Establishing the mission
Frogs’ definition of strategy: “A competitive game-plan to achieve an important goal” Particularly during the scale-up phase, where a degree of product market fit has already been established, strategy is not about selling a vague market opportunity but rather combining a clear view of addressable market with a robust plan of action as to how this can be exploited. More importantly, identifying the unique resources and attributes your company has (and will need) to thrive in that environment.
“As you scale a business it grows beyond senior management’s line of sight, so strategic intent is crucial from a communications perspective.”
David Williams, Operating PartnerView Profile
Building optimal teams
Talent is where planning and execution intersect. Good people will of course help you to execute better, but if they have the right quality and seniority they will also be involved in shaping strategy through bringing challenging views to planning sessions. We champion developing a culture, organisation and HR approach to nurture and continually assess talent at all levels. As a CEO, your optimal team for the challenge will change over the years. Recognising this fact is essential, as is having an approach to assessing performance, addressing competence gaps and spotting early the need to make a step change and take tough people decisions. A strong senior team is essential to share the burden of responsibility for seeing and delivering the vision that can otherwise become oppressive on the CEO.
“Attracting top talent is a critical ingredient to successfully scaling a business.”
Shirin Dehghan, Frog NetworkView Profile
Achieving organisational clarity
Good organisation starts from the top and changes in the board are likely to be the most obvious initial differences when growth capital is taken on. Whilst we add value through our Frog representative on the board, we also encourage a wider review of what skill sets are required (for a new chairman for example) at that level and what the processes should be. The board should be a huge asset to the business and where this isn’t the case, you either have the wrong people on it or you aren’t getting the best value out of them. At the executive level, organisational clarity from the top drives business discipline and accountability through all levels, ensuring a consistent approach of rigorous follow-up on previously set targets or projects. This is not about blame but learning and improving every year.
“Corporate organisation structure can drive discipline and accountability at all levels in a business.”
Steven Dunne, Senior PartnerView Profile