LRN Reviews in New York City, NY | Glassdoor

LRN New York City Reviews

Updated June 15, 2017
53 reviews

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New York City, NY Area

3.4
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LRN Chairman and CEO Dov L. Seidman
Dov L. Seidman
46 Ratings

53 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Work from home facility is rocking (few employees abuse it though) (in 11 reviews)

  • Good work life balance, Friendly colleagues, Flat Culture (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • flat, self governing structure can at times create role confusion (in 13 reviews)

  • LRN says it is a flat organization (in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Intern at LRN!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Desktop Support Technician in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Desktop Support Technician in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LRN full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great place to work, good energy. Very nice people, not like every other environment, no one is above you. All at the a same level. It is on 5th Ave!!

    Cons

    Only 6 month contract, I don't want to leave. They need to hire permanent Desktop Support Technicians.

    Advice to Management

    Keep everything how it is and help more companies do the same.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Buyer Beware!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at LRN full-time

    Pros

    don't know how they do it, but they hire truly awesome people
    no rules...... seriously! no employee handbook, no t&e policy, no limits on time off

    Cons

    have you read Animal Farm? LRN is a flat, self-governing organization with the exception of the CEO, CFO and Gen'l Counsel (all animals are created equal, except for us). There is no room for advancement and beware of their claims to transparency. It is used to ostracize and humiilate publicly

    Advice to Management

    Listen to all the feet marching out of the office. People want some structure and knowledge that they can grow their skills / knowledge.


  3. Helpful (15)

    "Marketing Assistant"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Assistant in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Marketing Assistant in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at LRN full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Worked with some very nice people, but nothing else.

    Cons

    CEO is a bully, liar and a fake. Preaches "ethics" but is one of the most dishonest, manipulative people I have ever worked for. The revolving door of execs and employees reflects an abusive working environment, and it all starts at the top.


  4. Helpful (35)

    "Engagement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Engagement in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Engagement in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at LRN full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    A paycheck for a few years. I liked the people very much but is was just life during wartime.

    Cons

    The CEO does not want employees, he wants cult followers. Or at least he wants people who can function well in an atmospheres of extreme cognitive dissonance. See Chapter 6. of the HOW book. The difference between the LRN promise and reality is enormous. All that is supposed to be inspirational at best and benign at worst is, when actually working at LRN, tedious and soul-crushing. On a daily basis, I felt like I was losing my mind. Just one example: following a long CEO talk about values and human dignity, I would hear him publicly humiliate a co-worker because he/she did not live up to LRN values. He uses his manufactured ‘Leadership Principles’ to punish his enemies inside and outside the organization. The LRN culture is dysfunctional and authoritarian. Do not believe a word of the happy talk about a LRN being a ‘flat organization.’ That is complete nonsense and just something the CEO says at Davos to be edgy and provocative; just like the unlimited vacation policy. Total baloney. The CEO runs the place with an iron fist and you won’t last the week if you cross him in any way. I should know. I told him that I thought he was being unreasonable once; I was let go soon thereafter. So much for truth, openness and tolerance. Fear is rampant. Stay away.

    Advice to Management

    Run. All your heinous behaviour is catching up to you. Karma will not be kind to you.


  5. Helpful (26)

    "RUN!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at LRN full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I genuinely can not think of one.

    Cons

    Please note that the positive reviews you see on here have mostly been written because the leadership desperately wanted to clean its image on this site. They struggle to get people hired. Please read the positive reviews with a huge grain of salt.

    Most employees are unhappy and here is why:

    LRN’s main mission is to inspire principled performance but unfortunately they couldn’t get their own leadership to act in accordance with the values they so often preached. I’ve outlined the things LRN wants to say they are and how it actually was when I worked there.

    LRN says it is a flat organization. They think because no one has titles that it means everyone is a leader.

    Reality:
    Although they claim everyone is equal, there is a MAJOR distinction in ranks. The two major rankings include leadership, and everyone else. Because no one was given titles, people took liberties by calling themselves the heads of departments and constantly craved power and authority. One major theme that rose from this “flat” structure is that people were constantly put down or blamed if they weren’t leadership. This also gave way to a culture that encouraged others to feel lost, feel unappreciated for their hard work, feel invisible, and feel frustrated because they could not define their next step professionally.

    LRN says it believes that you create a tone from the top.

    Reality:
    This one is actually true. The tone that the CEO gave the rest of the company was that you can get away with bad behavior, bullying people, not respecting those that aren’t at your level, and never taking accountability for mistakes. This is how a lot of people close to the CEO also treated the lower ranking employees. Bad behavior was normal. My colleagues would often be crying in the bathrooms after having being belittled. When you did complain about people’s bad behavior you were basically told “We all know that this person is like that. That’s just how it is.” Happy hours were spent swapping horror stories about the "leaders" and how they had been passive aggressive bullies who craved authority and lacked basic human decency.

    LRN says it supports innovation and promotes inclusiveness and creativity.

    Reality:
    LRN does not want anything to change and anytime anyone has a new idea; it is met with difficulty and blockages. An example of this is when a few of my former colleagues wanted to start a Diversity and Inclusion committee. The colleague who spearheaded it was to present the idea to the leadership committee (ironic because apparently they are flat?) and while he presented the idea with a lot of positivity, he was faced with backlash. Leadership questioned if we had a problem at all with diversity (which they did) and why it was even important. The colleague who put this together was finally given the green light but continued to receive strict rules on what this committee should look like and how it should operate.

    To be honest, I can go on and on about the bad behavior of the organization, the hypocrisy, the huge turnover rate, and stress how the positive reviews on here are DEFINITELY lies, but ultimately I’d like to leave you with this: DO NOT WORK THERE.

    Advice to Management

    Start reading the reviews and actually doing something about them rather than posting fake positive ones. Start practicing what you preach.


  6. Helpful (4)

    "Bringing Your Best Self Matters"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LRN full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Without discounting some of the experiences some employees have had, I want to note that withholding judgement is a lost art in our culture. If you choose to work in a non-traditional environment, you really have to keep your mind open for a while and settle in before summing up the place. Non-traditional workplaces also evolve more consistently than other types of organizations; that doesn't mean there is no goalpost. That said, LRN offers its employees the ability to be self-accountable, creative, and innovative. I've worked at a wide variety of places in a number of fields, and I've never experienced this level of trust and freedom anywhere. After many years as an adult in the non-work world, I am finally viewed as a grown-up within my own workplace. How refreshing. With that trust and freedom comes a responsibility to deal with your own internal motivators and the lack of an overt external rewards system. I think people should really consider that carefully because it will color your day-to-day experiences. Are you really someone who wants to rely on yourself to bring your best self to your work each day? Will you continue to be excited to use your skills and work hard if you are for the most part your own "boss," and therefore it may feel like no one is patting you on the back (though good work at LRN definitely does not go unnoticed)? If so, you will likely be quite happy at LRN. This is not to imply that people who have had negative experiences are lazy or not motivated—to flip it: some people are fully accustomed to highly structured environments with external rewards and are happy with that, and some are not. The rewards of being at LRN are weaved in to the day-to-day experiences of working with outstanding, intelligent, and morally conscious people; being able to draw a clear line between what you do and how it has benefited the company as a whole without someone "holding it over your head;" having room to grow and utilize your skills in ways that might fall outside the lines of your day-to-day work, as well as explore new skills; and, being valued holistically as a human, as opposed to being just a worker who is good/bad at their job. These rewards and others are your own if they are meaningful to you. Still, LRN also offers great "traditional" professional development opportunities, compensation incentives, and an outstanding benefit package. As a prospective employee, it is also important to look carefully at the mission and philosophy of LRN and understand and respect that it is actually alive within the company. Does the company mission resonate with you? If not, it is not the best opportunity for you. I have personally felt inspired that there is much more than lip service given to LRN's mission. I would also like to add there is a friendliness and joyfulness at LRN that I have not experienced elsewhere. Like every other work environment, it is not pure perfection, but there is a tangible "can do" vibe that comes from a positive place of caring, rather than a negative fear of retribution or loss.

    Cons

    Not everyone is wired to be self-driven and accountable; or, sometimes it takes time to learn how to be when given the opportunity. This can create a sense of imbalance with regard to who is "working hard" and who isn't.

    Advice to Management

    The focus on the positive is great, and operational changes are really having an impact. With so many super smart, quick-thinking people on board, the promotion of active listening as a day-to-day practice during collaborative efforts might be beneficial.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "A Wonderful Place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LRN full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The employees at LRN are fabulous. Never have I met such a dedicated group of people who not only are very serious in their work, but maintain a sense of compassion, humility and warmth that I have never experienced. The workplace is open and conducive to sharing different opinions, which is very important .is a company is to grow and be successful.

    Cons

    There are some very long hours, but it is definitely worth it

    Advice to Management

    Keep the momentum going. Things are only getting better!


  8. Helpful (5)

    "Passion and growth while working for a meaningful purpose"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Development Executive in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Business Development Executive in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at LRN (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - Opportunities to innovate and take leadership
    - Smart and friendly colleagues
    - Collaborative environment
    - Inspiring leaders
    - Trust is extended
    - Transparency

    Cons

    - Some organizational difficulties in adapting to change
    - Onboarding process can be improved
    - Career path needs to be clearer for most employees

    Advice to Management

    Do not be discouraged by opportunistic and disloyal employees. Trust and empower passionate colleagues. Be optimistic. You have great people, outstanding products and a unique organization.

    LRN Response

    Oct 21, 2016 – Company Response

    Thank you for this balanced review. The pros reflect areas where we've been intentional in setting a different kind of tone which is designed to be empowering. Having gathered very talented people ... More


  9. Helpful (1)

    "A Unique Company with Unique culture and leadership"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director Technology in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director Technology in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at LRN full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    If you decide to work for LRN, please note that this company innovates in area of culture, governance and leadership. The way Apple innovates in the consumer computing & smartphone industry, the way IBM started from Tabulator to giant computing and software to enable businesses. LRN has been doing the same from past 22 years, they innovated from educating millions of people on compliance to the core issues for organizations, which is Culture, Governance and leadership. They discovered that if organizations have this three things correct, rest will fall in right place, the question is HOW do you do that. Similar to any other company, they research and implement the innovative ideas on culture, governance and leadership within LRN. As a part of the exercise they try to do things differently compare to traditional organization and management style, having a flat structure , self-governing , build transparency , participation in decision making process , open meetings (key ones) etc. This is what positions LRN differently and challenging for many of them who are coming from traditional organization and management style. Let me give you an example, you being senior person may experience that your juniors are able to share an idea or question your decision in an open forum, and they become the hero of the moment, I have seen that not everyone can take that in positive spirit, interestingly few blow their frustration on sites like Glassdoor again and again (many are repeated). LRN given immense opportunity for one to grow, it provides platform through their flat and self-governing culture to show your talent and skills without following through the ladder.

    Bottom-line, LRN has been doing this for past 22 years, their success speaks by itself by standing tall in the industry and came out healthy from recent US recession. You will be surprised with all the reviews here, as it was the same CEO since the inception of the company who built LRN and has gone through many ups and downs while still marching forward.

    Cons

    consider all above which can turned out "cons" for you

    Advice to Management

    LRN always had highly talented people and it is your real assets, stabilize the team. Identify passionate & hard working people, getting your work done, reward them and build sustainable future for them. LRN has highly innovative products and service offerings, keep the focus on sales, think of different platform for sales in the era of e-commerce.

    LRN Response

    Oct 21, 2016 – Company Response

    Thank you for sharing your perspectives - and for dedicating so many years of your career to contributing to LRN's mission. Your comments honor the ongoing experiment that is LRN's flat and ... More


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Contracted Partner"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer in New York, NY
    Former Freelancer - Anonymous Freelancer in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at LRN (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Open, accessible and collaborative work environment. Start-up feel with established track record. Very hands on and integrated leadership team that encourages and provides an open forum for employees and contracted partners alike. I was brought in to help supplement marketing needs and was embedded like a full-time employee and loved the appetite presented by the leadership to go, go, go and do, do, do. The sky was the limit for suggesting and executing ideas.

    Cons

    The flat organization can impede quick vetting and approvals on projects as an endless feedback loop was not atypical.


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