Q&A with Kelton President Alison Servi
February 21, 2020
Alison Servi — recently named President of Kelton Global — shares some thoughts on culture, leadership, and the journey that led to her new role.
- When did you join Kelton? What led you to join the team?
Alison: I joined Kelton in 2008 — just prior to the recession hitting. Like many of our clients, I was charmed by Tom’s energy and his assertion that Kelton was truly doing something different than other research companies.
- What has surprised you most about your time at Kelton?
Alison: How dynamic everything is and how much Kelton is constantly evolving. Kelton has a unique ability to stay true to a core ethos while always reinventing and refining itself.
- What’s one thing a lot of people don’t know about you?
Alison: I’m actually an introvert! While I do a ton of facilitation and big presentations, at my core, I prefer smaller group discussions and take a good amount of time to recharge.
- What’s the most important thing you’ve learned that has made you a better leader?
Alison: I remember a study from my Master’s program that showed that the best leaders spend time tackling the roadblocks their team faces and doing whatever they can to make those roadblocks disappear. I work really hard to make sure the teams I lead are able to achieve their goals and focus more on the facilitation of that than dictating one vision.
- What do you think makes a strong company culture and why?
Alison: I love the phrase “culture eats strategy for lunch.” To me, a strong company culture is when culture and strategy are seamlessly intertwined in both small and big ways. In other words, the culture isn’t this separate aspect of the company, but rather its lifeblood.
- What’s your favorite thing about working with the brands you partner with?
Alison: Just one thing?! Probably the ability for insights to be a unifying experience that brings together cross-functional teams.
- What are you most proud of about what Kelton has accomplished in your time here?
Alison: I’m most proud that our top five clients have been our top five clients for the last 6-8 years. To me, it proves we’re building something truly special here, and have a reciprocity of commitment that is truly special.
- What are you most excited about for Kelton in the next year?
Alison: Our new partner companies give us the potential to work together on some truly game-changing engagements. Now we’re able to take insights and strategy even further downstream. I can’t wait to see how that shifts our ability to partner with clients in new ways to help them solve their toughest challenges.