We are excited to announce that Kit Krugman has joined Foursquare as SVP, People and Culture!
Learn more about Kit’s extensive history shaping organizational culture and her new role on Foursquare’s leadership team in this edition of FSQ Faces.
Can you tell us a little about this new role at Foursquare and what your responsibilities will be?
I’m an organizational designer and strategist, so I approach the people function with a different lens. I know firsthand what a catalytic role people and culture can play in achieving strategic objectives. My remit at Foursquare will be to demonstrate just how powerful a strategic role the people function can play in Foursquare’s transformation journey. I’m grateful to be building on the amazing foundation that Marc and the team have put in place to ensure people operations is well cared for. I see this new role as deeply additive. The role was specifically designed to play with the possibilities: what happens when we bring innovation, experimentation, design and organizational psychology to bear to build culture at Foursquare?
What has your career journey looked like and what intrigued you about joining Foursquare?
Before joining Foursquare, I built and led the Organization + Culture Design practice at co:collective, a strategic transformation consultancy based in NYC. I spent the last 10 years at co:, working with clients on designing the future of work, redesigning organizational structures and systems, developing effective strategic plans and facilitating high performance teamwork.
Before building the practice, I went back to school at Columbia to get my degree in Organizational Psychology, with a focus on change leadership, which was a transformative experience for me personally and professionally. My entire career has centered around discovering what innovation looks like in the people and culture space.
So when I had the pleasure of working with Foursquare last year (I facilitated a session at Foursquare’s all company retreat and then worked with the executive team on some high performance teamwork), Gary Little and I connected specifically around the idea of what could be possible if we applied some of the principles of people innovation, organizational design and development to Foursquare.
Working with the team gave me the context to fully understand Foursquare’s ambition, the strength of the executive team, and Gary’s vision for what a truly innovative people practice could do for the business. That inspired and motivated me.
Looking ahead, what do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges in the people and culture space? Which of these are you most excited about tackling in your new role?
The practice of integrating organizational psychology and organizational development and more traditional HR practices is still a relatively emerging space, and that’s what excites me most. Organizations that have built effective, strategic people functions exist, but they are still rare. I intend to leverage the model we build together at Foursquare as an example of what is possible if organizations (and organizational leadership) truly embrace the strategic contribution of a people function to drive business results.
What are your thoughts on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, and how do you plan to promote these values within our company?
Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging have always been deeply integrated into both my personal belief system and the work that I’ve done over the years. I’ve spent a lot of my time and energy – both in and outside of work – doing my own work to understand my role in creating more equitable cultures and communities.
For the past seven years, I’ve been a leader of a non-profit organization called WIN:Women in Innovation, that strives to increase the influence and impact of women in innovation. That journey alone has taught me so much about identity inequity and the systems and policies that perpetuate that harm. In my consulting work, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with a number of organizations dedicated to shifting inequitable systems (The Lower East Side Girls Club, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Partnership with Children – to name a few) and have learned so much from leaders working on the frontlines of injustice and inequity.
I don’t think it’s possible to do innovative people work without integrating and including the DEIB lens and I intend to bring that perspective and intent to all my work at Foursquare.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
That the meaning of life is shared experience (courtesy of my dad). That’s shaped my orientation to both my life and my work. It’s critical in building communities, cultures, organizations, friendships and relationships.
The other piece of leadership advice that’s shaped me is that self-knowledge is a gift (courtesy of the amazing professors at Columbia’s Org Psych program), the better you know yourself, your strengths, your derailers, and your blind spots, the better a leader you can become.
When employees join Foursquare, they’re always asked to share a fun fact. What would your fun fact be?
My one claim to fame was that I won a Britney Spears Karaoke contest against some amazingly talented Drag Queens and was featured on the cover of the Entertainment Section of the Boston Globe. The only other contest I’ve won was a hula hooping contest in the Bahamas. Both were a long time ago, just in case anyone is getting any ideas!