H2o Solutions

The Challenges of a Start-Up Company in San Francisco

Writing Style Guidelines and Parameters:

Case responses should not exceed 4 pages (this total does not include cover page and References page). All writing for the Case should adhere to APA formatting regarding spacing (double-spacing), font style (Times New Roman) and font size (12), cover and references page. Responses to case questions must be accurate, detailed, and substantive. Students must support their responses to case questions using in-text citations when the idea or quote to which they are referring is based in the course text or another source. Students, in addition to the course text, may include other sources to strengthen their case question responses. Students should be careful to use credible and scholarly resources. Failure to approximate responses using the above guidelines will result in a lower point total for this component of the course. Spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, writing mechanics, and over clarity and accuracy are also evaluated.

Signature Assignment # 1: Case Study Essay: Case Context

A promising start-up company in San Francisco called, H2o Solutions, has requested on- site consulting support from your consulting firm called Integer Management and Leadership Consulting. H2o Solutions, for the last 14 months, has been scaling-up and expanding their capacity by adding new employees across all departments. The total number of employees now stands at 131.

The company produces water saving recycling systems for residential use. Though this has become a crowded space, H2o Solutions has an advantage in that they have intentionally hired people with engineering expertise coupled with passion and commitment to the environment. Additionally, H2o Solutions from its inception, hired people who demonstrated a high level of emotional intelligence. This allowed the company to bring people on board who were smart, innovative, highly collaborative, relational, and team-based.

In the distant past, the planning and goal-setting for H2o Solutions was done only by the senior leadership team which included both co-founders and the vice presidents of engineering, marketing, sales, service, research and product development, and human resources. Each vice president had one manager who served as a direct report. With the growth of the last 14 months, the breakdown of departments by employee size is as follows:

R. JohnsonEngineering220
E. SmithMarketing212
K. RedstoneSales217
G. GladesR&D223
P. IndiraService225
R. ZanderHR214

As the company has grown, the centralized and top-down planning model originally used the by leadership team is now ineffective. The very employees H2o Solutions has hired now need to be integrated into the planning and goal-setting process. The question is, how?

As the management consultant, you need to design a planning and goal setting process that uses a flatter, more organic approach. Instead of goals flowing from the top down H2o Solutions is looking for a collaborative process that involves all employees across the organization. The executive management team believes that a planning and goal setting process that is inclusive and which leverages the deep talent of employees in the organization is the most agile way to engage in planning and goal setting. However, the H2o Solutions executive management team understands that it must also be involved in the process and put its final stamp of approval on the planning and goals to ensure that both support and align with the strategic goals of H2o Solutions.


  1. Explain why the older, original planning and goal setting process will no longer work for H2o Solutions.
  2. Explain the planning and goal setting approach you will recommend to the executive management team.

a. Provide the rationale that supports your approach

  1. Explain how this approach will be a good fit for H2o Solutions and their priorities for a more organic, inclusive, and responsive approach to planning and goal setting.
  2. Explain how your approach will be more nimble, agile, and responsive to market trends.
  3. Provide benchmarks to H2o Solutions that will serve as indicators that your new approach is working.

6. What points of resistance might the executive management team of H2o Solutions expect when the new planning and goal-setting strategy is implemented?

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