LRN

www.lrn.com
There are newer employer reviews for LRN

4 people found this helpful  

Extremely Rewarding Place to Work

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

I have been working at LRN

Pros

LRN is full of mission-driven colleagues who are out to make the world a better place and who are passionate to do so. They are very smart, collaborative and fun to work with.
There is enormous potential for personal growth as everyone is encouraged to pursue their passions and to think without constraints. This is enabled by a flat structure and self governing culture.
The company cares deeply about its customers and about helping them foster values-based, self governing cultures.
The company's thought leadership is leading edge. It just released a report which shows in tangible terms that companies with values-based self governing cultures outperform in the areas of innovation, customer satisfaction, employee loyalty and financial performnace. This was just reported on in The Economist.
The company is investing heavily in the development of new and innovative solutions.
The company has beautiful offices in great locations. The offices are designed to encourage connection, collaboration, transparency and innovation.

Cons

The mission is so significant that there is a tremendous amount that needs to be done. One can spend extraordinary amounts of effort and time and yet there is still so much more to do. To some this may be frustrating.
People who require traditional hierachical structures, functional departments and lines of authority will find this to be a very challenging environment as the company is flat and self governing.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Do not change the strategy and keep executing on it. LRN is making a difference in the world and the impact is being felt.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

149 Other Employee Reviews for LRN (View Most Recent)

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  1. 14 people found this helpful  

    LRN suffers from fear-based performance due to a philosophy encumbered by semantics and uncertainty.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at LRN

    Pros

    - There are a tremendous amount of intelligent and hard-working people working in every office.
    - Their new space in New York is aesthetically beautiful.
    - There is a push to encourage people to work collaboratively.

    Cons

    - There were numerous company-wide discussions and e-mail communications that discussed private employee matters in the name of transparency.
    - Decisions are made without expediency even when timeliness is important.
    - Even though people are encouraged to be self-governing, when it comes time for an actual decision to be made employees aren't given the freedom to make self-governing decisions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please evaluate the way in which you speak to and about employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 12 people found this helpful  

    Inspiring Mission, Great Colleagues, Can be an beacon company if Exec Committee evolves its style

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I have been working at LRN

    Pros

    Because LRN's aspirations are so noble and lofty, I sometimes feel that only its missteps go recognized and its many positive features aren't properly credited. There are a lot of terrific things about this organization.

    1. At LRN you genuinely have an opportunity to work for a company with an inspiring mission and purpose. You get to work on interesting projects where you know your endeavors are helping people. Really, I think people lose sight of how interesting a lot of the day-to-day work is that we do here.

    2. There are amazing colleagues here that bring a diverse set of talents and experiences to the role. It genuinely inspires me to get out of bed in the morning to be able to collaborate with these people.

    3. There is a terrific entrepreneurial spirit here - where if you recognize projects or opportunities you're interested in, you can spearhead that project. So if you can make the case, people will be excited that you are taking the initiative. In line with that entrepreneurial atmosphere, you need to be comfortable working through ambiguity as that's a part of the organizational culture.

    4. With many roles here you have an admirable amount of freedom and flexibility for how you get the job done: there is a lot of freedom to work remotely when necessary, no set vacation policy and a general freedom from micromanaging oversight for most roles. Colleagues are supportive and helpful in providing feedback.

    5. If you like asking big picture questions, LRN offers space, indeed openly encourages serious and thoughtful reflection. A great place for thinkers who like toying with ideas.

    Cons

    LRN is on a journey and is making a genuine and ongoing efforts to improve its culture, that said here are some areas for development:

    1.The company regularly mistakes semantic change for actual cultural change. Often it is thought just by outlawing language - actual change is achieved. As a small example, Green Order and LRN were just integrated in one office. The word 'integration' was pronounced off-bounds. 'There is no integration, we're already one company' announced the CEO. A noble thought in principle. That said, besides making the word off-bounds, there were no real efforts to actually help integrate the two cultures. This is how a lot of organizational change occurs here. Semantics change, but the underlying reality remains the same. Or just as often the underlying issue festers, because the official language has declared the issue 'resolved'.

    2. Despite its stated aspirations about inspirational leadership, the internal tone set by the EC is 'my way or the highway', authoritarian and coercive. This is not deliberate, but it is the case. It's like a parent that yells at its child "don't yell at your sister! we don't yell in this house" ...as much as the parent may 100% believe it's message is correct and clear - the parent fails to see the behavior it models (yelling) trumps the content of its message (don't yell). This is a challenge here. The CEO emphasizes inspiration and he undeniably means it, but on a day-to-day basis his default personal style with employees is command & control: authoritarian, browbeating and intimidating.

    3. The EC and CEO struggles with even basic operational decision-making. They are truly best in class at setting a vision for the organization, but they have real struggles with basic business operations thinking such as prioritization, resource allocation and activity sequencing. However, rather than acknowledging this weakness and empowering someone with actual authority to make those decisions on their behalf, the EC holds on to the reins and tries to fall back on what it knows and 'vision-set' its way through business decisions. Consequently, many basic business processes are broken and being held together by heroics and creative employee workarounds. Although everyone has the best intentions, this can be very frustrating and is crippling LRN's ability to achieve its mission.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Full disclosure in the spirit of transparency: I had never heard of Glassdoor before and had no desire to visit, but was repeatedly encouraged by an internal corporate-wide initiative to post something here.

    I don't mind posting, as there are many things that I like and appreciate about LRN (the official impetus which was shared was that disgruntled former employees with an axe to grind were 'gaming' the site - and it provided an inaccurate portrait of the organization).

    Visiting the site for the first time, I encountered a lot of these posts. I can verify, many were written from a place of bitterness, spite and retributive negativity. They did have an agenda and their scores did not reflect many of the positive features of the organization.

    However, I will *also* say that I was struck by how many of the concerns these older posts mentioned - beneath the angry language - are nonetheless still serious challenges here (that are still not being addressed). So to list a few that I saw: that there is 'no opportunity for promotion', 'no clear career path', 'no system for merit-based pay', 'high attrition', 'all real decisions decided by EC' etc. All still significant issues.

    In fact, many of the challenges mentioned above seem *even more* aggravated - as the CEO recently unilaterally announced that all employees (besides the EC) would be stripped of all titles and designations.

    I guess this is my way of saying - by actually coming to this site for the first time and seeing that some of the underlying issues from older posts are not only untreated, but even more entrenched - it raises a concern for me that through this initiative LRN executive leadership is focusing on treating the cosmetic symptoms rather than the underlying causal issues. It is focusing its energy towards putting makeup over the bruise, rather than deliberately addressing the factors that have caused (and may continue to cause) the bruise to appear.

    This is my attempt to be rigorous about the truth of the present.

    Disapproves of CEO
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