Over the last year and a half, I got a chance to work very closely with at least 5 squads. Finance, Marketing, Customer Expansion (erstwhile eagle eye), Midmarket hunting(technically it’s a POD/tribe), and Inside Sales. Happy to report that all those squads have done phenomenally well especially after I stopped working with them :-). They have found multiple leaders within the squad and have been consistently meeting/surpassing their goals.
Here is what I learned while working with them in terms of what made a good team / what made squads work well in Bizom
Have a granular weekly plan
People think that big things need time and longer plans (quarterly, yearly, etc). While it is true, if you cannot break these big things in weekly/daily achievable bytes, it’s a failure of leadership.
In marketing we had a daily/weekly content calendar, in inside sales it’s prospecting meetings and in customer expansion, it was the mini-sprint plan. In every successful team I worked with, we had a daily/weekly achievable plan to track progress.
Daily standup (How can I help?)
The weekly plan was followed by daily standup. One of the things I insisted on in daily standups is on “help needed” rather than a status update. While the status update is a good self-tracking tool, the help needed section, helped me as a leader.
Weekly review/ retrospective celebrate the success
In all these squads, weekly once we learned to unwind. This could be an elongated retrospective where you are sharing what you learned (simple format what worked / what did not work). It could even be a game/activity (the finance squad does that well). But weekly once meet as a team and do something outside day-to-day work and share notes with each other. Helps the teams bond better and understand teammates point of view.
Bonus: Aim high
This sounds obvious but in almost every squad I have been part of, the ambitions I set out initially were ridiculed by the squads as ludicrous. The marketing team told me those kinds of content plans were idiotic, the inside sales team thinks my closure targets are stupid, dev teams told me weekly releases were impossible and mid-market teams told me that 2 closures per month per hunter were not possible. All of them achieved those and more in 3-6 months !! I strongly believed in those ambitions. For me, they were data-driven obvious expected outcomes, and once I was able to instill the same belief in the rest of the squad we automatically achieved those so-called ambitious goals. The trick was to convert those lofty ambitions into daily/weekly plans. So never aim low, aim high and achieve
I have seen most squads elevate themselves organically with some discipline like this.
Lots of love,