Midyear reviews at a VC firm

We kicked off our midyear review process here at Energize last week and I held my 1:1s with my team this week.

Every year we have a robust planning and strategy session for the firm’s top 5 goals. Then every individual (investor, platform) identifies how they will contribute towards those efforts through individual and team-oriented metrics. As a team we have truly embraced the structure and it is one of my happier implementations here at Energize.

Investing can become a single player game. Almost all of our development efforts are around enforcing a team approach where we feel success in the firm’s collaborative advancement. I kick off every review with a 2-3 page summary of my sentiment towards the firm’s current status. VC funds tend to define success in longer (5-10 year) increments that match the development of the portfolio. Investment firms can have an even longer horizon as talent and multiple portfolios develop. Balancing the short term quarterly progress with the long-term horizon can be hard. In my midyear review I talked about that trade-off and wanted to share it here:

In many ways I judge our near-term success by constantly asking myself these three questions

  1. Are we making long-term investments, and avoiding short-term thinking?
  2. Are the correct teammates in positions where their strengths can be maximized?
  3. Are we responding to our stakeholders (entrepreneurs, LPs, co-investors) and iterating to stay sharp on near-term execution?

These questions stirred some good internal conversations. I will post some of the takeaways over the coming weeks.