Rado Kmita Digital Marketing Strategist

Grow smart, stay true: building an organization that thrives

As we celebrate MTA’s 9th birthday, I thought it was the perfect time to reflect on the past year in our organization and on all the values that have driven our journey. We’ve embraced talents and scaled our operations responsibly, adapting to a dynamic environment. Here’s to another year of MTA—continuing to build not just a workplace, but a true community.

Building Relationships

Over the past few years, I’ve focused on building relationships and partnerships because I know that they bear fruit even when we least expect it. These connections make work something more than an obligation. It becomes an adventure because you never know who you might meet. Most of us at .mta share this approach, and it’s awesome to watch others now take on the role of relationship-building. This aligns with our core value of Synergy, emphasizing the harmony and collaborative spirit that drives our team forward.

Human Connections at Work

Moving to a more human, less formal level in professional relationships opens us up to different situations at work. We start seeing our colleagues as real people, not just coworkers. When someone makes a mistake, we remember they have their own life and family. In more official relationships, there’s a lack of empathy and understanding. Greater security comes from not being judged solely on work results. We feel safer knowing we’re treated as people with different backgrounds and needs, fostering an atmosphere of mutual support. Our international and local partners often inspire us to create plans and feel motivated to execute them because we genuinely care about them. 

It’s powerful to want not to disappoint coworkers and business partners, and this can mainly happen when we get to know each other closer, not only professionally. Of course, while doing that, we also need to ensure professional boundaries are respected to maintain a comfortable and respectful work environment for all. This reflects our commitment to Support and Trust, which builds trust and support within our team. It’s the human connections that really encourage people to stick around with us—this goes for both our team members and our clients. Our team-member retention rates are on the rise, with the average tenure now at 26 months and increasing, a clear sign that our strategy to build a caring, people-first organization is paying off.

Client Relationships

Our clients also tend to stay with us longer, though defining a good tenure in marketing can be tricky. We avoid locking clients into lengthy, stringent contracts, opting for a flexible, collaborative approach—keeping it simple and human. On average, our clients have stayed around for about 16 months, but we’ve had partnerships for years. 

What’s crucial here is the focus on building relationships and trust. Paths might diverge, and sometimes we reconnect; you never know what the next month may bring. Our colleagues on the other side often take us with them to their next roles because of the relationships we’ve built with them. While this flexible approach provides freedom, we also maintain clear agreements to ensure stability and predictability for our clients and team members. For instance, if a customer doesn’t work with us and we’ve lost their trust or they’ve lost ours, we are flexible enough to stop the agreement earlier to let them work out a better solution for themselves. This approach highlights our value of Always Providing Value, focusing on delivering real value and meaningful partnerships.

Diversity in the Team

When we launched MTA, we emphasized responsibility and entrepreneurship. Initially, I believed we needed highly strategic and visionary people like myself. However, I realized this approach wasn’t effective. You can’t build an organization solely out of strategists. The key is to recruit diverse talents. In my opinion (although we are still looking for the golden mean), an organization functions well with a mix of individuals — 30% strategists/visionaries, 20% project managers with strong organizational skills, and 50% specialists/area managers. This distribution ensures new development directions, smooth project flow, and engagement in active sales and strategy creation.

Over the years, we’ve learned that scaling an organization requires good ideas and the right people. We aim to see potential in team members that might not be visible at a glance, allowing space for growth. This translates into the organization’s ability to scale and adapt to constantly changing market realities. We strive to ensure that everyone understands their role and sees a clear path for career advancement within our structure. We see synergy cases of combining classic strong PM traits (like nurturing, consciousness, leadership, attention to detail, composure, and resilience) with strategist roles (like being creative, conceptual, autonomous, energetic, usually with lower attention to detail, extraverted). Combining these two in a project or team leads us to exceptional results, demonstrating the power of diverse collaboration. This embodies our value of Equal Opportunities, ensuring fair opportunities for growth and development for each of the team members in our organization.

Recruitment and Scaling

Sometimes, our recruitment method might seem slow, but we prefer to wait for candidates who fit perfectly and have the potential to grow. Recruitment is about making smart choices, even though nothing is ever guaranteed. 

Our approach treats the organization as a platform to spot potential leaders and core team members who can take charge and pass on their knowledge. We use various tools like interviews, skill tests, and personality tests, knowing that each piece of information is a clue but not the complete picture. In the end, we often have to trust our gut and hope we’re right. We’re always working to improve our recruitment process to keep it as fair as possible. This careful approach to recruitment aligns with our value of Safety, ensuring a stable and secure environment for growth.

Growth and Scaling

Despite obstacles like COVID-19 and the departure of large clients, we’ve achieved our ambitious goals. These challenges tested our recruitment strength and reinforced the importance of hiring the right individuals.

I have always dreamed that MTA would have 100 people, but now I know it’s crucial that they are the right fit for us. If you choose the wrong people during scaling (it’s especially important when the organization is a service provider), when the company grows and things start to fall apart, you won’t be able to pinpoint the problem. It may turn out that the initial culture you’ve achieved with 30-40 people has been diluted & changed by a totally different mindset and approach to work. I believe this didn’t happen to us, and we were able, thanks to the systems and filters we built, to maintain the same culture we had a few years ago. The key to any organization will always be the people.

This is a valuable lesson for any organization trying to scale a service-based team. You can’t rush because you might lose control over processes and relationships. Projects might not be executed properly when an organization grows too quickly, and cooperation can become ineffective. The problem might lie in the mentality or approach that starts to prevail, leading to team members treating the company only, for example, as a source of income or a stepping stone in their careers. 

We promote open communication and constant feedback to tackle any issues quickly, a strategy that often falls short in traditional organizations due to misaligned incentives. In many places, team members have little reason to ensure their peers perform well or contribute to organizational growth. Why? Because their pay isn’t linked to their colleagues’ success or the overall progress of the company or specific projects. At MTA, however, we’ve aligned incentives through a model that ties individual compensation to the revenue of projects they’re involved in, as well as the overall success of the organization. This approach might not suit everyone, but that’s fine because it helps us maintain a team that truly embodies our fundamental value of entrepreneurship, focusing on growth that is both responsible and strategic.

Sustainable Growth and Leadership

Our mission is to create something timeless. To achieve this, we need strategies for finding, supporting, and nurturing leaders who can eventually take over the organization. Here are a few key strategies:

  • We continuously recruit entrepreneurial and strategic individuals who share our value system. They learn to build their own teams, gaining experience that prepares them to take on greater organizational responsibilities over time. 
  • We are developing MTA Products – a framework and support system allowing leaders to transition from managing service teams to managing products or their brands. This helps them continue their entrepreneurial journey and achieve greater success.
  • We are standardizing and raising expectations for teams supporting MTA Group and product leaders in areas like finance, law, accounting, project billing, and other operational elements, allowing leaders to focus on team or product growth.

Even if the executive team is gone, or one of us, there will always be team members who will take over our responsibilities, or the roles will be divided among several people, ensuring the organization continues to function as something more than just a workplace.

We’ve observed the emergence of outstanding leaders in recent years, each bringing new passion and perspectives. Historically, our team heavily relied on achieving quantitative goals for our clients but struggled with presentations, sales, and enhancing our brand’s overall image. This highlights the need for new leaders who can introduce fresh ideas and directions. With the support of our dedicated team members, these leaders were able to develop and expand new client acquisition channels by focusing on our brand, content, and the personal brands of our team. These are avenues that previous leadership did not prioritize or invest in due to different focuses. We are excited about the potential leaders on the horizon and look forward to welcoming more. For us, it’s a perfect way to uphold our core value of Entrepreneurship, emphasizing responsible and strategic growth.

Future and Vision

An organization that offers space to build according to your ideas while adhering to certain rules is very attractive. This approach promotes freedom and a sense of agency and invites you to join a community, combating modern loneliness.

Our partners from the US visited us recently and said something interesting when they heard how we truly care about maintaining our values and autonomy in how we manage our team. They said, “Rado, how people talk about their teams and organization is something truly unique and special.“ Team members greatly value self-management and transparency because it gives them a sense of awareness and inclusion. Knowing that nothing is hidden from them and that there are no secret agendas allows them to access all the necessary information to execute their projects successfully for our clients.

We believe that building a strong community within our organization will lead to long-term success and fulfillment. By creating a space where individuals can connect, share ideas, and support one another, we help build a community. That’s also how I see the future for MTA Group — to be a community, not just a workplace. We balance this vision with professional standards to ensure a productive and respectful work environment. This vision aligns with our value of Collaboration, fostering a supportive and collaborative community.

Rado Kmita Digital Marketing Strategist Founder of a thriving organization with more than 80 team members who work across various fields. I am a self-management evangelist with over a decade of experience in digital marketing. Passionate about data, I tackle challenges and assist Heads of Growth, Project Managers, and ad managers on platforms like Facebook, Google, Bing, Pinterest, TikTok, and in programmatic advertising. I collaborate with US and global DTC, SaaS, and B2B brands to elevate results and drive success.

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