14: Founders Dilemma II (Culture)

Date: 
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Summary The Gusto case addresses one of the most subtle problems a company is confronted when scaling: Culture. As they go from the "office in a garage" to the large company headquarters, how do startups make sure they organization stays consistent and true to their values?

Quote of the Day:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

Term Project:
(Policy on Term Project Assignments)

Please prepare your team's PS3 by today and post to Canvas by Noon the day of this session. Depending on what you've learned in the past week, your PS2 may have been validated or changed. To explain why your PS3 now looks as it does, once again prepare a report of your direct research (both primary and secondary).

  • What additional research have you done?
  • Who else have you spoken to and why?
  • What did you learn this time?
Guest: Josh Reeves

Required Readings (Policy on Required Readings.) Recommended Readings

Study Questions
(Policy on Study Questions) ... identical to the ones in the case itself

  1. How does Gusto maintain its core values and community as the company grows so quickly? 

    Hint: Consider levers that you control, such as the employee on-boarding experience, organizational structure, recruiting strategy, community and training programs, internal communication, offsites and retreats, office space ambiance and layout, recognition and rewards, all-hands meetings, compensation structures, talent development, manager training, CEO interaction, etc.

  2. How you might track the impact and effectiveness of these actions?
  3. What are the tradeoffs that need to be considered? What can scale and what does not scale? What should scale and what is OK to change?

Online Assignment - Only Group B submits.

  • As a team, choose a culture of an organization that one or more of you admire and why. This should be an organization that you’ve been part of, and it can be from any context. What made the culture resonate? How did the organization maintain this culture over time? How did individuals contribute, or detract, from the culture?