#58 | Global Advantages of Remote Work

Sara Baxter Orr, SVP & Global Head at Anaplan, worked at a senior level for Verizon Wireless, a domestic division when she was promoted to run a global division.

As an US English speaker with no global experience, she was intimidated.

After gaining experience and learning that her authentic way of working with people worked, she continued with global leadership.

She now heads up Anaplan, a fast growing business services company.

In this episode, she shares how virtual work has led to many benefits in global leadership.

Visit - www.anaplan.com to learn more


Connect with Wendy - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendypease/

Connect with Sara - https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarabaxterorr/

Music: Fiddle-De-Dee by Shane Ivers - https://www.silvermansound.com


Apply to be a Guest on the Podcast

ATTENTION:  Below is a machine generated transcription of the podcast.  Yes, at Rapport International, we talk a lot about how machine translation is not good quality.  Here you see an example of what a machine can do in your own your language.  This transcription is provided as a gist and to give time indicators to find a topic of interest.


[00:00:35] Wendy: Hi, and thank you so much for joining us on the global marketing show podcast. I am so excited to welcome Sara Baxter or with us today. She's got such a long successful career in all parts of Verizon. She's been in wireless cable landline. And she's even worked for them in international. And on a side note, I didn't even know that Verizon had international.

[00:00:59] So [00:01:00] I'm so excited to dig into this more. Currently she's senior VP and global head at Ana plans. So welcome, Sara.

[00:01:09] Sara: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. Yeah, I'm very,

[00:01:13] Wendy: very excited. So why don't we start? Why don't you tell us a little bit about your career at Verizon and then we'll get into what you're doing now.

[00:01:24] Sara: Well, I was really fortunate to start my career with with, with Verizon and get the [00:01:30] opportunity to try a lot of different roles in a lot of different places. I primarily focused on operations, finance and commercial planning, and you know, I, I, with that, I got to relocate a lot and enjoy learning different aspects of the business from different parts of the U S.

[00:01:51] And as you talked about, eventually I was able to serve in a couple of roles that had had global reach. So all of [00:02:00] these jobs had in some way the responsibility of connecting people and connecting systems and planning and really, really working on you know, financial excellence. So I was, you know, like I said, just really fortunate to have this fun career tour with.

[00:02:19] Wendy: That's great. So you really started in domestic and then you moved over to international. And since it's a global marketing show, I'm going to focus into that. So had you had [00:02:30] any international experience before you moved over to international at Verizon?

[00:02:37] Sara: I did not rise in wireless is, is, was where my career started.

[00:02:41] And that is very much a specifically a, a domestic company. So there was some, you know, intimidation in moving into a role that was, you know, very global and.

[00:02:53] Wendy: Yeah, so that I'd love to hear more about that. Cause you're in a senior role and you move over to global and not hadn't [00:03:00] had experience. So what were you most intimidated by?

[00:03:03] Sara: You know, I w I want it to make sure that I was able to connect with the teams, you know, understand what were their challenges, how might they be different? You know, than, than, than our challenges, how, how might I keep a regular cadence with them? Might I not understand some aspect of the business because of my lack of exposure and experience.

[00:03:25] So there, there wasn't, there was a lot on my mind when I took that role on. [00:03:30] And what countries

[00:03:31] Wendy: were you working with?

[00:03:34] Sara: A really. Almost all of them, not quite, but you know, think of your traditional theaters of maybe you know Europe and in the middle east and all the way over to Africa and then Asia Pacific.

[00:03:51] So it, we really found the globe.

[00:03:57] Wendy: Wow. So you walk in. To a role. [00:04:00] And all of a sudden you've got all these different cultures and languages to take care of. What's the, what's the first thing you do.

[00:04:10] Sara: I think the first thing you do is you reach out to your team and you let them know that you're, you're willing to listen and to learn. And so excited about that opportunity.

[00:04:21] 'cause I I'm sure that for the people on the other side, they're wondering, Hey, how is this leader going to work with us? She doesn't have any experience [00:04:30] internationally because they, they would know that somebody coming from the wireless part of the business would, would not have had that exposure.

[00:04:38] So, you know, number one, always when taking on a new team is making sure you communicate early and often.

[00:04:46] Wendy: It was really interesting on an earlier podcast that I recorded. I was talking to a business leader who said that he walked in and tried to do it that way as I'm here to support you and listen, and you know, what would you like to talk [00:05:00] about?

[00:05:00] And he said he ran into some issues over in the. Because they expected much more hierarchical view, like I'm here and then you ask questions, but you don't really say, Hey, I'm going to lean on you. Did you ever have that experience or were most of the employees enough familiar with the American way of doing this?

[00:05:24] Sara: No, I think, I think it's really the latter. I think I was really fortunate enough [00:05:30] to follow, you know, a long list of leaders that, you know, conducted themselves in the same way. You know, they, they were collaborative and, and very interested in helping the teams be successful. So I think I was lucky to walk into a kind of a preset environment.

[00:05:48] Okay.

[00:05:49] Wendy: So they really, so Verizon was able to keep the culture around the globe and it worked successfully.

[00:05:56] Sara: Absolutely. You know, listen, I don't think any company [00:06:00] can say that they're perfect at this, but but this wasn't, this wasn't a situation where I had to build it from the grid.

[00:06:07] Wendy: Okay. Yeah. So that must be really different.

[00:06:10] And so when you say a like,

[00:06:11] Sara: absolutely no, company's

[00:06:14] Wendy: perfect. And the best learning opportunities come from mistakes or struggles. What do you think some of the biggest struggles were

[00:06:22] Sara: that you had some of the, you know, at times you've got to make sure. Just because [00:06:30] something works in one part of the world.

[00:06:31] It doesn't work in the rest of the world. So you can't just build out a plan for one region, with one set of stakeholders and expect that to work globally, there might be barriers or roadblocks that you're not aware of or specific rules or regulations they need to adhere to. You need to collaborate with the teams in each region to identify what those barriers are.

[00:06:53] What the keys to success might be and tailor your. For that market specifically, to the extent that you [00:07:00] can, did you, do you have a story

[00:07:03] Wendy: about a time when maybe

[00:07:05] Sara: it didn't work? I do that we had you know, w we had a we actually had a a financial performance software that we thought was fantastic and it worked pretty well in the, in the S.

[00:07:19] And it wasn't like a core system, but it was one, you know, think of it as a, an accessory of sorts. And and I was visiting a team in Europe and they said, you know, [00:07:30] that doesn't work here. Right. And there was a, there was a software glitch of sorts between between the way that the network configuration was in one company in one part of the globe versus the other, that was not allowing them to get access to.

[00:07:44] So they were, they were kind of experiencing this handicap that I didn't know about, and it did not escalate it through the right, you know, the right channels. So, you know, by spending that time on the ground with them and, and having some, you know, grace [00:08:00] village meetings we were able to discover that and then, and it wasn't an easy fix by the way, it would have been.

[00:08:05] It hadn't been easy. It wouldn't have even gotten to that level of anxiety, but then we were able to address it and fix it. And it was a bit, it was a big reminder to check, to check in on the, the tools, you know, that, that people have globally and make sure that those tools are the right tools in our work and are working for them the way they should.

[00:08:25] Wendy: Right, right. Cause that's the kind of thing you might be wondering about, [00:08:30] like, why are they having this poor performance? And you're getting frustrated and saying to do it, but you might not realize, or it doesn't bubble up to you that they don't have the tools that they need to.

[00:08:39] Sara: Absolutely. Hmm.

[00:08:43] Wendy: How much, this was all pre COVID and you ha you're covering the whole world.

[00:08:50] How much traveling did you have to do to manage the global team?

[00:08:57] Sara: I did a lot of, you know, teleconferencing [00:09:00] with the team as to make sure that I was staying in contact with them. So I traveled, you know, I would say moderately, I wasn't running around the globe. That could, because there are some positions.

[00:09:13] Especially, I would think more in terms of like sales leadership, where you will be out with the teams on a much more frequent basis. So my, my traveling was, I would say, limited to moderate. Oh. So you

[00:09:26] Wendy: could do a lot with the phone and then the managers that you had on the ground. [00:09:30]

[00:09:31] Sara: Right. I was lucky enough to work for a, to you know, a telecom company.

[00:09:35] So we had access to some really great communication tools. Yeah.

[00:09:39] Wendy: That always helps probably doing video calls well before the rest of us. Okay. So then you move over to Anna plan. Why don't you tell us what you're doing now?

[00:09:54] Sara: So at, at Anaplan I am w which is also a global team. I am [00:10:00] working with our global solutions and I also had a birth CFO advisory practice.

[00:10:06] So I basically get to enjoy educating and explaining the Ana plan platform. How we help companies, you know, transform their, their operations and, and create value. And, you know, and we do this global. So so it's it's been, it's been really interesting because I actually started six weeks before the pandemic.[00:10:30]

[00:10:30] You might ask me, did I travel a lot in my role and yet absolutely not.

[00:10:36] Wendy: Do you think you're going to travel as we come out

[00:10:39] Sara: of it? So I am, I am, I am looking forward to traveling, but you know, I think what the pandemic has exposed is that there's. Productivity that can come from not traveling. And there was some really, really cool, you know, comments that were made with the [00:11:00] pandemic and in terms of getting so much more opportunity to talk and to speak to our, you know, our employees and partners around the world and even change the way that you might go to market.

[00:11:15] You know, based on the fact that since everybody's going to be on, on a, you know, a WebEx or zoom or whatever platform you're using, you could, you could get people all around the world easily on, in one meeting. And [00:11:30] it, I think it kind of sparked a new level of collaboration and you know, a new way to really dig into things that were actually more common, you know, around the world then than less.

[00:11:44] You know, and I, you know, in certainly as I talked to companies and I talked to you know, our our partners. Yeah. I started to see that we could maybe do things a little bit differently and kind of share global best practices in a way that I didn't, [00:12:00] I don't even know you necessarily could have effectively before.

[00:12:04] And it, it bought us time, right? I mean, the time that you weren't spending running through airports and, and, and, you know, transportation, et cetera you know, I think some people gave that. I mean, all of us gave some of that time back to our family. Right. I think we also used a lot of that in pivoting the way that we work in and experimenting on, on new ways to stay, you know, closer [00:12:30] and tighter.

[00:12:30] I was you know, I was often doing. Opportunities really to, to talking, to present to companies, you know, not even my own company, but other companies you know, around the world. And that was, that was just, I don't think something we could have organized in a, in a you know, in pre COVID That's

[00:12:49] Wendy: so, so different.

[00:12:52] I hear some people that have really suffered from not doing the in-person and they can't wait to go, but my experience has been [00:13:00] more like yours, where it's just dramatically changed how effective and efficient you can be by taking out all that extra downtime while you're doing the traveling or trying to plan.

[00:13:12] And getting more people in the room. So, you

[00:13:16] Sara: know, in the zoom room, absolutely. And it leveled the playing field. It removed barriers that might've existed previously within organizations. And we, some teams were in the office and others were remote and another part of the world [00:13:30] and getting diverse viewpoints.

[00:13:33] As you are very aware, always leads to more creativity. And I think we saw that during the pandemic thought leaders with global perspectives were able to bring those viewpoints to the table. Organizations were able to transform that creativity and to innovation. And, and for, you know, in terms of Ana plan, it's something that we've always, you know, tried to prioritize.

[00:13:54] Cause we're, we are a global company, we've got 1900 employees around the world. [00:14:00] We have a network of offices from Singapore to San Francisco. But even before the pandemic alone of our employees, myself included were we're fully. We are based out of San Francisco. I've been in New York city and, you know, sometimes going into the office, sometimes working from home, I think that flexibility has helped us in particular, be more nimble and productive over this past year.

[00:14:22] We we can collaborate more effectively shared global viewpoints and perspectives, and then deliver stronger innovations for our customers as a [00:14:30] result. And one example, I was actually talking to Serena about the. We had a partner who who was organized a little bit differently. You know, they were still kind of traditionally organized and I said, Hey, what if we just mixed it up a little bit?

[00:14:43] And we cross pollinate your, your team. And just as I kinda mentioned before, why don't we take, you know, some of the people from Europe and bring them over to Asia and talk about what you're seeing. And it really was an enriching conversation. And I think [00:15:00] all of us. We had learned something new and unique and hadn't experienced that that was, was truly, truly fascinating and transformative.

[00:15:10] And it led, it led us to, you know, kind of form this like new way that we might you know, talk to our customers and go to market.

[00:15:20] Wendy: Wow. Okay. So you've really had a lot, I mean, I'm just, I'm writing down a whole list of things that you've talked about that you've gotten out of this [00:15:30] virtual, which you wouldn't have, because it was kind of forced upon you.

[00:15:35] Sara: Absolutely. And, and there was a, I think you probably already know this, but there's an, I said it there's a, there was like a passion city opportunity. You could, you could, you had more capacity. To have conversations and, and to connect. You know, I remember this moment early in the pandemic when I was on the, on a, on a, on a, you know, a video call with [00:16:00] a senior leader in in Asia.

[00:16:03] And, you know, you kind of, you got personal in a ways that you didn't prior to the pandemic and we ended up having. She had, she had mentioned this, this program, this charity, that her company was was supporting. And I said, and she had sent me a note about it. It was near and dear to my heart because I, I, my, I, I have an adopted daughter from Asia and, and it was just such this moment.

[00:16:29] [00:16:30] I said, you sent that to me and you S you would have had no idea that I, I have an adopted daughter from Asia, and we just had one of those people moments like ma it was executive to executive, but it was also like mom to mom, human, to human. And it was, it was fantastic. Oh, that is

[00:16:47] Wendy: so neat. Right? Cause if you were over there traveling, it might not have ever come up in conversation.

[00:16:53] Sara: Correct. And you, you, you, you, you, you got to have these moments where you to take a beat, just take a beat. And [00:17:00] I found, you know, I found that to be domestic and global, that so many of the conversation started with how are you doing. And that's that level of personalization, I think then helps drive the business and the professional company.

[00:17:18] Wendy: It does well. And the other thing that I noticed is how many times would a child come in and sit on his dad's lap, which would have been, oh, so [00:17:30] forbidden before, but now you've got kids running in and out and people saying, hang on, my, my child needs something and it's, it's just more accepted. And that's another way to get to know people where you wouldn't have on the

[00:17:40] Sara: phone.

[00:17:42] Oh, for sure. For sure. Mine a little bit opposite because I've got, you know, tweenager they just not want to be on camera, but one day when they felt it was extremely necessary. I stopped my conference call to give them attention. They put a red laser right on my forehead. [00:18:00] You easily see on, on the video call.

[00:18:03] So yes, they're all, all kinds of you know, fun things happening when you mix home with.

[00:18:10] Wendy: That is priceless. I've got two teenage boys and that is

[00:18:13] Sara: definitely something that they would do

[00:18:20] that, that would be a conversation piece right there.

[00:18:26] Wendy: Yeah. So, so you're working all over the world, [00:18:30] 1900 employees. What language are you working in?

[00:18:33] Sara: I okay. Full transparency. I pray, I work in English, so I'm lucky enough that you know, the majority of our, our customers are sorry. The people that I'm engaging with are, are speaking English as well.

[00:18:48] Because you're right. We have, we have just over 1700 customers in 57 countries. So we're constantly working with them and, you know, working on that global footprint [00:19:00] levels in my role, I'm on the phone with global business leaders every day, trying to understand the pain points that they're dealing with within their organizations.

[00:19:08] And we have partners, we have over 200 partners around the globe that can provide that low, that local expertise. And bridge that language gap. As we saw over the pandemic, those you know, some of the pain points that companies were doing with they, they can be very similar from region to region and then they can change an instance, especially if you think about [00:19:30] as the, as the virus kind of took different courses, you know, and at different times with various countries you know, and so you were constantly having to have that empathy.

[00:19:43] Aware of well, where, where are, where are you? Where are you right now with the pandemic? Because you know, different companies were open and closed and countries were open and closed at, at various time periods. And, and there were, you know, there were clearly some incredibly [00:20:00] challenging and sad experiences in very specific regions.

[00:20:05] And you just had to consider all of that as you were, you know, conducting your business around that.

[00:20:12] Wendy: Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, we are bookkeeping is done in India and it was just like, and I know a business owner that has primary businesses there and just things had to slow down when, you know, that started rising up.

[00:20:27] So it's just been crazy.[00:20:30] Okay. So your sensitivity and your success as a manager, certainly coming through. And so you've been able to be successful that way. And just speaking English. I want to drive that point home because there's so many people that are afraid of languages and they think if they don't speak another language, they can't do global business.

[00:20:50] Have you ever been in situations where you felt like if, oh, if I only spoke the language or I'm having trouble here or had a misunderstanding? [00:21:00]

[00:21:00] Sara: So of course, I mean, I mean, absolutely. You know, and I think you just get through that and you, and you, and you respect it, you know? And acknowledge boy, I wish we could.

[00:21:12] I wish we could both talk, you know effortlessly fluidly in the same language and, and there've been times, you know, honestly where I've had, you know, somebody's there to translate, not to translate for, you know, back and forth, but in. [00:21:30] Something, you know, might've slipped through the cracks to make sure that they could jump in and fix it.

[00:21:35] What she means is, or Sarah, what he's asking is, and, and which is, which is nice. And it's, it's, you know, it's, it's it's it's another, you know, another way or another tool, if you would you know, to get through some of those conversations. So you don't lose the opportunity to have a meaningful exchange with.

[00:21:56] Yeah. Do you ever

[00:21:57] Wendy: have interpreters there for that reason or are you [00:22:00] fully trained to do it in English?

[00:22:03] Sara: No. No, no. We'll all, you know, like, especially, you know, in Asia we'll, we'll have you know, bilingual folks, you know, on the call to make sure that they can help interpret if, you know, like I just mentioned.

[00:22:15] Wendy: Oh, okay. Okay. So they're listening to both parties and when they can see that a misunderstanding is happening, then they can jump in and help facilitate.

[00:22:24] Sara: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And this understanding, but like maybe, maybe they can tell that [00:22:30] maybe I haven't expectedly you know, gotten through to the other side or vice versa.

[00:22:36] Okay. And

[00:22:38] Wendy: then how are you

[00:22:38] Sara: doing your marketing? But we still have, we have, we have we have global marketing, so we have, we have people on, on the ground again that can do the translations and, and, and take our material and put it into the put it into the locations for the the areas that, that we focus on.

[00:22:58] Wendy: Okay, so you, you [00:23:00] have global marketing, that's run out of corporate or wherever virtually, but you have a, a global marketing campaign messaging and target personas. And then that all goes out to all the individual markets for them to translate, or can they create

[00:23:18] Sara: their own. We have, we have local people that can then in turn create some of their own, and we're a younger company.

[00:23:26] So we were not as mature as, you know, some, you know, global companies that have [00:23:30] been around for 30 or 40 years. We went public just around two and a half years ago. So we're still, we're still you know, growing in that capability. So I'm excited, you know, as, as, as we, as our global reach continues to expand you know, to even mature that first.

[00:23:47] Well,

[00:23:47] Wendy: I'll have to get your address after the podcast, because I just wrote a book on best practice. It's called the language of global marketing translate your domestic strategies into international sales and Paul profits. And I'd be [00:24:00] happy to send you a copy because it can

[00:24:01] Sara: give you to get at that.

[00:24:04] And there's, there's always more opportunity for.

[00:24:08] Wendy: Yes. Yes. And this is a, it's a roadmap on how to do it. So I'll definitely give you that for food for thought, if you're interested in it.

[00:24:18] Sara: Yeah. One of the great things is that our platform is it's like a digital, it's a digital platform and it, and we're solving universal business problems, which, [00:24:30] which I think when it comes to data and code and data science, Th those are truly universal languages, which might give us a leg up in terms of really anybody around the globe, starting to understand our capabilities, because they can start to see the math and they can, they can, you know, use the platform, which is it's kind of exciting.

[00:24:54] Wendy: Oh, okay. So it's done on math and research. So. [00:25:00] No matter where somebody is or what language they speak, they can still access the information.

[00:25:05] Sara: Well, and, and I, and I just back to my point, like math and data science and and, and planning and, and coding is it's such a universal language in and of itself.

[00:25:16] And we've focused on making our platform easy to implement customizable and scalable so that our global customers can make decisions with confidence to address the needs of their specific region. As an [00:25:30] example there's a CPG company. They can model and demand in one market based on a very specific set of relevant signals insights there.

[00:25:40] Then they can scale it globally. But to the extent it needs to be customized, it is one of the more fantastic parts of our platform in that they truly can. You know, because we're selling to global. They can take our platform and actually make it fit specifically for their various regions and [00:26:00] markets.

[00:26:00] So not only can we do it, but, but the way that our platform works, it actually allows our customers to do it, which is which is, you know, somewhat unique and special.

[00:26:12] Wendy: Yes, that really is. And so you're all over the place. Do you have certain countries or cultures that are more apt? To buy into that. I mean, I, what I'm thinking about is if you look at the scale of different cultures and where people fall, [00:26:30] there are some that are more fact data-driven some that are more emotional driven and some that are more like higher power, you know, religion driven.

[00:26:41] So now I'm kind of curious with the platform like yours. Do you see a difference in which country.

[00:26:48] Sara: Are,

[00:26:49] Wendy: you know, demand, you know, we're interested in your product and do they happen to fall out in those

[00:26:53] Sara: areas? That's a great question. I think, you know, we certainly have a very strong presence all [00:27:00] over Europe and, and we do, we do a lot in Asia and what you might see is depending on the situation and circumstance, And, and, and regulation and the way business has done, they may narrow in on different, you know, different use cases.

[00:27:16] We have different solutions that address, you know you know, very strong you know, business demands and in say supply chain, obviously all of your operational planning and forecasting and scenario management HR. [00:27:30] And, and sales performance. So we, you know, we will see certain you know, certain regions, if you will maybe maybe doubling down in one area versus another.

[00:27:41] But but in general, what we do find is once they start in one category, if you will, that they start to expand in candidate.

[00:27:52] Wendy: Okay. So it's really getting them into door in the door in whichever category they want, but then they see the benefit of it and then they [00:28:00] expand from

[00:28:00] Sara: it. Absolutely. Okay.

[00:28:03] Wendy: What are your biggest challenges?

[00:28:07] Sara: Well, you know, our biggest challenges, you know, I think there there's similar to all companies, you know, I would say right now, a big challenge perhaps globally. You know, talent and talent transformation. So kind of two things go, maybe two or three things going on at once. You've got, you've got like a digital revolution, you know, so all parts [00:28:30] of the globe are having to increase their employees, digital fluency and, and in a digital capabilities you have the situation with the pandemic.

[00:28:42] From, you know, for obviously for non frontline non-service organizations has, has proven that there's a lot of things that can be done, you know, completely working remotely 100% of the time. And that's creating an interesting [00:29:00] kind of talent situation where people aren't having to move to take on new roles.

[00:29:06] And, and, and what that's causing is, you know, I, you know, again, we talked about my Verizon career and in my anticline career, often people turn down opportunities because it, it required a move to another state, moved to another city and moved to another country. And some of those, a lot of those boundaries have been taken down now.

[00:29:28] And so what [00:29:30] that is creating is a challenge. And, and you know, so this is a situation where employees have the choice about where they work, who they work for, the kind of company they want to be working for and they're, and they're voting. And so you're seeing a lot of people. Just transferring, you know, from one company to another.

[00:29:52] And I think, I think we will, I can't speak factually, but I think we will see that as a, as a global situation. So I [00:30:00] think this kind of war for talent is going to be around for, for awhile. And so companies are really going to have to think through, you know, what do I do to retain my employees? What, what do I have to offer my employees?

[00:30:12] And, and, you know, culturally. And, you know, and whatever culture you're in are my employees happy about where they work. So except that's how I'd answer that question.

[00:30:22] Wendy: Yeah. That's I, I certainly have seen that because we've been trying to hire for a while now and we've been virtual, [00:30:30] but it's hard to find people.

[00:30:31] And I think what you're talking about is exactly true. And it's, you know, so it's an employee's market at this point.

[00:30:40] Sara: Yeah.

[00:30:41] Wendy: Yeah. The other thing that I've seen with a lot of business owners that I know is going off shore for administrative assistance and sales support and all these things I hire, like I've got somebody in Kenya.

[00:30:52] I know there's a bunch in the Philippines. I know there's, you know, people that are getting support down in in various south of [00:31:00] central and south American countries, so that I've seen skyrocket over the last couple of years.

[00:31:08] Sara: And then you're also seeing yes, absolutely. And it depends on like, it is, it is a services and software.

[00:31:14] And then if you think about, you know, manufacturing almost, maybe the reverse where some, some things might be coming back to Messick in order to you know, lower the carbon foot. You know, so, so you've got like [00:31:30] kind of some separate, really separate activities going on right now. You know, as, as, as everything is evolving well, and

[00:31:37] Wendy: then add in all the people who might've gone into manufacturing now, going into more tech jobs manufacturers are having a heck of a time just hiring.

[00:31:47] So I did a we have a case study on our website. It's rapid. Translations.com. And if you go there and search for the manufacturing case study Boston centerless has had really good luck [00:32:00] hiring employees that don't speak English and how they've incorporated in and their signage and how they can get promoted and cross train.

[00:32:08] They, they don't have trouble hiring. So I'm talking to a lot of HR managers about how you can implement that without just thinking, oh, we have to teach them English because you don't, you can get some very talented, highly educated people.

[00:32:24] Sara: Yeah.

[00:32:25] Wendy: So how do you at Ana plan build [00:32:30] a culture in a company that is growing so fast and is so international?

[00:32:36] Sara: You know, I, you know, I would say from my perspective, I've learned a lot about, you know, navigating global relationships, both from a leadership and a sales perspective. There's some tips that maybe. You know, I would offer, you know, take time to understand and really see what is different. Listen to all people at all levels.

[00:32:59] Don't, you know, don't [00:33:00] assume that you're getting your, that your, your team direct underneath you is getting all the information, make sure that you're talking, you know, to, to a vast and diverse crowd. Do not assume that anything is the same internally or externally. Business operations or people expectations or the experience.

[00:33:21] And obviously we already talked about it, but one size does not fit all. So the challenge then is how to get the economies of scale [00:33:30] being global, but applying it local, which is, you know, that's, that's, that's your sweet spot, right? If you can do that super effective. No lead through your leaders, don't lead over them help them lead better.

[00:33:42] And, you know, I think it's, it's always gonna come down to culture and leadership. You're gonna drive change by working with the local leadership to affect that change. And then they in turn will be able to adapt and, and assist you. It may not be in the way you fully imagined it. [00:34:00] And so you've got to accept sometimes when you've got some outcomes that were not quite what you were talking.

[00:34:05] And I think through all of this, the authentic and transparent and and encourage and encourage your teams, you know, globally to do the, to do the same, you know, just, just that, that trust, that transparency. When, when it's spelt on both sides, I think then you can really create a winning forum.

[00:34:28] Wendy: now, does [00:34:30] Anaplan have mission, vision and values?

[00:34:34] And do you communicate

[00:34:35] Sara: those across the globe? We do. We do. And we can even re I can turn that to after this after this podcast, but absolutely.

[00:34:46] Wendy: And what, what do you find goes across the globe that it's consistent?

[00:34:53] Sara: The things that we have in Serina might help me out a little bit here. We have a global [00:35:00] communities group where people can talk to each other.

[00:35:04] Our customers can talk to each other. They can talk to to our support center, to our leaders, to, to our we have a community group and we have over 55,000 users globally. And they can then also speak in their own language. And I think that's been quite a game changer for us. Ah,

[00:35:24] Wendy: that's fantastic. So customers can talk to each other or they can talk to [00:35:30] people internally.

[00:35:34] And so they're connecting with each other and then sharing best practices. You probably get a ton of information from that.

[00:35:42] Sara: Absolutely. And they, and, and it, it, that, that sharing of the best practices and that you know, crowdsourcing of solutions and, and, and, you know, problem-solving is, is fantastic.

[00:35:55] And certainly that. Yes.

[00:35:59] Wendy: Yes. A [00:36:00] lot of companies have trouble, you know, that's what they want to do is create that community, but they've had trouble doing it. So it sounds like you've been very successful doing it and giving access around the world. Any suggestions for somebody listening, who might want to do

[00:36:13] Sara: that?

[00:36:15] Well, I, my suggestion would be, they could, they could hop on our website@anaplan.com and take a look at our communities, how we've set them up. And you know, certainly use that as a guide point.

[00:36:27] Wendy: Yes. Okay. So we'll put [00:36:30] that in the show notes, but Anaplan is a N as in Nancy, a P L a n.com.

[00:36:38] Sara: Absolutely.

[00:36:40] Wendy: So the global community is fantastic.

[00:36:43] And then you know, you're also having great success with the company. What is the, like, how does the CEO drive the culture? You know, what are, what are some of the things that stand out to

[00:36:54] Sara: you? Well, you know, our, our CEO you'll, you [00:37:00] will hear him talk about company Paris. How it catalyzes loyalty, agility, and hypergrowth.

[00:37:07] We lead with, you know, authentic leadership and transparency, and we're very much a purpose driven company. And we find that that really works well.

[00:37:19] Wendy: Ah, okay. That's that is really good to hear. Cause usually with a company that's growing that fast, there's something that people can rally around and I've heard it from another [00:37:30] company that they rallied around quality, but you've got the hyper growth, the authentic, the transparency and the purpose.

[00:37:37] And so if everybody stays focused on that, that's, what's enabled you to grow so successfully over time.

[00:37:45] Sara: Absolutely. We focus on, on our employees and our customers. And that's, what's always top of mind as, as we are growing the business and creating, creating that culture that ultimately allows people to transform and grow and be on the same [00:38:00] beat, be on the same game.

[00:38:03] Right,

[00:38:03] Wendy: right. Yeah. Yeah. You absolutely have to. I mean, HubSpot is famous for talking about, they got to a certain size and then all of a sudden, you know, here are these two techie guys who are going, huh, we need a culture. So they came out with their whole culture. So it sounds like you've, your CEO is on top of that and really has figured out something that can work internationally.

[00:38:26] Sara: Absolutely to the extent she actually just released a book. [00:38:30] Frank Calderon is called upstanding and it talks exactly about those things. And it kind of goes into detail, you know, all of the different efforts that that, that he and, and the company have put in place to stand behind that. Okay. So

[00:38:45] Wendy: can you tell me the name of the book again?

[00:38:48] Sara: Yeah. The book is called upstanding and it's by Frank Calderon ECA, L D E R O N.

[00:38:56] Wendy: Okay. All right. So yes, we'll get the link in the show notes to [00:39:00] that too. Because it sounds like a fantastic book. All right. So I want to switch over to some personal questions for you now. What's your

[00:39:10] Sara: favorite foreign word?

[00:39:15] Sure.

[00:39:19] Wendy: Tell me about it.

[00:39:22] Sara: You know, I have the opportunity right before COVID to visit champagne, France [00:39:30] and go through the tunnels. And it was just an for me, such an amazing experience. And they, you know, pick the thing that I always try to do. I, I begged for the back office tour and to see the, you know, the real stuff that was happening and walk the walk, the cat, the catwalks, and it was, it was so fun and amazing.

[00:39:50] And it was. Different than, than I, I didn't even know what to expect. So I just thought that's going to always be one of, you know, one, a million most [00:40:00] favorite, you know, travel moments.

[00:40:04] Wendy: so I bet everybody's going to go out and get some champagne tonight.

[00:40:10] Sara: Oh, I, I didn't even intend that, but they also are a customer of ours. So it does, it does work out nicely. Oh, good. Good. Yes. Go

[00:40:19] Wendy: buy two

[00:40:20] Sara: bottles tonight then.

[00:40:24] Wendy: Yeah. And so you just answered, the next question I like to ask is what's been your favorite

[00:40:29] Sara: [00:40:30] vacation.

[00:40:31] Oh, wow. You know, one of, one of the most impactful vacations. Cause I had the opportunity to go to. To South Africa and visit different parts of the country. And it was, it was so amazingly beautiful. And and, and that, that was a, a true experience for me also. You know, I mentioned I, I adopted my daughter in China, so traveled through out various parts of China in order to complete that process.

[00:40:57] And, you know, I probably, if she [00:41:00] were listening to this, I think she'd want me to say that was my, my favorite trips.

[00:41:06] Wendy: Well, I was going to say your favorite. What's the word I'm looking for? Where you take home, your, your, your gifts that you bring

[00:41:20] Sara: the best thing I ever acquired internationally. Yes, absolutely.

[00:41:28] Wendy: Yeah. And, and how [00:41:30] about a crazy cross cultural or memorable cross-cultural experience in work?

[00:41:37] Sara: Oh, wow. Oh, a memorable cross. You know, I, I, I just have this one kind of story where I feel like I was in three countries in 24 hours you know, being the UK Ireland and the us.

[00:41:51] Maybe it was more like 36 hours, but it was this crazy day that I didn't even think was possible through transportation. And, you know, [00:42:00] I, I, I started in the UK and then, you know, 36 hours later, I was back in the U S via of minor happens.

[00:42:09] Wendy: Oh, my thoughts,

[00:42:12] Sara: just hearing about that. And then my son, then my son wanted to go to a movie premiere in the city, and that's why I'm telling you this.

[00:42:21] Cause I'm like, am I going to physically live through this?

[00:42:26] And you slept the whole way right through the movie.[00:42:30]

[00:42:35] Wendy: That is crazy. Now I have to ask when you were in South Africa, did you come across a smiley?

[00:42:45] Sara: I read. I

[00:42:49] Wendy: read Trevor Noah's book. And there, he talked about when he was young, they'd get smileys. Cause it was the cheapest thing that you could get to eat. And it was a goat's head that [00:43:00] was boiled and you'd kind of pick the meat off of it.

[00:43:05] Sara: I'm going to have to go with, I'm kind of happy. I didn't.

[00:43:12] Wendy: Yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah. But I'm so curious to see what it's looked like when it's

[00:43:16] Sara: served. So what's the most unusual

[00:43:21] Wendy: food you've seen?

[00:43:23] Sara: Well when we were in China, there's, there's certain like bugs that are exactly. [00:43:30] And and so, you know, I, I did get the opportunity to get exposed to that. And you know, for, for, for, for me, not exactly my first choice, but it was so interesting and that the, the food in general, in China overall, like for me, was off the charts.

[00:43:48] So fantastic. I. You know, I would want to go back there for the food alone.

[00:43:56] Wendy: Oh. Because everything is just so

[00:43:57] Sara: fresh. Yes. [00:44:00] Yeah. I

[00:44:02] Wendy: remember going there and they'd walk you down to the fish tanks and you had to pick out the exact fish that you wanted to eat,

[00:44:10] Sara: so you can't get. Yeah.

[00:44:15] Wendy: Well, I wondering if you have any final recommendations for our listeners for doing global

[00:44:20] Sara: work?

[00:44:22] I would, I would just, I would just always be curious, always, always want to learn. The [00:44:30] interested in, in, in what your customers and your employees are telling you, you know, show up, you know, with your, you know, proverbial sleeves rolled up and, you know, ready to collaborate and, and keep that constant, you know, open line of communication.

[00:44:46] Yeah. So, so because everybody has the same goal and that's to drive your company's goals and missions further. So you know, that, that, that open line of communication I think, is where it all starts. And then the rest will [00:45:00] come to you.

[00:45:01] Wendy: Fabulous advice. And where can people reach you if they want

[00:45:04] Sara: to Sarah, that four oh, are, are at Ana plan.

[00:45:13] Wendy: Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for being here with us today. It was fascinating to hear about your background and what you've done and what Anaplan is doing. Now. Think if anybody's interested, they should definitely check that out and a plan.com. So

[00:45:28] Sara: thank you.[00:45:30]

[00:45:31] Wendy: And listeners, thank you so much for listening. If you know of any companies that are international and do want to streamline their operations and get better, what they do share this podcast with them. Certainly less interesting to hear about how you can go international and grow really fast.

[00:45:51] I really appreciate you tuning in and listening. So we'll catch up with you next time. Thank you.

Recent Posts


Questions about global marketing?

Talk to one of our experts in a free 30-minute consultation.

Conversational marketing