16: Founders Dilemma III (Values and Principles)

Date: 
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Summary:
Sometimes companies face challenges beyond the 5 primary risks that we have discussed - market, team, technology, product, business model. Challenges that come from within are often related to a 6th risk — values. In this session we will read about a series of companies that have gone awry due their lack of clear values. Even companies that reach scale can fail when their values aren't sustainable or incentivize problematic behavior within the company. At the conclusion of the class we will turn to our own personal values and how those values will guide us over the course of our careers.

Quote of the Day: “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” Roy Disney


Required Readings (Policy on Required Readings)

1. Watch this Tristan Walker video: Questioning what you do

2. Read the first item carefully and skim the rest for Zenefits:

3. Read the first item carefully and skim the rest for Uber:

4. Read the first item carefully and skim the rest for Mike Rothenberg:

5. Read the first item carefully and skim the rest for Hampton Creek:



Study Questions (Policy on Study Questions)

Be prepared to discuss each company as a mini-case during the class session.
  1. What went wrong at Zenefits, Uber, Rothenberg, and Hampton Creek?
  2. What were the values (or missing values) that resulted in the employee behaviors and crises each company faced?
  3. As a potential employee of a company, how would you learn about and evaluate its values before joining?

Recommended Readings TBD

Additional Assignment - OAP Dress Rehearsals

OAP Dress Rehearsal. Each team will be paired up with another team this week and then will ideally present a rough draft of their final OAP presentation to the other team by Monday evening, November 27th. This exercise is designed to both allow you to receive feedback on your presentation and let you practice giving feedback to others. See Slack/Canvas for pairings.