In This Episode:
When an Implemented Strategy Doesn’t Work

For Director of Organizational Design, Gena Killion, admitting failure has not always been easy. Since joining Simantel in 2014 as a project planner, she’s become our subject matter expert in so many different arenas. She prides herself on wanting to know “everything about anything” and being able to process and retain a whole lot of information on any given subject. And it’s taken her far – she’s held 9 different roles in her 8 years as a Simantelite.

As a jack-of-all-trades, Gena moved from project planning to strategy to management, learning lessons along the way about how admitting failure can make you a better leader and a more trusted client resource. And as she grew, Gena continued to carve out space for herself at Simantel, creating brand new roles to the agency and proving her value time and time again. That’s why when she brought up the idea of creating an “organizational design” position to the leadership team, it was an easy yes.

In her podcast interview, Gena sits down with Misty to talk about the steps she took to pave her own path in the organization and how she now encourages others to do the same. Gena details the road that led her to become the confident leader she is today and to ultimately create her current role. She talks us through what organizational design even means and why it’s important both inside and outside of the agency.

For Gena, admitting failure helped shape her career and became one of her proudest moments at Simantel. We are so thrilled to showcase her story as part of this extra special season celebrating Simantel’s 40(ish) anniversary. We hope you enjoy the conversation!


“I’m proud of the culture that we’ve built [at Simantel]…this is a safe place to fail because failure is where growth happens. We learn more from the things we do wrong than the things we do right… that growth potential is just so much bigger when you are in a space where you can make mistakes, you can take calculated risks, you can have hard conversations and come out of them better and smarter.”


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Bonus Clip: Gena Narrates Her Story

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About Gena Killion

One of Gena’s favorite things sitting on her desk is A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (and if you know Gena, then you know how very on-brand this is to her). In 2014, she brought her wealth of knowledge to Simantel as a digital producer, worked her way up the ranks to Associate Experience Strategy Director, and as of June 2022, holds a brand new role at the agency.

As Director of Organizational Design, she focuses on moving client projects through the agency efficiently and effectively. Gena is technical and strategic, but because of her passion for people and problems, she is a soft-to-land sounding board for many in the agency.

When she’s not designing Simantel’s organization, she’s actively trying to raise kind, brave and brilliant kiddos with her favorite person. Oh, and she’d rather watch paint dry than watch sports. Connect with Gena on LinkedIn.

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