Midnight Networks Inc. is a small company that develops network testing software. The case describes how the founders built their business from the ground up and which best practices helped them to make their company a success. Now that the company grows quickly, a larger firm offers to buy the company. However, Midnight Networks has also considered doing an IPO. Now the founders must decide which path to take.
H. Kent Bowen; Marilyn E. Matis
Harvard Business Review (697019-PDF-ENG)
December 18, 1996
Case questions answered:
- What aspects of their culture have worked well in the past? What should change as Midnight Networks Inc. grows?
- Which key recommendations do you have for improving the collection process for overdue invoices?
- Please rewrite section 4.4 on hiring. Make five key recommendations MNI should utilize to improve their talent and success ratio in hiring.
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Midnight Networks Inc. Case Answers
Dear Mr. Schmidt,
After a thorough analysis of Midnight Networks Inc. (MNI), we are eager to present our key findings and suggestions to help you excel at your current growth stage. Our benchmarking analysis showed that the following cultural elements set you apart:
- Bootstrap mentality: Building the business completely from operating earnings enabled a lean growth process while avoiding slack.
- Process focus & Kaizen philosophy: Developing and applying kaizen to error-proof processes secured a solid competitive edge.
- Open culture: Cons. decisions and transparency gauged team cohesion and efficiency.
When preparing for growth, we suggest focusing on the following practices in order to sustain and further develop Midnight Networks Inc.’s culture towards a ubiquitous helping behavior that facilitates organizational effectiveness:
- Facilitate help-seeking (cf. Scrum below)
- Recognize and reward givers (introduce bounties for company-wide issues)
- Screen out takers (cf. hiring section)
Increase product development efficiency in large teams:
Deploy the SCRUM framework for iterative and incremental software development, which enables the self-organizing of teams by encouraging co-location and verbal communication between all disciplines of MNI (Pham, 2005).
Cash Management at Midnight Networks Inc.: How to improve the collection process of overdue invoices
5.1.2 Paying Bills…
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