Tobias Peggs

Me: Brit-abroad. Aviary's CEO. Formerly CEO of OneRiot, acquired by Walmart. Formerly Managing Editor of i-D Magazine, but that was a long time ago and i don't pretend to be hip any more ;-) Techstars Mentor. Tweet @tobiaspeggs
Aug 02

Driving decisions by a regular cadence of meetings

When I was CEO of OneRiot, we started doing board meetings every 4 weeks.

But we fell into a trap of subconsciously running the business - and driving the product - to a cadence where we had to have good stuff to put in a deck to talk about at the board meetings.

This didn’t necessarily line up with the pace our customers were running or, more importantly, what our sales and engineering teams thought was best.

So we moved to longer periods between board meetings. Now we could more naturally reflect on all the organic progress that had been made since last time.

Rather than have brilliant people being constrained to artificial deadlines, they instead delivered their awesomeness when it was right - for customers, or for them - and we showed that off at the board meeting. Overall, we did more faster that way.

In a big company, there’s a different dynamic. Making a decision can often involve meetings with 20 people in a room in an attempt to get cross functional alignment, only to find out that the decision might impact some other department you’ve never even heard of before. So now you have to go talk to them, and… etc etc etc… and before you know it you’ve lost a month. Maybe for good valid reasons, but you’ve still lost a month.

So today I started a ‘monthly board meeting’.

The team worked together to create a deck giving the State of the Union for our suite of stuff, and we presented it to relevant execs.

Over the last couple of days working on the deck, the team has spotted holes in previously promised deliverables or future plans that had to addressed before our ‘board meeting’. So we hunkered down, sorted out our shit, bashed through all the cross functional alignment stuff in record time… and today - at our ‘board meeting’ - presented an impressive review of recent achievements and a coherent, tight, executable plan for what’s next. We didn’t lose a month… And we’re going to do the same in 4 weeks time to make sure we don’t lose a month then as well.

Horses for courses.