Didier Elzinga is CEO and co-founder at Culture Amp. A software engineer by training, before founding Culture Amp he previously worked in Hollywood as CEO of visual effects company Rising Sun Pictures.
If you haven’t heard of Culture Amp already, it’s likely to be just a matter of time. Culture Amp is set to be one of the next big Australian technology success stories, as one of the leading global player in culture and engagement surveys.
The company has doubled in size over the past year, recently passing 100 employees. As part of this growth story, they’ve just raised US$10m. That comes in addition to support from the Victorian State Government to grow the company’s global HQ in Melbourne.
Some of the highlights of the interview:
- Why Hollywood is not the future of work: Every year there’s an article that comes out that says, “The future of work is Hollywood,” and every year I groan and say, “It didn’t work in Hollywood and it’s not going to work anywhere else.” (Video from 2:25)
- Didier’s “world’s most naive business plan”: “I wanted to build a business where tens of thousands of companies would spend tens of thousands of dollars and year with us and we’d have hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.” (Video from 3:52)
- Didier’s culture first management approach: “The macro view of why culture first is this idea that back in 1938 Henry Ford said, ‘Why is it when all I want is a pair of hands, I get a brain attached?'” (Video from 7:05)
- How to get employees to dream with you: “A big part of this is how do you get somebody to dream with you? How do you get them to say, ‘This might not work but if it did, wow, this could be amazing.'” (Video from 17:46)
- The importance of tolerating ambiguity: “The sort of people that become good entrepreneurs, the people that start and hopefully build great businesses, and often senior leaders, there’s a willingness to tolerate ambiguity and a willingness to understand that there are multiple ways that this could play out.” (Video from 27:05)
Steve Pell: I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted. I’m here with Didier Elzinga from Culture Amp. Didier, can I get you to introduce yourself and talk about what the company does?
Didier Elzinga: Sure. Thanks Steve. I’m Didier Elzinga and I’m the CEO and founder of Culture Amp. What is Culture Amp? Culture Amp is a software company and what we do is help people use data to put culture first. We have a unified employee feedback and analytics platform that’s used by some of the fastest growing companies all over the world.