I recently celebrated my first year anniversary as COO at F2 Strategy, but in reality my relationship with our firm started almost six months prior when I was brought in as a consultant to help define our growth strategy. As I reflect back on our journey over the past eighteen months, it is clear that our success is a direct result of our purposeful focus on strategic goals and team building. F2 Strategy was (and still is) experiencing rapid growth and wanted to think purposefully about how to transition from a small business to a mid-size company well positioned for long term sustainable expansion and scalability. We hope sharing the steps we took can help wealth management firms following the same trajectory to achieve positive outcomes.
Create a mission aligned strategic plan with clearly defined goals
My initial focus was to ask a lot of questions and actively listen to input from everyone at the company, from the founders to the newly onboarded consultants. I then worked with the leadership team to clearly define the company mission, vision, and values and established company goals closely aligned with all three. To meet those goals, we identified four areas of focus: people, governance, systems, and culture, and developed a rolling two-year strategic plan that guides us through all major decisions.
Assemble a team that shares the company values
As we were completing the strategic plan, I joined full-time as Chief Operations Officer and quickly jumped into the hard work of implementing it. We hired six new team members in my first seven weeks. Focusing on people first, we recognized the importance of building a talented team aligned with our mission and values – achieving our goals would be nearly impossible without it. When hiring, we specifically look for those with an entrepreneurial spirit who share our passion for doing good with tech. Success is dependent on having people who can expand beyond their roles, support each other, grow professionally, delight clients, and become our future company leaders.
Build a flexible, scalable foundation
To support our team and rapid growth, we implemented a governance structure that could withstand expansion of the firm from 24 employees to 200 or more. We established systems and implemented tools to help our team become more efficient and effective so they could focus on serving our clients. And most importantly, we recognized that the systems that work well for our current state may not be right for our future state, so we established a “day one” mindset – be constantly curious, nimble, and experimental while applying lessons learned to delight clients.
Create a welcoming, supportive culture
We intentionally put a corporate culture into place that champions employees’ well-being to help us attract and retain the top talent we need to grow and be successful. We engage the team in the process of developing our other focus areas—we put much of it in their hands. Our team has actively participated in F2 Strategy’s growth with a focus on efficiency, clients, and organizational culture.
Growth is evolution
As much as things have changed this past year, I wouldn’t categorize any of it as an improvement but an evolution. Where we were last year was appropriate for who we were then. Where we are now is different, and it will be different next year as we grow. I am humbled and amazed each day by our talented team and their ability to not only provide industry leading advice to our clients, but to also tirelessly work together to achieve our collective goals and lead F2 Strategy into our next stage of evolution.
If you need support with your company’s growth strategies, get in touch to learn how our experience can put you on the right path.