Customer Spotlight

How the Co-CEO of Klara focuses on what matters—not on scheduling—with Double

Customer since 2021
Headquartered in New York
90+ employees
Healthcare SaaS
Simon Lorenz, Co-CEO of Klara

“I was destined to become a doctor,” says Simon Lorenz. He comes from a long family history in medicine—among his parents, siblings, and extended family, he counts at least ten doctors related to him. And though he started working in a hospital at age 16, a bigger question nagged at him as he got to know the industry better. Why do doctors spend so much time on administrative work, and why does the patient experience fall behind customer service in other industries?

Simon turned to other industries to learn how he might improve healthcare practice management and the patient experience. He landed on technology as the ultimate lever for improving efficiency and outcomes in the industry. He decided to start with the technology he knew best: the phone in his hand.

I could text any of my family members at any time, so why couldn’t the everyday patient do the same?

Simon teamed up with his best friend to create Klara. Their mission is to revolutionize how people communicate within the healthcare industry so everyone can have a seamless, efficient, and positive experience. Klara is a patient communication platform that unifies all patient workflows in one place to drive better engagement for practices and health outcomes for patients. Since its founding in 2013, Klara has grown to 100 employees and currently operates as a fully remote team.

As Co-CEO, Simon oversees demand gen, sales, customer success, and human resources. Thinking about long-term strategy for these teams, he talks to customers on a regular basis.

“I believe that as a CEO, you need to stay in regular contact with your customers—especially with a product you don’t use yourself,” he says. And while he keeps a pulse on his customers, the reality is, Simon’s priorities constantly shift due to the stage Klara is at. On a normal day, Simon spends his time thinking strategically or attending meetings with executives, customers, and his direct reports.

Though my priorities can shift every week, I love what we’re doing at Klara: improving the quality of life for patients. We’re changing the dynamics of healthcare communications, so patients have a better experience.

A need to focus on important work—not scheduling meetings

As a Co-CEO, Simon needs to be working on the things that only he can do and delegating the rest. “If I’m not using my time for the most leveraged work, my team and company are negatively affected,” he says. But after a few years of growing Klara, Simon wasn’t using his time in the best way possible. He was spending a lot of it scheduling meetings, and, what’s more, meetings he attended were often planned without his knowledge, meaning he didn’t have time to transition between. “I was arriving at meetings without context or having prepared for them, which made them less productive,” he explains.

Simon used several tools to make managing his schedule a little bit easier, thinking he didn’t need an assistant to help him—but the tools just didn’t cut it.

Because I had tools like Calendly that automated my processes, I always maintained that I didn’t need an EA. But over time, as Klara grew, I realized that the tools I was using didn’t—and couldn’t—provide the customized and professional service that a human is capable of.

When it came to important meetings, such as with investors or customers, Simon wanted to provide a better experience not just for himself but for the people he was meeting with, too.

From a high level, Simon also wanted context for meetings, what work he should be focusing on, and the most important meetings he should be attending (and which he could skip). But hiring someone was a huge commitment of time and budget, and Simon wasn’t ready to go through the lengthy recruiting process of finding an EA.

Bringing on a Double—and expanding her scope

Despite his hesitations about bringing an EA on to help him with scheduling and a few other tasks that were eating up his time, the decision to hire a Double proved easy for Simon. Instead of sourcing, interviewing, and hiring an assistant, the process happened behind the scenes. “Double took care of selecting the person they believed would be best suited to my needs, taking care of the whole process for me,” he explains. And he didn’t have to commit to a long-term contract to hire his Double—everything through Double is on a flexible month-to-month basis.

Simon started by bringing Nathalie, his Double, on board for scheduling support. After a few weeks, he noticed a tangible difference and recommended the entire executive team lean on her for help, too. Since then, she’s taken on scheduling, travel booking, and planning company events.

She recently organized the executive offsite, including:

  • Booking travel and accommodations
  • Activities for team building as well as establishing business strategy
  • Meals and outings
  • Expenses after the offsite

By taking on all of the details that brought the offsite together, Nathalie helped the entire executive team stay focused on what matters for the company instead of feeling distracted by planning.

Staying focused with the help of his Double

“Overall, my Double has helped me stay more focused and improve my life at work and at home because I’m informed, present, and using my time effectively,” explains Simon. Nathalie supports Simon by optimizing his schedule, which involves:

  • Scheduling and booking with internal and external stakeholders
  • Crafting his schedule around his optimal work structure (focus in the mornings, meetings in the afternoons, breaks for lunch, etc.)
  • Coordinating schedules across Klara employees so that inter-functional meetings happen seamlessly
  • Identifying personal events and needs, such as family birthdays or anniversaries

One of the most significant ways in which Nathalie supports Simon is through their weekly Friday planning meeting. Every Friday, they take a look at the week’s upcoming schedule so that Simon knows which meetings are coming up and how to prepare. It helps him arrive with context and stay present when he’s meeting with others and have a buffer in between meetings to reflect and prepare.

It’s so important to protect your schedule, and my Double helps me do that. She also helps me be a better leader and contributor in my meetings by lining up my schedule so that I can move from meeting to meeting feeling informed, efficient, and confident that it’s the most productive use of my time at that moment.

Simon and Nathalie use the Double app for messaging to manage their work together, or Simon will loop her in through a different tool or piece of software. “Nathalie is very proficient in all the tools we use at Klara, so she can be present wherever we’re working,” Simon says.

For Simon, having Nathalie has helped him focus on leading his team—and delegating the work he knows she can do better. “With a Double, you’re not only delegating work to someone who can take something off your plate, but you’re also giving it to someone who will do it much better than you would have. They’ve been through these cycles before and understand the nature of the work—they’re experts in helping you become a better leader.”

Simon's typical day

Strategic thinking and meeting prep

8 AM - 12 PM

Meetings with team and investors

1 - 6 PM

Kite surfing

6 - 8 PM

Using technology to maximize impact

When he founded Klara, Simon recognized—and seized—the role technology and communication play in empowering and enabling professionals. When he hired his Double, he was simply leveraging a different type of technology and communication to be better at his job. Instead of just talking the talk—starting Klara—he’s walking the walk—by working with his Double.

Executive time is invaluable, so making sure it’s spent doing the things that are most impactful—and the work you’re best poised to do—is critical. Double helps me do just that.

Just like Klara helps medical professionals provide better care and improves the patient experience, Double empowers Simon to become a better, focused, and overall more efficient leader for the company.

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