989. He has led learning in corporations like IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as small consulting organizations for over 30 years. For years, Kevin taught programming systems architecture and also worked in career management and development. He was responsible for the professional development of both new hires and tenured leaders alike.

Kevin joined the StartHuman team in February of 2020 and plays the important role of helping to collect, measure, and track results. After many years in training and development teams across the country, Kevin uses his experienced eye to study the data, draw conclusions, and make recommendations for moving forward. Read More…

Courtney Vogt

CLIENT EXPERIENCE ASSISTANT

Courtney helps the StartHuman team behind the scenes to keep the “i’s” dotted and the “t’s” crossed. She supports the team with research, data entry, processing surveys, preparing reports, arranging appointments, and connecting with clients. 

She loves being able to support the StartHuman team and the residual effects of learning about self-development and leadership. 

When Courtney isn’t supporting the team she likes to get out and support the community. She volunteers at local organizations like Ronald McDonald House, Community Food Pantry, and Blueprint 360. Courtney loves spending time with her family and her Golden Retriever, Rick.

Why StartHuman? 

Humans are equally the most crucial and most challenging aspect of building a business. They can be complex, emotional, and unpredictable which can make leading them difficult. So it makes sense that organizations looking to increase productivity and get a bigger “piece of the pie” would try to outsmart the hurdles posed by humanity and engineer around it. Over the years, many have tried to standardize, digitize, and systematize away all the “messiness” that comes with human interaction. They have replaced training with training manuals and purposeful work with the pressure to perform. This has resulted in sink or swim cultures where there is little room for mistakes, development is self-lead, and “climbing the ladder” results in a myriad of unhealthy and outright toxic behaviors. Read More…

The StartHuman Mission

The workplace is one of the largest contributors in our society to human suffering. At StartHuman we provide the education, direction, and support people need to be able to create workplaces where humans flourish which results in sustainable success for organizations and humanity.

The StartHuman Values

Not Knowing is Rad 

We believe we’re all connected by a deep desire to always be learning. We ask questions like “what can we learn from this?” We believe in failing fast and celebrating failure (because it means we tried something new or put ourselves out there or now have an opportunity to learn!)

Choose Courage

A lot of what we do challenges the status quo. Challenging happens through feedback, speaking the unspoken, talking about that which is taboo at work. It’s kinda the core of our work. We believe in both/and thinking and ask questions like “is that true?”

Celebrate Humanity

We always have the freedom to lead ourselves regardless of what’s going on around us. We own our experiences, we choose our behaviors, we always have a choice. We are inspired by Viktor Frankl’s quote “The last of human freedoms–to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” We see this as leadership.

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