Everyday Life as CEO of Northstar

“Everyday Life” gives you a peak behind the scenes at Northstar.

By David Bradshaw, Chief Executive Officer
10th November, 2023
David is a highly experienced consultant specializing in business strategy, lean operations/automation, and human resources. He holds a Master's degree from the University of Cambridge, UK, and an MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology.

In the first of our “Everyday Life” series, our CEO, David Bradshaw, describes his role and a typical day in the office.

What is your role at Northstar?

As the CEO of NorthstarPMO, I wear many hats. Firstly, I'm the one steering our ship and keeping everything running smoothly. Juggling daily operations and plotting our future growth keeps me on my toes with exciting challenges all around.

The second side of my role is client-facing – I serve as the Account Manager for many of Northstar’s valued clients. I believe that it is important for me to stay connected to our engagements and to our clients. It gives me direct exposure to the challenges that our clients and the Northstar team faces, as well as allowing me to react in real-time to any situation that arises on an engagement.

One of the features of our Fractional HR service that really sets us apart from the larger players, and positions us well to deliver Fractional HR for small businesses, is personal service. As a client of Northstar, you get a Fractional HR team that really gets to know you and your business – a team that truly feels part of your organization. We believe that by building these relationships – between people, not businesses – we can deliver a much higher quality of service. We strive to deliver the best customer service each day. In an industry with a terrible reputation for customer service, this is a quality that has rewarded us with excellent client retention rates, and numerous industry awards.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It is often said that there is no such thing as a typical day in the world of HR, and that’s one of the most attractive things about it! I’m a good context-switcher, which means that I’m able to move quickly and efficiently from one activity to a completely unrelated one. This is important, as it allows me to react quickly when either a member of my team or a client needs something fast. We aim to offer the highest quality Fractional HR service on the market, and that means both my team and my clients must get a quick response when the need arises.

As a result, despite carefully planning out my time in advance, my work is often highly fragmented as the day unfolds. Personally, I thrive on the constant stream of unexpected challenges. My role is never boring or predictable, and I finish each day feeling as though I have accomplished a lot – even if it wasn’t everything I set out to do at the start!

As a distributed organization, keeping the communication flowing and maintaining a sense of community are both daily challenges. We are a technology-forward organization, and so we rely heavily on real-time communication tools and try to get as much ‘face time’ as possible. Whatever else happens, I make sure that I reserve some time every day to have a video call with a member of the team.

On average, I split my time equally three ways – operations, strategy, and team/client support.

What’s the key to success in your role?

In the HR consulting industry, it's all about being super organized, thinking creatively to solve problems, thriving on a daily dose of new challenges, and having a genuine willingness to prioritize others' needs. Oh, and embracing uncertainty with open arms. For me, it’s a perfect fit!