Building the Organization

October 29, 2015

Read The Full Prompt

As the business grows Founders face the task of building an organization that is capable of executing the mission. Individuals and processes that were critical in getting to market become impediments to growth. Assets become liabilities. Founders are faced with difficult choices of replacing people, introducing structure, and creating  new cultural norms. Please share your observations on how founders should address these challenges. What are the early indications that the  you need to bring in a new team, redefine the culture or change the organization? What are you looking for from your VC’s and your Board? What are the biggest challenges you are likely to face while hiring a new team and letting go of the people who brought you to this point? How can you train yourself to effectively handle the difficult conversations that these transitions entail?

Responses (50)

Five Key Success Factors to Build a Great Company Culture
Last modified on October 28, 2015 at 2:13 pm
A company’s culture is often defined as its secret sauce, the recipe for long term success. Happy employees means higher productivity, which translates to long-term performance and strong competitive advantage in the market. Typically in startups, the founding team sets [...]
Founders, Create Corporate Culture in 3 Steps
Last modified on October 27, 2015 at 10:01 pm
Despite the common knowledge that “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, the importance of proactively establishing a corporate culture can be lost in the mayhem that is launching a venture. Below we highlight 3 simple steps to help define and protect [...]
A Founder and the Three Bears
Shan Hu
Posted on October 28, 2015 at 3:25 pm
“You are too technical” “You are not technical enough” “You’re too big picture” “You don’t have enough leadership experience to grow this company further” Bottom line – “YOU are not the right person, anymore”. Many of you may be familiar [...]
The Unknown Unknowns
Last modified on October 28, 2015 at 6:17 pm
  Boxer-turned-biter-turned-actor-turned-singer/songwriter Mike Tyson may have the best advice for founders as they look to grow their fledgling organizations – Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth. It’s true that the life of a founder (and that [...]
Ready, Steady,…Structure! or How to avoid the invisible trap!
Last modified on October 27, 2015 at 11:22 pm
MVP is out (check), Funding is secured (check), Legal paperwork is done (check), People are hired (check), Equity is split (check), Customers are signed (check), Valuations are rising (check) entrepreneurs we are wired to spend every waking moment going down [...]
How to Avoid Startup Drama?
Last modified on October 27, 2015 at 4:21 pm
Have a basic understanding of the game and avoid the drama that most successful startups live when scaling up.
5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Building your Team
Last modified on October 25, 2015 at 10:55 pm
Perhaps the most critical success factor for your startup is building the right team that will support and build your business. Make sure to avoid these common pitfalls.
3 Rules for Building Disney
Phil Hu
Last modified on October 28, 2015 at 9:11 pm
I built the technology that went inside the parks, technology that touched millions of lives every single month. I worked in a culture full of passion, a passion dedicated to providing an unforgettable experience for the guests. I worked in [...]
Intrapreneurship: The New Entrepreneurship
Last modified on October 28, 2015 at 7:28 pm
“The Macintosh team was what is commonly known as intrapreneurship… a group of people going, in essence, back to the garage, but in a large company.”- Steve Jobs
How to fire someone while preserving dignity
Angela Zhang
Last modified on October 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm
No one expects to have to let go of their employees when building a team. Start-ups pivot, go through periods of rapid growth, and sometimes must quickly downside.  Despite our best efforts, some employees who were stars in an earlier stage of the [...]
4 ways to better manage your Board/VC Investors
Last modified on October 27, 2015 at 5:56 pm
Choose VCs and Board Members wisely, but don’t be way too picky: Do some due diligence about the short-listed VCs, focus also on their failed deals and talk to those CEOs. Even though you want to play hard to get, [...]
Scaling a Consumer Products Start-Up
Caitlin Palmer
Last modified on October 27, 2015 at 5:17 pm
Much of the information out there on scaling a start-up relates to tech companies. Little of it actually applies to the rare phenomenon known as the consumer products start-up.