The following is an edited version of an address Ken Judy made during Stride’s March 25 town hall meeting, after Debbie Madden announced she was stepping down as CEO and that Ken Judy would take on that role.
I am filled with joy and inspired by a sense of duty as Stride’s new CEO.
It’s hard to express how beautiful and rare Stride is. It is a sustainable business with an inspiring community and culture fueled by Debbie’s ambition and idealism.
Debbie has built a sustainable, small business in an industry that adores hockey stick growth. Stride invests from profits, saves money for hard times, and isn't chasing arbitrary goals. It’s like the most beautiful lemonade stand in the world. I couldn't be happier to be a part of it.
Striders are talented technologists, but what unites us more is the care we take in working with others. Striders have offered me the most conscientious, challenging -- sometimes painful -- professional learning. I'm incredibly grateful for these experiences.
Debbie started Stride with five people and a mission to change the world. That audacity in both ideals and impact is the heart of our vision to help build a brighter future for our planet and generations to come.
This combination of things makes Stride a force. We're sustainable, and we have long-term ideals and incredible people. I'm convinced that Stride will be the last place I work. And at the end of it all, we will have contributed something good to the world.
Here’s how we get there...
Support and develop each other
We’ve been focused on this for over a year: improving benefits and wages, investing in a people function and managers. With Rebecca as our new Chief People Officer, we're making progress on performance management, training, and career growth. She’s joined by many Striders working on initiatives around shared learning and making a contribution to our industry.
Iterate on the client problem
We’ve spent the last five months researching our client problem and iterating on how we solve it, improving how we find, shape, and perform work. We’ve built new business development and marketing functions and are establishing a new discipline around pre-sales consulting.
Marketing has exceeded goals for inbound leads, for the last three months. Those leads are coalescing on a specific problem statement, which is people looking for us to build custom software.
The consulting group is building a reusable toolkit to enhance client collaboration, team performance, engineering quality, and making work visible. This continuous learning will deliver more valuable outcomes for our clients.
Foster diversity, equity, and inclusion
We’ve added an equity value: “challenge systems.” We need a shared understanding of what impact we seek to create and what outcome we are committing to over what time frame. That will inform measurable commitments we add to our annual plan, to which we are as accountable as to our revenue targets. We will do this by the end of the year.
We are making progress. My commitment is to help us drive that progress through the business so you see it in the work you do day to day.
- Ken Judy