2021 marks the ten-year anniversary of Denver Startup Week (DSW). DSW is the largest free event of its kind and celebrates Denver’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and showcases the global culture of innovation. Ombud CEO Thad Eby spoke during the session, “Growth Mindset and Resilience of a Scaleup CEO” on October 7th. This session focused on different ways these CEOs adapted their companies since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and how their mindsets around leadership, communication, and workplace culture has shifted.
Thad spoke alongside Ian MacGregor (CEO, Skratch Labs), Paige Goss (Founder & CEO, Point Solutions Group), and Scott Shatford (Co-Founder & CEO, AirDNA). Thad first dove into his background. A Colorado native, he went to college out of state and worked in the Bay Area and London before returning to Colorado to start Ombud in 2011. Much like the other panelists, he used his basement as Ombud’s first office.
Their attention then turned to the last 18 months — which has tested the resilience of these entrepreneurs. Like the other panelists, Thad and his leadership team decided to close Ombud’s office offices on March 13, 2020. Since then, a lot has changed for these CEOs in how they think about their team’s working situations.
“We have completely shifted our work environment and how we go about supporting our employees,” Thad said. "We had to focus on how we communicate remotely and being able to simulate that level of in-office collaboration and communication.”
Ombud wasn’t unique in this. Many of the other CEOs noted similar considerations. For these smaller, local teams, in-office culture was paramount, and most of the leaders had never managed remote teams before.
One of the biggest steps in shifting how Thad and his leadership team thought about team culture was by reevaluating their benefits program, “we specifically carved out a mental health program for our employees. This program covers five free therapy sessions for Ombud employees so they can prioritize their mental health.”
One of the other panelists, Paige Goss, reiterated this need. “The last 18 months have really brought to light the focus on people and the importance of teams and working together to bring the organization closer, even with people working from home.”
To hear more from these local startup founders, watch the recording of the session below: https://bit.ly/3abseSW