Workday CEO: 10 Powerful Business Leadership Lessons

If the problem you’re solving is not hard, it’s not worth doing. – Aneel Bhusri, CEO of Workday

In 2005, two longtime friends and software visionaries Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri decided to form a cloud-based finance and human resources startup. Duffield had founded PeopleSoft in 1987, where Bhusri served as senior vice president of product strategy. The result was Workday. Today, Workday’s enterprise applications for finance and HR are disrupting the global software industry, servicing some of the largest companies in the world, including my company Salesforce. Today, more than 1,000 organizations, including Fortune 50 enterprises, are Workday customers.

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Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri – Founders of Workday, 2005

Ray Wang, bestselling author and CEO and founder of Constellation Research, and I invited Aneel Bhusri to our weekly show DisrupTV to discuss business, leadership lessons learned during his incredible journey, as well as emerging and highly disruptive technologies in the financial and talent management industry.

Aneel Bhusri is co-founder and chief executive officer at Workday. Aneel has been a leader, product visionary, and innovator in the enterprise software industry for more than 20 years. In addition to his role at Workday, Aneel serves on the boards of Intel, Cloudera, Okta, and Pure Storage. Aneel is also an advisory partner at Greylock, a leading venture capital firm that he has been associated with since 1999.

DisrupTV Episode 0030 Featuring Aneel Bhusri, Steve Boese & Holger Mueller from Constellation Research on Vimeo.

1. You cannot replace luck and timing

From a startup to a highly successful company with a 98% customer satisfaction score, Workday has been a great success story. Bhusri and his team have a consumer internet mindset that drives the management and innovation philosophy at Workday. The same leadership guiding principles that led to Bhusri’s success as a successful venture capitalists at Greylock are employed at Workday.

“You can’t replace luck and timing. With Workday our timing was perfect. We started in 2005 right as cloud computing was beginning to take off. Salesforce had really established this new business model and so we were very lucky that way,” said Bhusri. Hard working entrepreneurs who adopt a beginner’s mindset and intellectually curious tend to be more lucky and at the right time and right place.

2. Find a good mentor

Bhusri advises entrepreneurs to find a great mentor. “I found a great mentor early on in my career, Dave Duffield – a legendary software innovator, great individual and a wonderful leader and human being,” said Bhusri. Bhusri also embraces reverse mentoring, where he purposefully connects with younger employees at Workday, customers and business partners to help better guide Workday’s innovation vision and company strategy.

3. If the problem you’ are solving is not hard, then it’s not worth doing

“You don’t see a lot of great companies built on easy problems to solve. In many cases you see a startup and people say, ‘wow, that looks too hard of a problem to solve’ and that’s when I say go do it because that is where real opportunities get created. If you are successful, you are not going to find a whole bunch of competitors chasing you because you are solving a real hard problem,” said Bhusri.

4. Listen to your customers

“Our very simple philosophy is that we really take care of our employees and they take care of our customers. Every employee at Workday thinks about how they are going to customers be successful. It is a simple formula but a lot of companies go out and they don’t listen to their customers, they don’t try to solve hard problems, making it tougher for themselves to create a great business,” said Bhusri. Dave Duffield and Bhusri genuinely love collaborating with customers. Both also are very employee centric. Duffield and Bhusri interviewed the first 500 employees at Workday. They didn’t interview the candidates for their skills, they were looking for good cultural fit, customer focus, and being good team players. Then Duffield and Bhusri let the first 500 Workday employees hire the next 5,000 employees.

5. Your culture is your brand

“There’s a lot that I’ve learned by watching how Marc Benioff and Salesforce build a great company round being tight with customers and have those customers be strong advocates for Salesforce. I think that’s the new way of doing business in enterprise software. The beauty of the cloud model is that it brings you closer to your customers and that customer intimacy is mutually beneficial for both customer and company,” said Bhusri. Workday is a true cloud provider and so customers are using the same version which leads to great amount of transparency and sharing is far greater than legacy, on premise solutions.

6. Business leaders value analytics and reporting

Workday just finished their second quarter and the results share with Wall Street demonstrated the second-biggest quarter of selling financial services – the same phenomenon that Workday saw in HR is now in finances. There are several factors according to Bhusri, namely analytics and reporting. Getting accounting done is a commodity. CFOs are looking for better analytics. Workday is delivering unified planning and transaction capabilities that can only be delivered using a true multi-tenant cloud architecture. Finance is looking for real value and they want better analysis and reporting.

7. All applications must be intelligent applications

“The next wave of cloud adoption is about taking advantage of all the data companies are collecting to make better decisions. Machine learning allows businesses to analyze massive amounts of data and find nuggets of insights to help leaders make better decisions,” said Bhusri. Workday’s first machine learning algorithm is talent insights, an application that predicts which of your top performers would stay or leave your company in the next 12 months with better than 90% accuracy. Machine learning can also assist in areas of career path and succession planning. Today, some of the largest banking clients of Workday are using their machine learning applications to career path their employees. Smart companies are using data to make predictions and to stay ahead of their competition.

8. Strong innovation velocity requires a true cloud

Many of today’s tech companies are ‘cloudish’ and not really cloud, according to Bhusri. To keep up with today’s innovation velocity, companies must adopt true multi-tenancy cloud technologies and architectures. You cannot write new powerful machine learning algorithms against data-sets if the systems are not running the same exact version of the software configured – a true cloud model. The companies that are doing right are Amazon, Google, Salesforce and Workday and that’s why we are able to keep up with the pace of innovation,” said Bhusri.

9. Leadership diversity and succession planning are key to success

Workday is growth and success is all about their company culture and people. Bhusri believes that cultivate a culture that celebrates diversity means having a proactive process that is focused on leadership succession and building the next generation of leaders. Duffield and Bhusri started this very early at Workday with the goal of creating a multi-generational leadership opportunity to build a great company by mapping and executing succession across the entire company. Great companies are always identifying the next set of great leaders.

10. Charity and mentoring is in the DNA of great companies

Bhusri values mentoring his employees and giving back to the community. Bhursi is also very welcoming of accessible, seeking feedback from all stakeholders. Millennials give Bhusri a lot of reverse mentoring. Bhusri believes that the only way to stay on top of technologies is to hang out with younger people, a lesson he learned from Dave Duffield.

“At the end of the day, we are all part of a community. Giving back at the Workday Foundation is just recognizing that and being part of a broader community. We are just a small piece of the community. We have been very fortunate and our growth and success is largely due to our community. The most exciting part about the Workday Foundation is that our employees actually drive where we give and they really drive the giving. Our employees get personally involved. It is fabulous when your hire the right people, with the right value system, and they want to give back and they push us to give back,” said Bhusri.

Bhusri is legendary entrepreneur, venture capitalist and CEO. He is also a passionate collaborator, mentor and listener. Duffield and Bhusri are passionate about building a company with happy employees who work hard to ensure their customer’s success. I encourage you to follow Aneel Bhusri on Twitter at @aneelb. Ray and I also spoke with two extraordinary HR experts and thought leaders Steve Boese and Holger Mueller and asked them to share their views on emerging talent management and future of work trend. To learn more about HR innovation and industry trends, please watch the video above for Boese and Mueller’s valuable insights.

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Tales of Groc: Customer Success Caveman – Chapter 8

Geologists from Stanford University recently made an astounding discovery. Drilling core samples in Palo Alto, a thousand feet below Sand Hill Road, they discovered the fossils of an ancient civilization. Their excitement grew as excavation revealed a Neanderthal community with complex tools, written language, and a primitive subscription economy.

A paleo-forensic team pieced together the daily life of one adult Neanderthal that lived there 40,000 years ago. They’ve published his narrative below, and titled their work the Tales of Groc, the Customer Success Caveman. Read Chapter 7 here.

Chapter 8: Professional Etiquette

Groc was passionate about developing the next generation of Customer Success Managers. When he learned that StoneHenjj was considering a rotational program for new grads, he got involved and made sure that Customer Success was part of the circuit.

The Program took recruits from the University of Boulder on a two-year orbit through the Sales, Support, Onboarding and Customer Success departments. Groc loved the enthusiasm of these young cavemen and cavewomen. Sometimes, though, their professional etiquette during customer interactions left something to be desired.

Last fall, Groc was shadowed by a new grad named Bam. These were some of the lessons that Groc imparted into the youngster in the two moons they spent together:

  1. Bam was following Groc to an onsite EBR at Dongleberry, a strategic partner that produced power adapters between livestock and Carts. Their primary product was the Harness.

    Groc and Bam had agreed to meet outside the company’s headquarters at sunrise to do a final run of the presentation. Groc arrived 5 minutes early, but Bam arrived 45 minutes late drinking a cup of fermented pond scum. When asked why he was late, Bam said “I love this stuff. I can’t start my day without it. But it took me a long time to find a ClunkinCobbles around here that sells it.”

    Groc was frustrated and made his point very clear: “Something like this should never jeopardize a customer engagement. I suggest better planning of your morning routine ahead of important meetings.”

  2. Some execs from Mammoth Mart were coming to the StoneHenjj offices to discuss a big expansion Opportunity with Groc and members of the Product team. StoneHenjj had a pretty relaxed dress code, but Groc asked Bam to look sharp for that day to make a good impression. Bam wouldn’t be presenting to Mammoth Mart, but he’d be present for some of the conversations.

    But on the morning of the meeting, Bam arrived with his usual Rolling Stones loincloth, wild bedhead, and a woefully unpolished club. “Appearance and presentation can really move the beetle in these settings,” emphasized Groc. He asked Bam to go home and change before the Mammoth Mart exec team arrived.

  3. Groc and Bam went to a late-afternoon onsite in the southern Valley, an hour away. It was sundown by the time they returned. Bam was eager to get home to see the new episode of his favorite show, Game of Bones. Groc, too, wanted to leave to catch the Perseid meteor shower. He’d heard that Ursa Major and Cassiopeia would be throwing some major fireballs and didn’t want to miss a second of the action.

    But Groc knew there was a potential upsell opportunity at the customer and that a quick follow-up would help clinch the deal. “It’s important we follow up on meetings same day,” insisted Groc. They stayed an extra 20 minutes to compose a note and sent it by Eagle. They got the upsell.

Bam had taken great strides by the end of their time together, and Groc felt confident that he would make a great CSM. Especially now that a ClunkinCobbles had just opened across the street.

The post Tales of Groc: Customer Success Caveman – Chapter 8 appeared first on Customer Success Software | Gainsight.

Cada vez es más fácil saltarse el mejor bloqueo antipiratería de videojuegos que existe

La piratería es un serio problema para los desarrolladores de videojuegos que deciden llevar sus productos al PC. Eso no es ningún secreto. Durante años se han desarrollado sistemas de seguridad que eviten que puedan piratear los juegos

. El más reciente (y efectivo) era Denuvo, pero cada vez es más sencillo saltárselo.

Read more…

Cada vez es más fácil saltarse el mejor bloqueo antipiratería de videojuegos que existe

La piratería es un serio problema para los desarrolladores de videojuegos que deciden llevar sus productos al PC. Eso no es ningún secreto. Durante años se han desarrollado sistemas de seguridad que eviten que puedan piratear los juegos

. El más reciente (y efectivo) era Denuvo, pero cada vez es más sencillo saltárselo.

Read more…

Just Another Example of How this Company is Going to the Dogs

Middle Management Business Cartoon

My wife and I know a lot of dog people. We had a dog for 12 years. I like dogs. Dogs are friends of mine.

But I wouldn’t say I’m a dog person.

One day I was watching a dog person saying something about their pooch along the lines of “Oh, look at her sitting in the chair! She thinks she’s people! Silly, girl, you’re not people, you’re my sweetie pie puppy! Yes you are! Yes you ARE!”

And the whole dog-thinks-it’s-a-person thing got me thinking. And then my thoughts turned to the office. And then “middle management” drifted into my head and I had this cartoon.

Side note – I think it’s super funny that the dog is just completely placid. No expression at all. I don’t know what that says exactly, but it makes me laugh.

This article, “Just Another Example of How this Company is Going to the Dogs” was first published on Small Business Trends

Just Another Example of How this Company is Going to the Dogs

Middle Management Business Cartoon

My wife and I know a lot of dog people. We had a dog for 12 years. I like dogs. Dogs are friends of mine.

But I wouldn’t say I’m a dog person.

One day I was watching a dog person saying something about their pooch along the lines of “Oh, look at her sitting in the chair! She thinks she’s people! Silly, girl, you’re not people, you’re my sweetie pie puppy! Yes you are! Yes you ARE!”

And the whole dog-thinks-it’s-a-person thing got me thinking. And then my thoughts turned to the office. And then “middle management” drifted into my head and I had this cartoon.

Side note – I think it’s super funny that the dog is just completely placid. No expression at all. I don’t know what that says exactly, but it makes me laugh.

This article, “Just Another Example of How this Company is Going to the Dogs” was first published on Small Business Trends

Uber reportedly lost at least $1.27 billion in first half of 2016

UBER VB_STRV


(Reuters) – Ride-hailing giant Uber lost at least $1.27 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the first six months of 2016, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The subsidies Uber grants its drivers was the main reason for the loss, finance head Gautam Gupta told investors in a quarterly conference call, Bloomberg said, citing sources.

Uber, whose investors include Goldman Sachs and Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The company lost about $520 million in the first quarter of the year and another $750 million in the second quarter, Bloomberg said.

Uber, which is now valued at roughly $69 billion, lost at least $2 billion in 2015, the report said.

The company’s net revenue increased to about $1.1 billion in the second quarter from $960 million in the first quarter, while bookings rose to more than $5 billion from more than $3.8 billion in the prior quarter, Bloomberg said.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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Uber reportedly lost at least $1.27 billion in first half of 2016

UBER VB_STRV


(Reuters) – Ride-hailing giant Uber lost at least $1.27 billion before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the first six months of 2016, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The subsidies Uber grants its drivers was the main reason for the loss, finance head Gautam Gupta told investors in a quarterly conference call, Bloomberg said, citing sources.

Uber, whose investors include Goldman Sachs and Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The company lost about $520 million in the first quarter of the year and another $750 million in the second quarter, Bloomberg said.

Uber, which is now valued at roughly $69 billion, lost at least $2 billion in 2015, the report said.

The company’s net revenue increased to about $1.1 billion in the second quarter from $960 million in the first quarter, while bookings rose to more than $5 billion from more than $3.8 billion in the prior quarter, Bloomberg said.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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