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Tim Cynova Post by Tim Cynova

By Tim Cynova on September 12th, 2017

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Free HR assistance

Big Ideas | Arts | Culture | People Operations | Human Resources


Do you want, or need, to talk with someone about an HR challenge your cultural organization is facing?

For the next few months, the three members of the Fractured Atlas People team — Nicola Carpenter, Jillian Wright, and me — will be available a few hours each week for anyone interested in picking our HR brains. We’re offering this free of charge as a way to share experience and expertise with cultural sector colleagues.

Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to build a strong People team function at Fractured Atlas. We started on this path initially because we wanted to create a place where we all enjoyed working. We realized over time that honing a solid People function could also help us attract and retain talent so we had a better shot at achieving challenging, world-altering goals. These world-altering goals are aimed at providing the over 1,000,000 awesome artists in our network with the things they need to be even, well, awesome-er.

“HR” often conjures images of people conducting performance reviews, selecting health and dental insurance benefits, and resolving staff disputes. While that’s certainly part of it — and something we give a great deal of time and thought — it’s not the entirety of the domain or the stuff that really gets us excited.

What changes the game are things like:

The Fractured Atlas People team has been invited to participate in learning lunches, deliver presentations, and teach courses about our strategic HR efforts. Discussing the efforts that have resulted in, among other things, the percentage of coworkers of color on staff increasing from 10% to 40% over the past few years. Creating a software engineering team that’s now more than 50% female. Ongoing Crucial Conversations training for staff. Completely renovating our office to create physical space for staff with various working styles. Creating a hiring pipeline and process that adjusts for bias and inherent attitudes so we don’t just keep finding and hiring clones of the same stellar people we already have on staff.

Want to get a better sense for the things we’re happy to chat with you about? This is a list of the things we worked on in 2016 alone.

If you’re interested in having a conversation, email us at

Please include a brief description of what you’d like to discuss. If we think we can be a help to you, and still have time slots available, we’ll send you a link to select a time. (The meeting will take place on Zoom video conference; although, if that’s not an option for you, we’re happy to chat by phone.)

Talk to you soon

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About Tim Cynova

Tim spends his time assisting teams and organizations with the things they need to create innovative workplaces where people thrive. He is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), a trained mediator, on faculty at Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity and New York's The New School teaching courses in Strategic HR and Leadership & Team Building. He is a certified trainer of the Crucial Conversations and What Motivates Me frameworks, and is a firm believer that Work. Shouldn't. Suck. He currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Fractured Atlas (where he is a member of the organization’s four-person, non-hierarchical shared leadership team). Prior to that, Tim was the Executive Director of The Parsons Dance Company and of High 5 Tickets to the Arts, had a memorable stint with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, was a one-time classical trombonist, musicologist, and for five years in his youth he delivered newspapers for the Evansville Courier-Press. Also, during a particularly slow summer, he bicycled across the United States.