How I Scaled My Team
Rebuilding teams for high growth during remote work
In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Noga Halperin, Chief Revenue Officer of SciPlay.
When Noga joined the gaming company seven years ago, they had two small centralised marketing teams in the States and in Israel. She took the unusual approach of growing teams in different locations across the globe, before deciding to centralise everything in one place. Noga explains why she went against the norm and the benefits it had on the company’s growth.
SciPlay have a 51:49 balance when it comes to culture, meaning that a new hire must fit the company culture better than whether they can perform well in the role. But how is that sustainable when growing a company so significantly?
Maintaining good relationships with not only employees, but others in the industry, is something that Noga prides herself on. She is an advocate for old school networking and explains that even if someone isn’t looking to change jobs right now, you never know when they could become beneficial to growing your team.
Prioritising what’s best for the company over what benefits someone else or yourself is Noga’s top tip for successful scaling. But how easy is it to see the bigger picture?
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19. End of season special - how exactly do you scale a team?26:39In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi look back at the conversations they’ve had this season with CEOs, founders, VPs and team leaders from some of the fastest growing tech companies in the world. They hear their stories, their highs and lows and their best advice on how best to scale a team. This season started when the economic market was at its peak and over the past nine months the conversations have touched on the impact that the change in economics has had on businesses and in particular, scaling teams. With all the current uncertainty, growing inflation and the ever changing landscape, this is the perfect time to gain knowledge and advice from these leaders, in the hope that you can overcome this period positively.Shahar and Romi will return soon to speak to more leaders about the impact it’s having on them, as well as how they successfully scale their businesses.Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.
18. The hindering impact your cross-functional relationship has on hypergrowth34:43In this week’s episode, Romi talks with Maggie Hott, Director of Sales at Webflow. Since joining the company in 2021, Maggie has seen significant growth in the sales team. In the last 6 months alone, it has grown from 10 to 100 people. The success of this can be attributed to Maggie’s comprehensive hiring process, something which she believes is the single most important thing that a company needs to get right. Scaling teams is an imperative part of growth, but when the financial climate is as troublesome as it currently is, should companies still be focussing on expanding their teams? Maggie explains why she’s made the tough decision to slow down the growth of the sales team at Webflow, in the hope that she never has to let go of employees. Maggie is super passionate about paternal leave and supporting parents coming back to work. In 2021 there were historic numbers of women that left their jobs, resulting in the lowest participation in work for women since 1988. She says that very few companies get it right for mums returning to work and shares her suggestions on ways to support them best. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.
17. In scaling a company, are flat organizational structures practical?24:40In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Lotte Vester, Head of Organisational Strategy at Asana. Like many tech companies, Asana is a fairly flat organisation with very few staff having titles. Whilst it isn’t unique in the industry, Lotte explains how the only way this structure can work is if it is supported by the right culture.Fortunately, this is something that Asana are very intentional about, aided by their Voice of Employee programme, which evaluates decisions and goals set by individuals and the company. Lotte adds that for the culture to be effective, it is important to have open and curious leaders who are comfortable giving responsibility and critique to their staff. Asana pride themselves on creating flexible working for their staff, something which they proudly offered even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite them seeing value in face-to-face interaction and working collaboratively in an office, they believe that whatever gets the work done best is the most effective way. But is that attitude always best?Having previously worked at Facebook, Lotte has experienced companies growing rapidly, in both headcount and revenue. At the social media company, their key value was ‘move fast and break things’ - somewhat of a unique take. Lotte explains how employees were expected to make mistakes and if you didn’t, you probably weren’t moving fast enough, something which she feels is a valuable concept as you grow. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.
16. Global pandemics don't always halt hypergrowth34:59In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Ariel Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder of TripActions. TripActions have shown impressive growth since their launch, now boasting nearly 3,000 employees. But this hasn’t come without its challenges. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, the company had no choice but to let staff go. In addition, trying to retain staff when thriving tech giants attempted to poach them was a significant challenge. Ariel explains that they never saw it as scaling down but instead used the unique opportunity to take more market share and continue to build their product. Scaling a team often requires some difficult decisions, such as letting go of good people if they’re not going to take you to the next level. Ariel highlights why transparency when letting people go helps to set expectations. One of TripActions most successful decisions was to hire key employees from hypergrowth companies such as Uber and WeWork, according to Ariel. Having people who were used to growing businesses hundreds of percentages every year significantly aided the company when they began their significant hypergrowth. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.
14. Scaling globally through local GMs - madness or genius?31:53In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Jonny Steel, Vice President of Marketing at Payoneer. When Jonny joined in 2014, Payoneer was a start-up with a centralised organisation. Eight years later and it has now grown to a significant global company. Jonny explains how growth hacking was paramount to the expansion and success of the business, and how it took them international. When looking at expanding globally, Jonny feels that relocating managers is a safe option. Payoneer instead pride themselves on their different approach. He discusses how hiring the best business leaders who know the local market can be a risk, but one worth taking. When Payoneer’s platform went down, it left many people worried and unable to be paid. Jonny details how they turned their biggest crisis into loyalty for the company. The key to scaling is not to be afraid, according to Jonny. But how do you recover if the risk doesn’t pay off? Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.
13. How to motivate multicultural teams with organizational psychology31:05In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Nicholas Kontopoulos, Twilio’s VP Marketing for Asia Pacific and Japan. A marketing veteran with experience in 65+ countries, Nicholas has spent years building and scaling teams internationally. As a “Westerner operating in Asia”, he’s learned what works and what doesn’t when it comes to finding success in unfamiliar markets. Nicholas tells us about the importance of building an agile organizational structure and defining a clear purpose for your business to anchor around. He talks about the need to understand and appreciate differences and similarities between the countries you’re looking to expand into – what translates and what doesn’t – and why you should avoid the “cut and paste” approach to selling your brand across different territories. Nicholas is a firm believer that “culture eats strategy for lunch” – so how can you scale while staying true to your baseline culture? Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.
12. How turning customers into “raving fans” fuels success26:47In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Eilon Reshef, Gong’s Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer. Gong have undergone significant growth in the past six years, accelerating from 10 employees to around 1200 in that short time. Eilon discusses the importance of hiring responsibly, why hiring fast is never beneficial and why it’s paramount to keep the bar high while scaling. Strong operating principles are at the core of the company and they apply to customers and employees alike. How do you create “raving fans”? Eilon has specific advice. He also talks about how to make your guiding principles stick, and actually mean something right throughout your organization. Gong want employees to “enjoy the ride” - but how easy is that to achieve without taking a hit on revenue, especially in these tough economic times? Eilon continues to keep Gong lean, and isn’t a fan of excessive “party budgets”. What should your company do to strike the balance between employee happiness and driving profit? Eilon has suggestions. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.
11. What it takes to scale internationally and keep salespeople on board33:51In this week’s episode, Shahar and Romi talk with Nir Goldstein, VP Sales at Monday. Monday has enjoyed phenomenal growth over recent years, rapidly scaling and expanding internationally. Nir’s role is to drive sales in EMEA + APAC, which has seen him build and manage multiple international sales teams. As well as explaining what skills, experience and attributes he looks for in new hires, he describes how Monday’s stellar growth impacted the way in which the company now recruits. Monday’s sales team recently changed their model from being salary-only to incorporate an incentivised approach – Nir talks through why that change occurred and how it’s impacted the business. He talks too about the mindset and organizational decisions needed for a company to be constantly “scale-ready” and offers thoughts on building loyalty within teams. Nir also explains the thinking behind Monday’s sales academy – why it was launched and what benefits it brings the company and its people. Like this episode? Make sure to leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review and hit subscribe, so you never miss when a new episode drops.