E: What do you love about your job? What sucks?
JS: We have introduced a new operating model, called The Connective, that allows our nine specialist brands to work inter-dependently with one another to deliver transformation to our clients, while also working together to shape the future of Kin + Carta.
It’s a new organisational structure that has never been implemented before. It’s hard work figuring it out, but it’s probably the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been a part of, as I’ve watched countless connections form across the globe, and I’ve learned so much from so many others in the process. It’s incredibly energising.
In terms of what sucks? I guess it has yet to hit me. I think we need better coffee in the office. We’ll have to get to work on that. Maybe I drink too much coffee.
E: What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
JS: We have a few Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). By 2025 we want to be the world’s first billion-dollar Connective; to be recognized as the most connected, compassionate and courageous organization on the planet; to be an internationally recognised best place to work.
KPIs to track those include employee Net Promoter Scores, client experience KPIs, and of course, growth. Growth is incredibly important if we are going to give all of our employees the accelerated career paths that they deserve.
We’re also currently working on how to effectively measure our positive impact from a corporate social responsibility (people and planet) standpoint. I think this will be incredibly important for us to get right as we continue to scale in the years to come.
E: What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
JS: We’re a people business, and to me, the most important tools are the ones that facilitate real-time communication and empower people to make real-time decisions.
The first technology we implemented across the Connective when I first joined in January was Slack for messaging and Zoom for video. It’s amazing what connecting 1,500 brains and faces can do.
Our business has evolved more rapidly in the last nine months than it has in the many years prior by just giving everyone an easy outlet to communicate, collaborate and create.
E: How did you become such a young CEO, and where might you go from here?
JS: Ha, some days I don’t feel young, that’s for sure! I came into the group four years ago after building Solstice for 15 years and selling it to St Ives in 2015. Solstice — and now more broadly Kin + Carta — is part of my DNA.
I plan to spend the rest of my career helping all of our people find and realise their greatest potential. There is nowhere else I would rather be.