Showing posts from June, 2023

The Donut Hole's Design Leadership Gap and Risks (Alfred Kahn)

The Startup Lifecycle From founding to becoming established, most startups follow a path that tracks to a similar trajectory. From creation through early stage, life at a startup is a bit chaotic, with people wearing many hats and everyone scrambling just to make it to the next milestone, sometimes just to stay alive. In this world, the boundaries between roles can be very fuzzy, leadership is pretty centralized, and the organization itself is pretty flat. It can be an exciting time of camaraderie, long hours, and a lot of fun. As a startup matures into a larger company, it establishes a robust organization characterized by a mature hierarchy. Each discipline has its own leader, leading a team and collaborating across disciplines. In this state, the product, design and engineering teams are each led by a director, vice president or chief, and there is a hierarchy of leaders below them who also collaborate among themselves.  Between these two stages is what I call the Donut Hole. In the

Benefits of hiring a Fractional Recruiting Leader (Natalie Stones)

 As any business owner or manager understands, finding and managing a capable workforce is crucial to success but can often feel like an insurmountable challenge. The process of recruiting, training, and retaining employees is a complex and ever-changing one, with many factors influencing success. However, when faced with the difficult decisions surrounding downsizing or pausing recruitment, the prospect of finding an ideal candidate to fill the gap may seem even more daunting. This is where hiring a fractional recruiting leader can be the perfect solution. With their specialized skills and experience, they can help your company navigate through challenging times, workforce adjustments, and maintain hiring and retention rhythm. Gain Expertise and Professional Support Fractional recruiting leaders are adept at managing change and implementing adjustments with minimal impact on your business operations. Having an experienced fractional leader on board ensures that your workforce is manag

Optimizing Your Back Office Tech Stack: A CFO's Guide for Early Stage Startups (Chris Seidensticker)

Effectively managing back-office operations of early stage startups may not feel like the highest priority for your company, and it's not. Developing and iterating upon your go-to-market strategy, achieving product market fit, continuing to build out your product's features and functionality—all these are a higher priority. But ignoring your back-office tech stack is not something you can afford to do either, especially if all that work on sales and product are effective, and you find yourself on a rocket ship. A flexible, efficient, and scalable tech stack with all the pieces integrating with each other will be crucial for financial efficiency and sustainable growth. Optimizing your tech stack in key areas such as expense management, revenue management, and payroll is essential for streamlined operations, accurate financial reporting, and cost savings. Before getting in to the different areas of a company's tech stack, if optimization of that tech stack is not priority #1

Know When to Walk Away: A Guide for Fractional Leaders (Sam Wehbe)

I've caught myself saying the following more times than I can count: "Fractional work allows me to have all the fun associated with working at a startup without the bullsh*t associated with a startup." For most of my career, that has been true. But based on a recent experience, I have started thinking about the times when the bullsh*t of a startup does rear its ugly head and how I could advise new fractionals on how I've approached it. Here’s my list for how to know when to walk away. Reasons to Walk One of the most powerful concepts that I learned in that time is the concept of "firing a customer." There are many reasons why you might need to let a customer go: Nonpayment or chronic late payment; Violation of terms and conditions—for example, work outside scope; Unreasonable demands or expectations—3 AM replies; Abusive behavior; Lack of engagement—they forget they hired you; Misalignment of a target market; Merger and acquisitions; Legal reasons; Strategic