How To Pilot a Growth Team in Your Company
So in part three, again, we talked about establishing that culture of optimization, who's on the team, what's the meeting cadence, how's the documentation. Prior to that we talked about the growth acceleration process and the overall architecture of the team. Now that you have a sense of what the makeup of this team is and what they're doing, it's time to actually begin to launch your growth team. Okay, get up there and launch your growth team. Now what I want to talk about initially is how to pilot a growth team, because if you have an existing team, with existing stakeholders, with people already sitting on an organizational chart, and you walk in and you declare that we're changing everything, your title is this, and you're changed to this, and you're now reporting to this person over here, we're changing it all. People are absolutely going to freak out, okay. They will do it, I know, because again, I've made this mistake a couple of times, and so far only 100% of the time people ha...
ve totally freaked, all right. And the biggie is, this matters whether you're trying to do this from the top down or from the bottom up. So I'm thinking to myself, hey, I'm in charge. I own the dang company, right? I'm gonna do what I want to do, because I'm kind of a big deal. It's got my name on the desk and junk, and my office is of rich mahogany and many leather-bound books, right? So I'm thinking I can do this thing. But hey, if you don't have buy-in from your team, it doesn't matter. I don't care who you are. I don't care who you are, and I nearly lost some great people by not explaining why we were doing it and testing it ahead of time, when I've tried to roll this out in the past. Trying to pull this off, if you're coming into an organization. I've met with people, I've spoken at events before where I've talked about this, certainly not anywhere near the depth that we're talking about it here, but really talking about the idea of a consolidated growth team. And I've heard back from people, they hit me up on LinkedIn, they're like, "I went and proposed that and I nearly got fired." Right, don't demand that this is what is going to happen. Don't demand, like, "Here's what we're doing." Instead, make a suggestion. Look to pilot a team. So step one of the piloting process is to choose your structure. Choose your structure. Now these should look fairly familiar. If you recall, we talked about the permanent team, where you have a product group, growth and then some type of ops or administration. If you are building this from scratch, then you don't really need to do a pilot. If it's just you, you know, you're building this from scratch, you don't really have anybody to necessarily freak out, you could go right here from the get-go. You don't necessarily need to pilot that team. So that's there if you choose to go the permanent route. More times than not, if you're doing a top-down growth team, if you want to pilot that, the executive strike team is what's gonna work the best. And I'll tell you how we're gonna position that a little bit more, but essentially what you're looking to do is you're looking to pick a project or two, that you've already identified, and say I just need a couple of people to work on this one project. Again, this is how many of the earliest growth teams in the Valley were built initially. There was a mandate from the CEO, this is what we need to have happen, we need to go this route, let's gather some people together, kind of create the strike team, that they're gonna produce this project, and then they'll disband. It's gonna be just a project-based team. That's a good way to... You're not restructuring the organization, you're pulling some people together for a project, just pulling some people together for a project. If you're watching this and you're on the product team, you could do the same thing. You could do the same thing. And what's beautiful about this, if you're on the product team and you want to try to do this in a product-lead strike team, you're gonna find that the sales and marketing people are actually quite receptive. They're gonna be quite receptive, because usually it's marketing and sales that are trying to get product to do stuff, so if the product people come, so if you're watching this right now and you're on more of a product team, or you're more of a product-driven CEO, that's more your area, if you say hey, we recognize that from a product perspective we need to be working much more closely with sales and marketing, to really drive growth. And so we want to kind of put together this team that's more of a consolidated team. What do you say, can we do this? They're gonna be highly receptive to that. Similarly, on the marketing side, you could have it begin as the growth team kind of spun off of marketing. And when I've seen this happen in the past, more times than not, it either just becomes, the growth team kind of becomes the marketing team, and vice versa, or what you see happen, and I saw this at one other company that I was working with, all the marketers, like the Damangine folks, they wound up focusing on growth, and really the only people that were left in marketing, were PR and communications. Invariably, the person who was running marketing, didn't have a growth-driven mindset, they had more of a branding background, at a company that really what they needed was growth. That person eventually wound up leaving. The people that were left in marketing got put as a department under growth. And I've seen that happen a number of times. And I'm not suggesting that if you're currently on a marketing team, where you feel like maybe some of your higher-ups, they're not focused on growth, they really are just only interested in branding, I'm not suggesting that this is a way for you to get them fired and get a promotion, but it's an excellent way to get them fired and get a promotion. I've seen it happen a couple of times. It can happen as a strike team off of marketing, saying okay, great, we got good marketing, but now we need some people that are purely focused on growth. And I've said before, I've never seen it work at sales, today. I'm not saying it can't, if anybody is watching this and if they're still watching this, and they're on the sales side, then you might be able to pull it off. But deciding where it should live, from a pilot perspective, you know, where it's going to begin. Live is not the right word. Deciding where it's gonna begin, where is this project, this idea, who's gonna take some ownership of it, who's gonna pilot it? Who's gonna do that, that's critical. And usually what we're looking for is, who is the stakeholder?