All that can happen in 9 months at TribalScale

By Kirstine Stewart

I started as President and Chief Revenue Officer at TribalScale 9 months ago, and in just over a week, I’ll be making a big move to Geneva, Switzerland to take on a new role. I will be part of the Executive Committee as Head of Media, Information and Entertainment at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

It’s been a fast 9 months but we’ve accomplished a lot. When you think about it, a lot can happen in a 9 month time frame. A baby can be born! Maybe not the best analogy, but I do feel as if a new TribalScale has emerged. In this short period, we set up a structure with solid foundations that will take TribalScale to the next level.

When I started in January 2018, it was clear that TribalScale was on an amazing trajectory. The executive team had a great and inspiring vision of what they wanted and where they wanted TribalScale to go. The business was robust and nothing was broken, but this business was built quickly and didn’t necessarily have the underpinnings of a strong foundation. As someone who has grown and scaled organizations globally, I helped the team get out of the weeds and put key structural pieces in. We reinforced the organization from the basement up.

We implemented the most current, forward-thinking policies and processes to help TribalScale thrive. For example, we introduced internal transparent salary bands, created different and cross-functional roles, authorities and responsibilities — and we added more diversity to the business. We brought in new executives, lifted people within TribalScale, and now we have the proper tiers of folks who can address concerns and execute at all levels. There is no longer a bottleneck at the top with people on the floor just “taking orders.” There is increased trust, improved communication, and greater transparency. The base is stable, and with an improved, updated structure, we’ve taken the executive team out of the weeds and empowered the organization throughout.

In those 9 months, even the way we think about partnerships changed. At TribalScale, making a sale or closing a deal is not just about selling something off the shelf, it’s about creating lasting and meaningful relationships. Every client engagement is seen as a true partnership opportunity; we aim to build and earn trust between TribalScale and our clients. We also shifted towards a transformation-first market approach.

We know that no one is immune to disruption in today’s market. Transformation and change are absolutely critical for enterprise survival. We’re helping others embrace change by transforming how they work and what they do. The focus is on teaching and preparing other organizations for their next stage of evolution; we’re helping them succeed in the digital era.

Such internal shifts were, and continue to be, important. When a company is scaling so quickly, and at TribalScale’s size and for the first time, it’s hard to know where the gaps are and where weaknesses lie. TribalScale’s leaders had the self-awareness and openness to come to this realization. They brought me aboard as someone with a fresh, external perspective to identify and fill those gaps. I don’t think we would have been able to complete such a thorough internal transformation in a short time if it wasn’t for that openness.

I wouldn’t be leaving if it weren’t for this once in a lifetime opportunity at the WEF. I sleep easy knowing that there are so many people in this organization that can pick up the pieces I’ve left and will be able to hit the ground running. And it’s not just one person, this sense of trust and empowerment runs throughout TribalScale.

A key lesson that I’ve learned is that the greatest impact an individual can have on a business is to craft a role that they can walk out of. I believe that a true testament to one person’s contribution to a company is whether they leave a lasting and positive impact. The business doesn’t collapse, it carries on without a blip as the supports are all in place.

In 9 months at TribalScale, I created a structure and a system of flow that empowers many, and I’m leaving it in good hands. But to begin with, TribalScale had the rocketship, now, with all the people I leave (sadly) behind — it has the fuel.


To hear more about my time at TribalScale and where this rocketship is headed, listen to this podcast, featuring Mitch and me.

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