The objective was to bring together Sequoia One’s potent tech community to make new connections, share stories about leading and scaling businesses, and see the upcoming enhancements to the Sequoia One program.
The agenda revolved around:
- Building a culture of Inclusion
- 2017 Sequoia One Updates and Announcements
- Panel Discussion: Lesson Learned from Scaling Business
- Community Networking and Cocktail Reception
The event was held at the W San Francisco, which I’ve been to numerous times before. I’m glad they placed people at each juncture though, because it was my first time attending an event on its fourth floor.
LifeLabs Workshop: ROI of Inclusion
After some opening remarks by Michele Floriani, CMO of Sequoia Consulting Group, he introduced McKendree Hickory of Lifelabs. McKendree led us through an interactive workshop on “Building a Culture of Inclusion.”
Some of her points reminded me of things I learned from my lunch with Yuka Nagashima a few weeks back. For example, both talked about the concept of diversity and inclusion being tied closely together. Yuka put it succinctly: “To have diversity, you must have inclusion first.”
Sequoia One Program | 2017 Enhancements
At this point, Michele introduced Greg Golub, CEO at Sequoia Consulting Group. Greg’s presentation centered on the why, the what, and the how of Sequoia One. I am impressed by their Mission Statement, especially by its last three words.
I also liked how Sequoia brought up key employees to give 90 second updates on projects they’re working on. Shane Takeshita’s report revolved around their 401(k) program.
As the event progressed, I was surprised to see how full the room got. I’m glad I got there on time. Paubox is on network time.
Panel: Scaling a Business
The last formal part of the afternoon involved an impressive panel of HR and culture experts. These experts were:
- Jose Cong, Co-Founder & CEO at Plause (previously at Apple and Nest).
- Lauren Rosenthal, HR Consultant at Connery Consulting.
- Dylan Allread, CPO at Doordash.
The panel shared their unique perspectives as culture leaders in different functions in small, medium, and enterprise companies. To me, it was another example of the stellar body of talent in Silicon Valley.
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Cocktail Reception and Entertainment
The cocktail reception took place on the third floor of the W. I made some new connections there, including Marco Brown and a magician named David Gerard. Wow, a magician at the happy hour, nice touch.
Sequoia One: The Grove Event Takeaways
Here is a list of some of my takeaways from the event:
- “We like to be connectors at Sequoia.”
- Values drive behavior.
- They sent me an automated email with the day’s agenda. Nice touch.
- Highlight company values on your website.
- Ask for internal feedback on job description write ups. Is there bias already baked in?
- Played SF trivia and gave out Amazon gift cards to winners. That’s pretty cool.
- “It’s a good idea with the best people that often wins.”
- “Employees want to know they’re going to be taken care of.”
- Explicitly connect new employees to the company’s product on Day one.
- Make sure new employees know the story of the company. The legacy. The why
- Constantly ask about the why.
- When you have 50 on staff and/or 5 open job postings, look at an in-house recruiter.
- At 50 employees, different types of compliance kick in.