All Articles Leadership Communication How do you keep communication open between key executives and the CEO?

How do you keep communication open between key executives and the CEO?

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Q. What best practice (e.g. regular meetings, off-site dinners) do you use for keeping the lines of communication open between key exec leaders and the CEO?

1. Host quarterly retreats

If you’re at the stage where you have a true leadership team, you need to make sure that they are all aligned. We have a quarterly retreat outside of the office. The first goal is to make sure that we’re aligned on the business goals. And the second, more important one is to make sure that our leaders get along personally. Startups are hard, and you need to have a happy and aligned team. — Aaron Schwartz, Modify

2. Have an open communication culture

Communication with key executives is cultural. I created a company culture in which executives know I always have time for them. We’ve created a system of weekly meetings and we also touch base each day to deal with minor issues. Occasional lunches give us a chance to get out of the office and keep our relationship more personable. This combination lets them know they can talk to me at any time. — Vladimir Gendelman, Company Folders Inc.

3. Ask for a win of the week
We kick off each of our weekly executive meetings with a “win of the week.” Allowing each member of the team to kick off the meeting with something that they are proud of helps to get things off to a positive start, which creates the trust and energy that allows everyone to subsequently dig into more sensitive topics. — Christopher Kelly, Convene
4. Designate a Slack channel
Live chat throughout the day is good for both keeping things on track and staying close to the people who are working with you. We have Slack channels devoted to a lot of things now, and private, top-level communication is one of them. Chat has been a great solution for us since it keeps a permanent record of daily challenges that are discussed, and can be responded to when convenient. — Adam Steele, The Magistrate
5. Hold trickle-up meetings
Each week, every employee leads a one-on-one meeting with their manager. They set the agenda and relay their successes and challenges with their team leader. These leaders then lead similarly-formatted one-on-one meetings with the CEO. This bottoms-up communications flow gives more power to the employees closest to our customers and the product. — Neil Thanedar, LabDoor
6. Build new lines of communication
We’re a growing team here at RateHub, and we are working to keep lines of communication open between levels of staff. We initiated a monthly management meeting, now hold off-sites twice per year, and formed a “people committee” dedicated to brainstorming ideas and fielding questions, concerns and inspirational ideas from all levels of staff before it goes to the management team and CEO. — Alyssa Furtado, RateHub
7. Host a weekly dinner
Every week, the executive team is invited to my house for a poorly cooked meal, courtesy of myself and my fiancée. It’s important to me that the members of the leadership team are more than just professional colleagues. Hosting this dinner at my house creates a sense of family, which is extremely important in a high-intensity startup environment. — Joel Butterly, InGenius Prep
8. Take a daily stroll
Every successful CEO makes an effort to connect with his or her executive team members. An effective way to keep the lines of communication open is to take a daily stroll around the office and ask each executive if there’s anything they’d like to share with you. Be relatable and be accessible, the two best practices available. — Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
9. Set aside time for fun
As a company, we understand our team won’t operate efficiently unless they remain passionate, productive, and motivated to win. In order to maintain that goal, we put work and play on the scale and try as hard as we can to keep them in balance with one another. This helps our key leaders and managers stay connected to executives, and allows even more opportunity for communication between the team. — Blair Thomas, First American Merchant