All Eyes on Dave Needham

March 6, 2017
Becky Hartung
March 2017

Dave Needham, founder and CEO of Ohos, is passionate about dismantling the performance review structure in organizations. After launching his software program last year, he has been able to do just that. With eight clients including Noodles & Co., Comcast, and others, Dave has developed a way for companies to ask the question, “What workplaces do we want to build?” We sat down with Dave to learn more about how Ohos is working to change the way organizations promote talent within their employees, diversify the workplace, and employ better leaders.

Dismantling performance reviews

A graduate of Colorado State University with a Masters Degree in Organizational Performance and Change, Dave worked for 15 years in talent management. During his time as a consultant, he wanted to see people do better and achieve more in their professional lives, but found that organizations often stood in the way of their own advancement. The top-down structure – which heavily relies on performance reviews – promoted the wrong employees to leadership due to implicit biases. Dave discussed these ideas at a Disrupt HR conference—giving a five-minute speech about removing performance reviews. He was determined to find a way to give data a voice.

Leadership is earned

In March 2016, he partnered with Alicia Yanik, who has led software development teams for 20 years. The pair wanted to remove the black box of HR by allowing employers to cultivate a better place by hiring and promoting the right people. Dave believes, “Leadership is not a position you attain, it is something you earn.”

Ohos, which is actually a play on the Spanish word for eyes, understands why someone should get a promotion because it knows what talent distribution looks like. It offers a peer-to-peer, crowd-sourced feedback, while holding leaders accountable, and organically diversifies the workplace. We asked Dave if there has been one major area of growth in his own leadership style. “[Ohos] has helped me embrace learning to ask for help.” He has been able to build an inclusive workplace, and nurture a small team who encourage him to learn and grow.

The man behind this movement

When Dave isn’t at Enterprise, he enjoys spending time with his wife, two kids, and chocolate lab, Murphy. Dave plans to spend this Memorial Day weekend four wheeling. And as an avid climber, he has already accomplished 30% of his goal to climb all of the peaks in the lower 48.

Get in touch with Dave: