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Practical founder recommendations for communicating goals

Based on the collective experience of the founders we’ve interviewed for our Secrets for Scaling podcast, we’ve compiled four practical ways to effectively communicate your goals throughout your company. Regardless of what goal-setting structure you use, these founder recommendations will help keep team members aligned around a common vision and goal as your business grows.

1. Repeat goals over and over and over

Marc Biles, founder and CEO of Ratio, explains that you can’t repeat your objectives enough. He paraphrased Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn sharing: if you get bored of saying it, you’re probably just saying it about enough.

”To help keep the team aligned, we set goals and then just keep reiterating them.” - Nick Franklin, CEO of ChartMogul

Jon Crawford, founder and former CEO of Storenvy, found he could never talk about the vision or their goals too much. Team members probably weren’t thinking about it all day long like he was - they were thinking about the bug they needed to squash.

2. Make use of structured meetings to keep everyone aligned

At Verdigris, co-founder and CEO Mark Chung has an all-hands meeting every two weeks where each team presents their OKRs and what they have and have not achieved in that sprint. This serves as a reminder of what they set out to achieve and what their goals and objectives are.

Peter Reinhardt, co-founder and CEO of Segment, makes their vision easily accessible to all 130 employees and talk about it regularly, about 1-2 times per quarter. This serves as a reminder of what everyone is working towards, aligning them around the same goal.

To communicate goals and maintain focus, Nick Franklin, founder and CEO of ChartMogul, believes in consistent face-to-face communication. They have quarterly all-hands meetings and bi-weekly standups where each department lead shares what they’re working on and answers any questions. They also have 1:1s between department leads and team members, and between Nick and the management team.

3. Be consistent - especially when you have remote + HQ employees

In growing her team, Sharon Savariego, co-founder and CEO of Mobilize, learned about the importance of shared consciousness. For everyone to have the same goal, everyone has to have the same information, know exactly what their individual goals are, and to believe in the vision. These three things will lead to true collaboration. Without them, silos will be built. Sharon sits down with each new hire and takes them through the company pitch deck to ensure everyone has the same understanding of the company vision, goals, and current progress.

Perry Oostdam, CEO of Recruitee, recommends making sure all team members - remote or in-office - are using the same communication processes and tools so that remote team members don’t miss anything. Tools like Trello, Skype, Slack, Dropbox, etc. help keep all of their communication online (even for those in the office) so everyone is included and updated on what’s happening. And then about five to six times a year they all get together for a week to celebrate wins and have some out-of-office brainstorming.

4. Make goals visible all the time

When it comes to keeping the team focused and aligned around the same goals, Marc Biles, founder and CEO of Ratio, finds it incredibly helpful to literally have their metrics on the wall at all time by using TV dashboards.

John Andrews, President and CEO of Bestpass, found the same to be true at his company. He created dashboards with key metrics for each department then shared it with the different teams - from sales to finance to customer service - who provided feedback on the content. With this approach, the dashboards evolved organically, exposing useful information to people who could start making quicker decisions and immediately see how their actions impact progress towards goals.

“Nobody has to go ask for the numbers because they’re always available [on the TV dashboards]. No matter where you are in the office, you can get the information that you need. This has raised the level of conversation to be more about the data and not getting the data.” - John Andrews, President and CEO of Bestpass

Murat Mutlu, co-founder of Marvel, also uses TV dashboards so no one is left in the dark and they all stay focused on what matters.

“We created TV dashboards for the key things people need to be aware of. Everyone can see in near real time the progress toward our goals.” - Murat Mutlu, co-founder of Marvel

Summary

Communication becomes increasingly challenging as a company scales, but with these practical recommendations, you can keep everyone aligned around your most important goals.

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