Balancing Focus & Flexibility As You Grow
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Balancing Focus & Flexibility As You Grow

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brief thoughts on balance between focus and flexibility for startups - at Growthtown Sydney March 2009. For those who attended IRL these are the slides I did not actually use for the talk but cover......

brief thoughts on balance between focus and flexibility for startups - at Growthtown Sydney March 2009. For those who attended IRL these are the slides I did not actually use for the talk but cover what I really drew on the whiteboard.

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  • 1. Balancing focus & flexibility Kate Carruthers Growthtown Sydney March 2009 Source: http://www.fitness.com/articles/uploaded/1234153983_yoga_sex.jpg
  • 2. Startups need balance …
    • But it is hard to balance focus on:
    • Competing needs
    • Lack of resources
    • Maintaining cashflow momentum
    • While staying flexible to respond to opportunities
  • 3. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/94403687@N00/185023874 Focus requires discipline
  • 4. Focus needs …
    • Goals
    • Plans
    • Strategy & tactics
    • Metrics
    • Key performance indicators
    • Decision making process
    • Defined roles & responsibilities
  • 5. Source: http://www.treehugger.com/how-solar-energy-works-growing-plants.jpg Early growth requires focus
  • 6. Product Admin/ Finance Sales Sales PR Focus Flexibility Goals Plans Strategy Tactics Metrics KPIs Rules What opportunities are you NOT interested in? When do you say no to an opportunity? Who says no? People stuff Values Beliefs Attitudes Habits Flow v Switching cost Business Core Actions History
  • 7. But you still need to chase rabbits
  • 8. Rabbits are…
    • Unplanned business opportunities that you chase as & when they arise to maintain cash flow momentum
  • 9. The problem with rabbits…
    • Unplanned business opportunities can distract you from focusing on your defined business goals & strategy
  • 10. The challenge…
    • How to balance pursuit of opportunistic business without losing focus on your business goals?
  • 11. You need a plan …
    • If you don’t have a plan then you can’t assess when to chase rabbits
    • You also don’t know which rabbits are not worth chasing
  • 12. Some basics …
    • Predetermine rules for decision making:
      • - input rights v. decision making rights
    • Understand key metrics driving the business
    • Track progress against goals
    • Refocus based on results
  • 13. Some basics …
    • Role clarity is key!
      • - Who does what & when
    • Values etc must align with the set goals
    • Communication is important
      • - What information must be shared
      • - What information is private
  • 14. Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28481088@N00/535725576/ Flexibility is based on discipline
  • 15. Thank-you
    • www.katecarruthers.com
    • www.slideshare.net/carruthk