Business Tip Image by Pete Linforth from PixabayThis is the 21st in a series of business tips from industry leaders that Enterprise Times has interviewed.

Enterprise Times recently interviewed Tony Kender, CRO FinancialForce. Kender talked about how the FinancialForce go-to-market teams haves evolved under his leadership. In his last tip around the top KPI for understanding how to improve performance, Kender revealed it was tenure. How does Kender maximise the tenure of the right staff? Does he work closely with HR?

Tony Kender, FinancialForce
Tony Kender, FinancialForce

“I believe we’re all HR managers. It’s all about how you lead people. How do you recruit people? How do you develop those people? How do you keep those people? How do you continually train them? How do you keep them happy and interested?

“We have a great culture in our go-to-market organisation. That is, I’m a big believer in hiring to certain values. The values have to dovetail with the corporate values.”

A case study: making a difference at Oracle

Kender continued, “One of the best compliments I ever got was at Oracle. As you might imagine, Oracle is an amazing place. But there’s some chaos at Oracle. I would shield my organisation from some of that chaos. Then we would build out our team based on certain values.

“I had a woman who worked for me, and her husband also worked for Oracle in a different group. She would go home and say, ‘Oh, I love my job, we have these off-sites, we do these planning sessions, and we’re really performing well, and it’s so much fun. My boss is great’. Then he (her husband) looked at her and said, ‘Do we work at the same company?’” 

How do you know what top talent is?

Kender then sought to answer this question adding, “I have had teams that would run through a wall without me having to tell them to. That’s because you hire to certain values that you articulate, and you build that culture of high performance.

“Many people think that you can’t build a high-performance organisation unless you’re mean, nasty, hard on people and treat them terribly. And, beatings will continue until morale improves. I’ve learned just the opposite. I’m a big believer in treating people with courtesy, dignity, and respect, but still expecting high performance and explaining what that is.

“I just met one of our new salespeople. She’s been here three weeks. She’s 25 years old. She is a killer. She is excited, she’s energetic, ‘I want to make the company successful. I want to win. I can’t believe the people I’ve interviewed with and the people I’m working for are so great’.

“She’s got that mentality that we look for. If I hire for the attitude, train the skill, I’ve found that we get a high-performance organisation. So my goal and hobby got to be my job, and that is building high-performance organisations. I’ve done it before, and I beat the market leader 70% of the time. I competed with them at SAP and Oracle, and we’ll do it again here.”


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