Getting your management team to operate like a well-oiled machine, marching towards the same goals is one of the best recipes for a successful company. It also happens to be one of the most difficult to achieve. Your leaders have function-specific priorities, often travel and manage many other people.
The primary ingredient is team communication. Your management team needs to talk regularly, both in executive meetings and in written updates. This communication time is valuable and limited, so it’s critical you focus on discussing the right topics. Management discussions can quickly get heated and lead to tangents if not well organized.
There are 5 core topics that a management team should discuss regularly. Your team might have additional company-specific initiatives that are high priority for discussion, but always hit at least these 5 topics in every formal management meeting and update.
1. Progress on achieving objectives for current quarter
The #1 question to ask each week is “are we delivering on plan?” This could refer to achieving sales numbers, delivering product features or hiring for specific roles. Your management team should be constantly discussing the progress towards achieving these goals and any issues blocking them. As a prerequisite, each member of the team needs to understand what their goals are and how success is being measured. That means goals are written down, and every leader can immediately point to what metric they are accountable for.
2. Market reception to the product
Every week, the management team should be checking on how the market is receiving the product. What questions do prospects have and what can be cleared up with better marketing messaging? Are there any new competitors or acquisitions in the industry?
To make this discussion productive, the VP Sales need to be gathering data from the front lines and packaging it in an easily consumable format to share with the group. This might be CRM reports or summarized anecdotes. The VP Marketing may also gather market intelligence from competitor press releases and public reports. This helps drive the product roadmap and identify what is highest priority to build.
3. State of customers
The VP Customer Success should share updates on the status of key customer accounts. How are customers performing with the product? Are they getting real value? What challenges do they experience?
Getting important customer information to the product and engineering teams is another great way to build an accurate roadmap of what to features to create next. It also ensures customer issues can be caught early before they escalate to fires. Even the most senior leaders in your organization should have a pulse on who the most important customers are and if they are in a good state.