A Q&A with Annie Tierney, Our New COO
As part of Superhuman’s continuing evolution, we’re thrilled to share that Annie Tierney is now our Chief Operations Officer! In her time as Director of Project Management, Annie shifted our approach to client work and internal management. With that experience and her incredible thoughtfulness and vision, she’s the right person to lead a new chapter of how Superhuman works. Below, she answers a few questions to share her thoughts on her new role.
Tell us about your experience as Director of Project Management at Superhuman. How has the past year been?
Wow, it’s been an inspiring, humbling, challenging and really fun year as Director of Project Management here at Superhuman.
This project management team is incredibly dedicated to their craft. Being able to see what they do best, where they need guidance, and where they can be where they should be recognized has been really rewarding as a manager. Each member of the team brings their own unique perspective and style to how they work with their coworkers and communicate with clients, and there’s been no other time where those communication skills have been tested quite like these past few years. The pandemic caused us all to work remotely and change the way we approach traditional projects. I give them a ton of credit for persevering and thinking differently about how we do our jobs in a now mostly-remote world.
I’ve gotten to add some new project managers to our team this year who bring different experiences and personalities, which have been wonderful additions to our group. We’ve also gotten the chance to focus on what it means to not just be project managers, but project leaders for both our coworkers and clients. We’ve focused on how that leadership can help projects run more efficiently, make everyone feel better about the work they’re creating and help clients know and anticipate what’s happening next in a project, which ultimately results in more impactful work.
We led a Project Management 101 class for Extra Grind this year where we spoke to the basics and principles of project management for those interested in what it means to be a project manager in this industry, which was fulfilling and a good team building exercise for us.
I’ve also enjoyed being a part of the leadership team here at Superhuman, especially with so much change happening. Not only have I made some great friends, but I feel truly seen, heard and valued in a way I haven’t felt at other organizations in my career. I’ve been able to contribute to growth, change and stability at the agency, and it’s been gratifying to see the benefits of the decisions we’ve made as a leadership team pay off as the agency has grown.
“I feel truly seen, heard and valued in a way I haven’t felt at other organizations in my career.”
How does your experience as Director of Project Management translate into your new role as COO?
As a project manager and director, you’re constantly thinking about ways to improve things that aren’t working or help people work better together through clarity in direction, process and organization. This is such an inherent part of how I’ve seen my role as a project manager and as a coworker in my career thus far, and I’m so excited to see this natural progression translated to the agency as a whole. The opportunity to influence change and be able to improve the collaboration, output and creative work is thrilling and rewarding.
Superhuman has never had a dedicated COO before, so what do you look forward to in shaping what a Superhuman COO can do?
As COO, I’m most excited about being able to help stabilize and support our team of almost 30 employees. Our agency has grown so rapidly in the past year that some of the ways of working that Superhuman was used to as a company of just a few people won’t work anymore as a team of 30. Part of my role as COO in the short-term will be to help determine what those better processes and procedures look like to take away uncertainty and free up space for people to do the best creative and strategic work they can. Additionally, I’ll be working to define future operating and financial goals for the company as we continue to look ahead to what’s next for Superhuman.
“I want to focus on evolving our services, pushing our creativity and expanding our client relationships.”
What’s your vision for the future Superhuman?
My vision for Superhuman is one that closely resembles and supports our new CEO, Becky Lang’s vision! Becky has said that “collaboration is at the heart of what we do” and I couldn’t agree, and be inspired by, that statement more. Working better together as an agency is extremely important to the decision-making and leadership I hope to bring to this role and to Superhuman. I believe that creating a work environment that encourages and requires respect, honesty, empathy and care for each other will reflect those values. I hope the work I lead as COO will have a long-lasting impact on how we show up for each other and make great things with our clients and community for many years to come.