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Everyone Wants to Go Faster: Here's How to Actually Do It

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One thing I hear from just about every VC-backed CEO I’ve ever worked with: “We need to go faster.”

Whether you're in early stage or growth stage, you probably agree. The pressure’s everywhere - from investors, from your board, even your own team. Everyone’s itching to hit the accelerator.

But going fast isn’t just about stepping on the gas. It’s about smart navigation, especially when you’re exploring uncharted territories. How do you go at top speed while still moving in the right direction?

A cadence of communication. Speed is a function of learning, and to learn, your team needs to communicate.


Uncharted Territories Need Scouts

Picture this: you're on a mountain hike aiming for the top, but you’re not sure which way to go: left? Right? That's where the scouts come in. You send them out in different directions to find the best path forward. This is how CEOs work, too—send out scouts to experiment, explore, learn, then regroup with your team to share insights and plan your next move. This cycle of discovery and decision-making is your map and compass rolled into one.


The 90-Day Cadence

Setting a rhythm—a learning cadence—is crucial. I’ve found that the sweet spot for early-stage and growth-stage companies is 90 days. Every 90 days, you get the whole team together and talk about what’s working, what’s not, and where to go next.


Avoiding Burnout

How do we keep our team from burning out while managing budget constraints? I get asked this a lot, and I believe it all starts with setting the right expectations through clear communication of what everyone’s doing, and how they’re going to do it. The 'how' is where strategy comes into play, bridging the gap between mission, vision, and objectives. This step is vital because it involves every part of the organization in a cross-functional effort. For example, product goals might affect sales and finance, necessitating involvement from those departments, and vice versa with engineering and sales goals.

Venture-backed companies operate cross-functionally to meet objectives, so missing out on these detailed discussions about strategies and objectives can lead to repeated failures in meeting targets. I've seen teams struggle because they didn't specify their strategies or check in regularly on their progress. Regular check-ins, whether weekly or monthly, are essential to see if you’re on track or need to adjust your plans. 

Setting clear goals, assigning clear roles, detailing the strategies to achieve these goals, and maintaining a routine of regular meetings are fundamental to your success—and crucial in preventing your team from feeling overwhelmed and burned out.



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