Some time ago, I came across a story on how Jack Dorsey was managing his twin positions of CEO of Square and Chairman at Twitter. As the article correctly surmises – both positions are incredibly demanding on his limited time and attention. He manages his personal responsibilities across the two companies using a combination of disciplined time allocation and themes to help define direction.
Why limit the idea of themes to just founders? Themes could be useful for small teams too.
If we think of opportunities as indeterminate, Startups need to diversify just enough to pursue different opportunities together (Pivots). Theming can also help direct team efforts along each of the key dimensions such as acquisition, activation, retention, referral, monetization (AARRR). You could also theme a team along different channels for customer acquisition. In short, theming efforts along different directions help you pursue all and at the same time limit the investment just enough to help you feel the progress.
Are you using execution themes at your startup or small team? If yes, do comment or link back to your blog on how you make this work.