Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 17 | Page 59

CHANNEL CHIEF Learning outside the comfort zone VMware’s Jenni Flinders learned quickly at an early job in South Africa that taking risks pays off. Jenni Flinders, Global Channel Chief, VMware. Describe your current job role? My role is to lead the VMware Partner Programs and Strategy, covering over 75,000 partners worldwide. My charter is to activate a vibrant partner ecosystem with confidence to sell and deliver services across our advanced technologies. When you look back at your career, what has been the most exciting part or memorable achievement? One of the most memorable experiences I have had in my career was working in Latin America. During this time, I helped actively grow my company’s business through our partner ecosystem. I helped partners build capabilities in order for them to be successful. This involved adding structure and process, which empowered our partners with the ability to realise their potential to grow their businesses. This time period required lots of risk taking on my part. I had to be a learner, not a knower. Being in an unfamiliar setting, I had to adapt and approach situations with the goal of learning and gaining insight, rather than being the subject matter expert at all times. innovation comes from a diverse group of people. I also find it critical to build a person’s capabilities, while also helping them grow. I firmly believe that every idea is worth hearing. If someone took the time to come up with it, one can take the time to hear it. Fostering an environment of honesty and respect is also very important. I enjoy celebrating my team’s accomplishments, achievements and other milestones. It is important to take the time to recognise great work. What first made you think of a career in technology? What will be the hot technology talking point of 2018? I was initially interested in the medical industry and the technology industry was not on my radar. However, one of the first job opportunities I was presented with was with a small software company in South Africa. It seemed like a great opportunity, so I pursued it. When I first started at that job, it initially threw me out of my comfort zone, but I learned a lot r