As a hyper-growth business, we’ve successfully scaled our organization to unicorn status with a $1 billion valuation. We also recently acquired three companies and multiple business units, so we now have a 10-person executive leadership team.
When you’re actively scaling across many entities, one of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to stay connected and aligned so you can continue to grow together. Here are four of the best ways to effectively manage many teams across multiple business units:
1. Define your key performance indicators
Your key performance indicators (KPIs) are foundational for your business, but for them to be truly effective, you need to agree on not only what they are but also what they mean.
Creating a KPI scorecard and defining each term exactly, to explain what your company considers a “booking” or “marketing qualified lead,” for instance, allows everyone to get on the same page.
For new executives and team members accustomed to other companies’ KPIs and definitions, this is invaluable, eliminating possible confusion and ensuring consistency. We’ve also found it useful for board reporting at or between meetings. At any given moment, we have the basic skeleton of a board deck ready to go, rather than spending hours compiling information from various sources.
2. Establish new meeting cadences
As your company expands, you’ll learn that not everyone needs to be in a meeting, not every topic should be discussed, and not all meetings need to happen at the same frequency.
When our company first started, our executive leadership team met on everything from quarterly goals to our annual holiday party, but as we grew, that quickly became inefficient. Instead, we created specific meeting cadences to determine who needed to be present and what exactly would be discussed. For instance, we have monthly meetings with each business unit on only the most relevant topics and weekly staff meetings on anything important that needs to be addressed.
By staying focused on a tight attendee list and agenda, you’re able to be more efficient with everyone’s time while maintaining excellent communications across businesses.
3. Identify objectives and key results for each business unit
When you’re juggling multiple business units, it’s crucial that you identify what success looks like for each. It comes down to identifying the objectives and key results (OKRs), which may vary from business to business.
By determining the OKRs of each business, you’ll create a hierarchy of importance. For instance, if you have 50 different projects, you’ll know that not each is equally relevant, so you can home in on the few major initiatives that best align with its OKRs.
4. Invest in organizational management tools
Even when you define your KPIs, establish new meeting cadences and identify OKRs for each business unit, you still need to be able to wrap your arms around it all. That’s where organizational management tools like Lattice or WorkdayWDAY +1.5% HCM can help.
People management platforms allow you to conduct one-on-ones, offer public praise and private feedback, and stay up-to-date on your OKRs and KPIs to measure exactly what matters for each business unit. This provides greater focus and accountability for your various businesses and how they roll up into the overall organization.
Managing multiple teams across many business units can be challenging, but by implementing these four practices, you’ll better align while improving your communication and connectivity so you can continue to grow together.