Early in the Pardot days, it was clear things were going well and we had something special. Only, we were inexperienced and didn’t know what we were doing (does anyone, really?). My concern was ensuring we grow faster than the market, and to do that we had to ensure our employees’ personal growth was even faster than our company growth. For me, my needed personal growth was around communications and company alignment.
To facilitate communications and company alignment, I focused on things like simple strategic plans, daily check-ins, weekly team update, weekly all-hands meetings, and monthly strategy dinners.
Recently, I was introduced to a new idea: the Startup State of the Union. Generally, the idea is to map out all parts of the business in a slide deck that is updated monthly and available to the team.
As an entrepreneur, you are a cartographer making the map, not following someone else’s map. The Startup State of the Union is your internal map.
Let’s take a look at what slides would go into the Startup State of the Union
- Purpose / Vision
- Simple Strategic Plan
- Why Now, Why Us
- Customer Testimonials
- Product Screenshot
- Technical Platform
- Leadership Team
- Board / Investors
- Customer Service
- Consider team, renewal processes, etc.
- People Operations
- Consider team, recruiting process, employee development process, etc.
- Consider team, definitions of qualified leads/accounts, ideal customer profile, tech stack, etc.
- Consider team, AE + SDR + CSM alignment, territories, etc.
- Consider team, financial forecasting process, etc.
- Consider team, product planning process, pricing/packaging, etc.
- Consider team, development process, etc.
- Customer Service
Overall, the big idea is to have an internal slide deck, updated regularly, that captures where the business is today, where it is going, and how it is run to get there.
Organizational alignment is hard, and only gets harder as the company grows. Consider a Startup State of the Union internal slide deck to capture the most important details and re-evaluate them regularly.