How BizOps and Chief of Staff Leaders Work Together at Carta

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Mar 28, 2022

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How BizOps and Chief of Staff Leaders Work Together at Carta

Below is a summary of notes from Alexis Teixeira and Ben Spero about how CoS and BizOps leaders work together at Carta! This roundtable was produced in collaboration with our partner community, The BizOps Network. If you or someone at your company is interested in learning about The BizOps Network, please reach out to David (who also helps out with the BizOps Network).

Note: we tried to summarize the notes as much and as best as we could. Please refer to the video for details and more accurate information.

Work as a CoS at Carta

Alexis focuses on three main buckets:

  1. Executive optimization: Adding leverage to the Principal. Making sure that the CEO is focused on the right things every day. 
  2. Stakeholder management: weekly leadership meeting, monthly board meetings, and quarterly board calls. Making sure that those are all planned and scheduled, and there are agendas, and everyone is prepared for those.
  3. Cross-functional strategic projects: M&A, re-orgs, Board candidates searching, executive talent search, DE&I, future of work/return to the office, etc. This bucket she has the most overlap with BizOps team.

BizOps at Carta does four things:

  1. Traditional business operations / centralized business operations team deployed out into projects across all the entire organization. This is really more project based work. 
  2. Act as a service business lead for some of our new product incubation. Mini GMs for hire. As an example, if we want to try out a new idea, a new product, we don't want to necessarily hire externally. We want to kind of test this out with a dedicated engineering manager, product manager and then a business person. 
  3. Our strategic partnerships team that also works with executive recruiting
  4. Corp Dev that involves includes integration. So a lot of time, the corp dev team will go shopping, and then someone on the biz ops team will work to integrate the business.

About Carta and BizOps: why operations is such a core part of our DNA is that we really took services businesses and turn them into software. So it was how do we optimize this service thing that's happening in the background to eventually make it a seamless software experience. 

BizOps team overview: There is a Chief Business Operations Officer who basically has 24 people reporting to him. And his five direct reports are basically kind of aligned to those five units mentioned above. 

How do CoS and BizOps work together:

Alexis: there's kind of like a push-and-pull element where sometimes it'll come from me, and sometimes it'll come from the Biz Ops team. 

Ben: Two ways I think about working with Alexis:  

  1. I can work with her to help amplify something that I think needs more attention at the executive level. 
  2. But then also comes from the other end, the CEO may say might say “Hey, you know, I think our product development used to be accelerating, I really just feel like it's slowed down the last six months. A: Is that true? And B, if that's true, I want to reorder the company, what should we do about it? 

One example of working together:

Alexis: Ben has worked on a couple of really interesting product launches. And because of that, part of the go-to-market strategy would be for Henry to reach out to other people to see if that resonated at all. And Ben and I would work together on kind of what that communication would look like. Making sure that we have like a draft list of people that we're working on together. 

Another way to think about BizOps:

Ben: our head of our group describes he says that we're basically the product manager for the business as a whole. And that means is that we are the ones if there is a something going well, or something going wrong, that we don't quite understand, we’re the ones who are tasked with basically figuring that out. 

How BizOps works on projects:

As an example, BizOps can diagnose the problem. Someone had an idea this was a problem, we then quantified how much of an issue that was.  Then we went to putting a plan in place to make sure that didn't happen again.

How BizOps can be: connective tissue to elicit feedback while also, you know, involving as few people as possible

On the Chief of Staff career path:

Alexis: what I do find to be interesting is I look at Ben's team (it’s makeup), and it's really like across the board in terms of backgrounds. And I think, interestingly enough, any one of the individuals on Ben's team would make an amazing Chief of Staff. Some of them have even become an off-shoot Chief of Staff. 

How Carta BizOps team could be different than other BizOps teams:

It is a bit more strategic. A bit more forward looking, rather than just metrics oriented. 

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