Big QuestionsOur work related to complex challenges.

The Challenge

Surface and articulate Narvar’s values.


A set of values that will help the company maintain its identity and culture as it grows to 300 employees, and beyond.

Narvar, a software-as-a-service startup that provides a post-purchase engagement platform for retail clients, was scaling fast. The company had grown from 20 to 90 employees, and was well on its way to reaching 300 over the next two years. As the company grew, its leaders wanted to make sure it could sustain its vibrant, innovative culture. Narvar came to IDEO for help identifying and defining its values in a way that would would scale with the organization.

For the IDEO team, that meant articulating a system of values that supported existing behavior, reflected the company’s aspirations, and aided in evaluating new talent and development. The team started by interviewing key “culture carriers,” from the CEO to new hires, to learn what makes Narvar special. Based on this research, the team crafted a working set of values, then invited the entire company to share their feedback. In doing this work, IDEO was also able to surface organizational issues and tensions within the company for Narvar leaders to address.

Narvar's values line the walls of its headquarters in San Francisco.

Now, Narvar lives its values every day. Team members use them during candidate interviews, employees see them daily on company walls, and managers reinforce them during performance reviews. Every quarter, leadership gives out a Narvar values award to reinforce their importance. Through this project, Narvar was able to not only capture its core values, but also use them as an active ingredient in the company’s growth.

“We engaged IDEO to really understand the challenges we faced as an organization, and IDEO helped us define and articulate our culture and values. I can honestly say that all the growth and success we’ve achieved in the past two years—we couldn’t have done that without the foundation from IDEO,” said Narvar CEO and founder Amit Sharma.

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