May 2023
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TD Magazine

How to Build Organizational Success

Monday, May 1, 2023

Scaling People: Tactics for Management and Company Building
By Claire Hughes Johnson
Stripe Press, 480 pp., $27

Scaling People is an excellent book to have as a resource on your bookshelf, whether you are building a company from the ground up or upgrading a department or team you are leading. The book is user-friendly and adaptable for leaders and managers within organizations as well as talent development and HR professionals.


The author's experience adds a great deal of value to the book's content. Hughes Johnson has held various leadership roles for 10 years at Google and is currently the corporate officer and advisor at Stripe, a global technology company that builds infrastructure for the internet. She joined Stripe when the company had fewer than 200 employees; it has now grown to more than 7,000. She has led business operations, sales, marketing, customer support, risk, real estate, and people functions such as recruiting and HR.

Hughes Johnson's extensive background serves as the catalyst for a well-designed, structured book. It contains six chapters, with the first focusing on mental models that help guide decision making. The next four chapters contain core frameworks to consider while engaging an organization's growth and development. They include:

  • Foundations and planning for goals and resources to build an operating system
  • A comprehensive hiring approach to address HR needs of current employees while recruiting, selecting, and onboarding new ones
  • Intentional team development to create and foster high-performing teams
  • Feedback performance mechanisms to approach performance communications even when doing so may be difficult

Scaling People strives to bring out the best in people within an organization. The book offers wisdom and direction for many leadership and managerial situations that other literature may not address.


The large supply of tactical support for the reader to access is of great value, including tools, templates, checklists, and examples. In addition, the author and people she has coached have all tested the aids; the use of the aids in a variety of real-life settings enhances the book's credibility. Encouraging quotes from senior leaders and CEOs are interwoven throughout the text.

Finally, the book ends with a chapter about you, the reader. It makes room for the reader to focus on their career and future, regardless of the path traveled or desired. This chapter underscores the importance of what the reader should think about to contribute to the organization's success and to be at the center of movement toward greatness.

About the Author

Deborah E. Williams, CPTD, is president of Bright Light Consulting Services; [email protected]

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