As CEO and Chairman of betterworks.com, Doug Dennerline brings deep experience leading high-growth Enterprise Software companies and businesses. He was previously CEO of Alfresco Software. For three years was President of SuccessFactors until he led the company acquisition to SAP for $3.4 Billion. Doug spent eleven years in senior roles at Cisco, where he ran the U.S. $9.8 billion dollar enterprise business. Doug also served as CEO of Webex following Cisco’s acquisition of one of the first SaaS platforms on the Internet.
What is your business and what do you do?
Betterworks has the industry leading platform which combines OKR, Conversations, Feedback & Recognition (CFRs), Engagement, and Calibration solutions that enables companies to tap into the power of combining strategy and agile execution for business growth. The company is backed by Kleiner Perkins, and is the only OKR/CFR platform endorsed by OKR pioneer John Doerr. Betterworks is used daily by employees and managers in 119 countries in 20 languages.
What sparked your vision to launch your business?
Companies know that traditional performance management processes, like annual reviews, don’t work and do little to change performance. With 50% of the workforce being millennials who want constant feedback, progressive CEOs and HR Leaders need to put in new processes that will change the company performance and get their people working at the highest level.
What has been your favorite failure and what did you learn?
I left a many year career to join a new company and I didn’t investigate the culture with the diligence I should have. I had very poor experience and felt like a fish out of water. I lasted 9 months. Since then I have taken great care to investigate the culture of the companies I went to.
What was your most memorable day of your career and why?
Getting ready to go on stage as the leader and keynote speaker at the Cisco Sales meeting where the team of 7,000 account managers, systems engineers, and supporting staff sat in the audience. High pucker factor presentation!
How do you continue to learn so you stay ahead in your industry?
First, I talk to people in the company and ask what’s working and what’s not. Second, I talk to customers and validate what I’m hearing. I spend time on competitor’s websites, I talk to industry analysts, I talk to employees that have left my competitors, I read transcripts of my competitors earning calls. Competitive leadership only last 18 months so you must innovate to stay ahead.
What is some bad advice you hear in your industry or with entrepreneurship that people should avoid?
I see some companies are implementing software to make sure their employees are working, like keyboard capture, and taking pictures at random times with their laptop camera. Focus on results and accomplishment, not big brother oversight.
Where can readers find you on social media?