Of all the things you could do next, what should you do?
Whether you can't decide which of one thousand possibilities you should pursue or it feels like you've exhausted your best ideas and you're staring at a dead-end, the question remains: what's next?
How do you decide? How do you move forward?
Given all the information you have (and all the information you don't) how do you plan for the next quarter? The next year? The next 5 years?
I ask the hard questions to help SaaS leaders find the (right) next big thing (for you).
I help SaaS leaders determine the best path forward by understanding our challenges and uncovering insights to drive strategy.
One of the coolest emerging parts of my work is the “organizational mise en place” of how to set up teams and working environments to understand what challenges and opportunities we're facing and how to set a strategy for addressing them.
Here's what that will mean for our work:
We'll often schedule
meetings working sessions that last 2 hours or longer. I know this is the opposite of the de rigeuer “most meetings should have been an email” culture. That idea should have fallen out of rigeuer a long time ago.
The single greatest meeting design technique is to schedule enough time for everyone to ask their questions, reflect on their insights, sit in silence, push back respectfully, and walk away having accomplished something - instead of breathless with a pile of still unresolved questions. When we need to meet, we'll block enough time.
We'll understand problems through Joyful Inquisition. This is a term I invented that means “enjoying the process of asking questions until we understand exactly what’s happening.” For me, most of the joy in the work we get to do is in the process of understanding. When we work together, I’ll spend ~80% of our time together asking questions to understand where you or your customers are struggling with precise nuance.
We'll facilitate collaborative working sessions. We're going to "Yes, and" our way to some places we wouldn't be able to arrive at on our own. I also call this the "Institutional and organizational mise en place of innovation," or as I like to call it "What do we need to do and say to do our best work?" What are the mechanics of fostering psychological safety and camaraderie on teams? How can buttress our work to resist the intrusions of misinformed well-meaning people and dastardly ill-meaning people?
A few more details:
I’ve been working SaaS teams since 2014. I’ve helped teams at companies like Buffer, Codecademy, MURAL, Output, Atlassian, Userlist, Stunning, and Autobooks. I’ve shared my work, most recently with audiences of MicroConf, LTVConf, UIBreakfast, Startups for the Rest of Us, and Forget the Funnel. I’m also mentoring founders in the TinySeed Accelerator.
Some other things I've done:
- Ran a coloring company for grownups about a year before that trend took off
- Ran an internship program and marketing at an ecommerce startup
- Worked as a PR writer, medical writer, and foodservice advertising copywriter
- Worked as a writing tutor and trainer of writing tutors
- Worked at a clothing store, cheese shop, tea room, and Christmas tree farm
- Considered becoming a professional comedian and took comedy classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York and Second City in Chicago
- Volunteered as docent at an outdoor sculpture garden
- Volunteered as an ESL tutor for 2 years until March 2020
- Studied Mandarin for 9 years
One last thing:
I love learning. I love working with people who love learning. If you also love learning, I hope we'll get to work together.