- Sep 01 • 2 years ago
Walk and Talk with Jacqueline Backman 3 of 3: Shaping NetRefer’s Future Vision Together and Cutting-Edge Tech
After last week’s part-two-of-three of our new docuseries – Walk and Talk with Jacqueline Backman, NetRefer’s Chief Performance Officer, we’re back once again at Spazju Kreativ for the final leg of our journey.
Here, we wrap up our encounter with Jacqueline as she addresses the importance of unified performance in the team, how every role is a pivotal function in itself and how she oversees it all. Then, she shares NetRefer’s future vision and talks about how the company acknowledges its legacy but is ready to move ahead.
Here we are in the Spazju Kreativ theatre, this lovely 360-degree space. And it’s kind of fitting since your role in NetRefer is performance. And I was wondering, given that you’re tasked with coordinating all the departments at the company and making sure they’re functioning in unison, does it ever feel like you’re directing a theatrical performance in a way?
Well, in a lot of ways, I believe that life is like a theatrical performance. But I have to admit that there are many times, when all of my heads, the entire team, the entire company strive to understand the absolute art of orchestration as a leadership principle and put it into practice. And that not any one thing can be happening ever without other things happening in parallel. And learning to understand how those pieces intercede or interconnect with each other. And how they drive each other, which together, form one big performance. So yes, I guess in a lot of ways it is performance. So, performance seen from many perspectives.
So, in a way, it’s no good if the sales department is doing a great job but, for instance, operations can’t onboard and get everything working smoothly. Everything has to be working in sync, right?
Exactly. And it happens. I know a lot of companies that have gone through that. And that’s why it’s really important that each piece is not working in a way where you have the independent functions siloed in any way. So, all the functioning components have to work on every project, milestone or step with representation from each area just to make sure that that happens. It’s absolutely useless otherwise. It’s not going to do you good if you have this amazing marketing team or amazing sales team but you can’t onboard or you can’t deliver. So, every piece is important. We all have an important job. We have different jobs but we all have a critical role in the business.
The whole thing is a very collaborative enterprise.
Absolutely. So, I think that the theme of orchestration the venue represents is very fitting. And I think you can take that to your own personal life as well. If you just focus on one aspect of your life, the other aspects will suffer.
There’s a lot going on. What can you tell us about the company’s vision? How does a company with 15 years of legacy put that behind and forge ahead in the right direction?
Well, interesting thing. When I first was involved with NetRefer, people would talk about legacy and there was always a very negative connotation to it. And my perspective is that legacy is something fantastic to have, depending on the context, of course. So, moving from a legacy state of mind or production into a futuristic approach, is very challenging; it’s probably the most difficult thing an organisation can do, in that sense. But, as far as the future is concerned, I’m not so concerned with putting our legacy behind us. Rather, I’m very interested in putting the things that didn’t work behind us; the things that are no longer relevant, behind us. And that is very much in conjunction with understanding where we’re going, who we are as an organisation. And understanding the people who come into the business that make us the team who can get us there. Our CEO always says that he wants a team that can start and finish; a team that can get us there. And that’s what we focus on; that’s what we do. So, we leave the pieces that are no longer serving us. And we pay homage; “thank you to all the people and thank you for all the things we learned along the way.” Even the bad decisions. Because, as long as the decision was the best decision at the time, we’re good. And then, you have some bad decisions. But they are our teachers. So, moving into the future, it’s not that complicated as long as you know where each part fits.
It goes back to our prior conversation about analysing what’s happened and which parts are working, which aren’t, like you said, trying to decide.
And then, you’re just piecing that out, you’re looking at that vision for the future and just staying focused on it. And at the same time, it’s an orchestration. So, it’s all the pieces. It’s not just even my opinion or Raphael’s opinion. Our Heads work really collaboratively. As a matter of fact, I say we have two teams. We have our team of Heads. At every layer, we have our team of Managers. And they are one team. And we have one team of executives. They have to perform and be unified, as do the Managers. And they have their respective functional teams. And then, of course, we have project teams. So, it’s just one wonderful orchestration.
It definitely has its challenges, but I find it harder not to work that way (laughs). But getting everybody to see the benefits, yes, that definitely had its challenges.
But you’re in your element with what you’re doing here. You sort of enjoy the challenging aspect of restructuring the organisation.
Restructuring and ensuring that strategically the foundation is in place. And even the strategic output coming out from our team of leaders is in line with our CEO’s vision, and of course, that they are going to take the company to that place. So yeah, it definitely has to be fun.
Focusing a little on the future. Can you tell us anything about what NetRefer is working on at the moment and what the company has coming up in 2022 and beyond?
Well, in the most recent ICE, just before COVID shut everything down, we started talking a little bit about RACE, which is of course an acronym for Revenue Attribution Compensation Engineering. And the simplest way to explain it at this point in time is that it will take things to a whole other level. So, of course, we will remain in our industry. It’s been 15 years of experience within this industry. Of course, our CEO, as a visionary, has an understanding of performance marketing and affiliate marketing that traces its origin back to there. So, it’s definitely part of our future. And taking our machine – or RACE engine – depending on how you want to look at it, and ensuring that it is a highly integrable, highly adaptable, calculating machine – a piece of IP – that can, essentially, provide a service to many organisations, depending on what we decide to do with it.
Is it carved in stone enough for us to talk about it freely? Not quite at this moment. But it definitely is. There is definitely a massive upgrade coming to our clients and our industry. I think that’s something.
Definitely, that was very interesting. And we’re looking forward to talking with some of your colleagues and team members in the months ahead.
Yeah, I’m looking forward to that as well.
Hopefully, we’ll get some more information from them as well.
Again, we’re very transparent – very happy to talk about it. It’s just that if you talk about it too soon, it can create confusion. And, we just really aren’t about that. So, I’d rather have it in a way where things are exactly where they need to be. And then, we can say; “hey, look at what’s going on here.” We never want to be that company that says this is happening and then it doesn’t. Our word is law. What we promise, we deliver. If something changes, of course, we’ll let them know. But mostly, we deliver.
Jackey, it was fantastic talking to you about this. Thank you for taking the time.
It’s been wonderful. Thank you very much.
Watch the next entry in our Walk & Talk series with Head of NetRefer’s Human Resources Department – Federico Russo.
A special thank you goes out to Andrew Bonello for conducting the interview.
17 years of Transformation – Founder and CEO, Raphael Arnold, leads the discussion on NetRefer’s Company structure and evolving business strategies.
We’re proud to announce the appointment of Dexter Cutajar and Benjamin Briffa to their new roles as Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Finance & Operations Officer, respectively. In order to commemorate their achievements, we’ve invited Raphael Arnold, Founder and CEO of NetRefer to answer a few questions about the Company that led to this momentous milestone in the business’ growth. He offers an extensive look at NetRefer’s history, and the decisions taken which led the Company to where it is today.
- Jan 16
Walk & Talk with Mark Scerri Pace 3 of 3 – The Future of the Performance Marketing Platform
After last week’s part-two-of-three of our fifth entry in the docuseries – Walk and Talk with NetRefer – we’re back with Mark Scerri Pace for the third part at the Valletta Contemporary.
- Jan 27