Missy Fulton is a creative global employer lawyer and strategic HR senior executive. As President & CEO of Chameleon Strategies LLC, a strategic HR and employment law advisory, Missy has dedicated her career to helping dynamic businesses grow by creating that fourth leg of the tape to solidify the business foundation.

Growing An HR Business In The US - Missy Fulton

Having “seen it all” between government, private and public corporations and startups, Missy has a unique and vast array of knowledge about what works and doesn’t work for emerging companies, to partner with any organization to set them up for success, get them out of systemic troubles, mitigate the risks going forward, and/or proactively plan for future growth.

Chameleon is founded on the core understanding that each organization evolves in its own distinct way. Understanding that distinction, Chameleon Strategies’ offerings provide the flexibility, growth opportunities, and thought partnering to pivot talent management and people strategy needs based on a company’s ever-changing business needs.

Missy holds a BA, summa cum laude, in Communications/Marketing from Suffolk University and her JD from Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Shey lives in New Hampshire with her husband and 3 children. Missy enjoys kayaking and hiking, and is an avid home chef and creative mixologist.

In this quick Q&A, Missy kindly shares how she is busy growing an HR consultancy.

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Over to you, Missy!

What’s your background? How did you get into the business?

At every position I have taken as a senior HR leader and/or employment counsel, costly messes had lingered that could have been prevented if there were a few critical things in place to set the company up for success. There have been near disasters I’ve encountered as well, such as misclassified employees at time of hire causing huge cost overruns, out of compliance handbooks creating real time legal risk, inaccurate employment agreements for global team members written in a foreign language and never translated, employee leaves of absence being mishandled affording employees false legal protection, outside legal counsel who took their eye off the ball and generated risk, or variable compensation plans that demotivated literally everyone on the management team who wasn’t included.

In each of these situations the challenges could have been prevented with knowledgeable HR and legal infrastructure partnering with the business leaders.

I have found that literally all the colleagues I encounter in early to mid-stage company leadership positions have recognized a significant gap in an important business foundation — the smart, legal and efficient way to build their human capital infrastructure without investing in in-house HR or overpriced employment lawyers. Your people strategy is the key to success at every stage of your business strategy.

What does your business do?

To address this critical need I mentioned above, in 2019 I launched Chameleon Strategies, LLC a unique consulting practice offering on-demand senior-level HR and employment law expertise especially for life sciences companies and B2B firms with a life science focus.

Although my skills are industry agnostic and I enjoy partnering across a broad range of industries, I find that life sciences companies are open to partnering across a most diverse arena of strategic HR/employment law, and my passion comes through when I help a life science company venture down its life path from Designing the NewCo ~ Setting the business up for success from Day One, Supporting the GrowthCo ~ Talent Optimization and Scaling the Business, Solving for X ~ Proactive HR/Legal Strategies to meet Dynamic Business’ Needs, and Mitigating the Risks.

We offer customized and adaptable solutions to every client, with specially tailored pricing packages to meet every client’s needs.

What are some effective ways you have acquired new clients?

Networking with other niche businesses that offer a complementary service in an industry or with clients you are looking to partner with is a really effective way to get introduced to new clients. Partnering together with really smart, motivated entrepreneurs that offer finance, IT, payroll, coaching, and benefits services sets me and my clients up for success, as it gives me the backing of an entire trusted team and gives our clients a “one-stop shopping” approach to service all of their key operational needs.

I’ve also had great success joining organizations as a mentor, mentoring the young entrepreneur as they are growing into their first CEO/COO role; they remember the time I committed to them and want to bring me aboard as a trusted thought partner to help set their organizations up for success.

Any ineffective ways?

Not coming from the industry in which I carried that torch of passion, over the past decade I have made it another full-time job to network and create an incredible portfolio of fascinating people I consider trusted advisors, friends, and possible clients. That connected network is invaluable.

I have learned over time that the best use of my time is to coordinate an entire day dedicated to onsite networking (or virtual these days) rather than disrupting the day with one-off single coffee chats that take away much of a day to devote to that single connecting up.

What HR changes and challenges do you think HR people and company leaders should be thinking about and what should they be doing about these issues?

For a company to thrive and scale infinitely, they need a think bridge between their business strategy and people strategy. HR team members need to get into their company leaders’ heads, really know and learn the business and understand what keeps their leaders up at night, and know how to read a P&L if they are going to serve as a trusted thought partner.

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HR team members need to continue on the winds of change with HR being looked at as a real partner and not as the risk adverse “No” squad.

Company leaders need to listen to the guidance offered by strategic HR thought partners, and offer a seat at the table to their HR team member if they ever want to successfully grow their company. And, HR leaders need to take the time to learn the business to earn that seat at the table every time they sit there.

Can you share some tips on interesting people, websites, tools, podcasts, or books to check out to help grow a business faster?

Devour free content from webinars to LinkedIn articles and everything in between. I’ve enjoyed being introduced to Carla Harris is a truly inspirational speaker who offers her own “pearls” on confidence and believing in yourself to find your own power.

Traction is a great way to set up a business, however, a senior HR leader really needs to believe in and trust their business leaders before making the emotional investment to lay the foundation the book recommends.

Reading Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink offered a very unique perspective of building a business.

What should readers do if they want to know more about you and your business?

REACH OUT! I love connecting with people!

My favorite part about being a lawyer has always been connecting with people, sharing thought leadership, coming into a company, quickly learning what I can to help be their biggest advocate, whatever that looks like.

Learn more about Missy Fulton

Thanks Missy – all the best for your Human Resources business!

To learn more about Missy and her successful HR business, visit the Chameleon Strategies, LLC website.

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All the best,

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