November 18, 2019

TecHR Interview with Thomas Davies, Founder and CEO at Temporall

TecHR Interview with Thomas Davies, Founder and CEO at Temporall
What galvanized you to start Temporall?

I spent 10 years at Google where I had three separate leadership roles, but I was beginning to hanker for a break from corporate life. I’ve always wanted to become a CEO but I didn’t have the skills to be one and I remember becoming quite agitated by that. My first big switch was to get an executive coach, and they immediately got me to stop being so agitated, and started to help me to develop the necessary skills I need to become a business leader.

What is Temporall and how does it fit into the current HR Technology landscape?

Temporall helps organizations to develop culture as a strategic lever for transformation using machine learning. Terms such as workplace culture, organizational health, and high-performance culture have become common in boardrooms as companies look to mimic the success of other organizations with high-profile cultures like Google and Asana.

Many share one crucial trait: they know that in a highly competitive marketplace, culture can provide an advantage. It can impact organizational performance and boost bottom line results, but most importantly, it can help to attract and retain high-caliber employees. Understanding employees better give business leaders the knowhow to cater to their staff’s preferences more efficiently, which leads to a happier and more committed workforce, which brings better results.

What does your ideal customer profile look like, and which businesses are the fastest to adopt your technology?

At Temporall, we’re interested in companies who share our vision for the future, so collaborating with organizations who understand how culture impacts bottom line results and who share our focus on using technology to transform traditional workplaces are who we look towards.

We believe that bringing disparate skills and capabilities together under the same vision will create a movement which can revolutionize the organizational health and workplace culture.

We help companies to adopt our technology by meeting companies where they are on their journey. It’s important not to have a one-size-fits-all attitude when it comes to helping businesses with their organizational culture.

We meet companies where they are on their journey.

Tell us more about Culture Workbench and the types of analytics an enterprise can leverage to improve their workplace performance?

Our Culture Workbench is an enterprise-ready, real-time culture analytics platform which enables organizations to continually measure workplace culture through a digital, integrated toolkit.

Senior leaders can now securely and anonymously capture extensive quantitative, qualitative and organizational network analysis data utilizing the Culture & Innovation Index (CII), our culture diagnostic product that uncovers key insights from across an organization.

For some time now, Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) has helped businesses by analyzing the relationships and patterns between people and the impact that individuals have on the organization. Culture Workbench combines quantitative, qualitative and sentiment analysis alongside ONA – something that has never been measured before.

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What is the state of Culture Analytics in 2019 and how much has it evolved since you first started Temporall?

Companies are beginning to realize that in a highly competitive marketplace, culture can provide an advantage. It can help attract and retain high-calibre employees, impact organisational performance and boost the bottom line.

But despite lots of companies having culture on their agenda, they’re struggling to measure and quantify culture. That’s where we step in.

How can modern HR teams fully-transform their overall organization and promote diversity/inclusion?

Examining employee engagement rates is an excellent way of understanding how employees are feeling and their level of commitment to the company.

But employee engagement has its limitations. The danger in focusing on this alone is that employees may be engaged, but doing completely the wrong thing. Employees who aren’t aligned to the company’s vision and strategy can be passionate, but traveling in the wrong direction. Staff might feel happy and loyal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re contributing towards business goals. That’s why it’s necessary to take a broader view, and that’s where workplace culture comes in.

Workplace culture is at the heart of organizational health. It’s not just about how happy and motivated staff feel, although there’s definitely a link. It goes deeper, explaining how employees behave and make decisions on a daily basis – something which is particularly useful to know during times of change and ensuring a focus on diversity and inclusion.

A good workplace culture which is aligned to business strategy has a significant impact on company performance and should also produce high levels of employee engagement and retention.

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How can customers connect your technology to Human Resource Management Systems? Tell us about your integrations and technology partnerships with other platforms?

Culture Workbench offers enterprise integration, syndicating Temporall technology into all existing HR, productivity and communication tools. Our technology partnerships with Slack, Workplace by Facebook and Google Cloud seamlessly integrate the Culture Workbench ‘bot’ with internal systems, which helps business leaders to gather insights and ideas from across their business.

It securely captures real-time end-user feedback on organizational health and recommendations for improvement directly from these channels and via Direct Messages.

With Google Cloud, Culture Workbench utilizes many of the powerful capabilities of the Google platform and is a foundational element of it’s advanced data analytics and machine learning functionality. Users can integrate with GSuite for real-time user provisioning or with Chat to gather end-user feedback and recommendations for improvement.

How do you see Culture-driven Workplace Automation and Performance Management impacting business growth in the next two years?

An early adopter of culture analytics and an active Temporall customer, Stuart Simms, CEO of Rakuten Marketing, believes that utilizing culture analytics is a cornerstone of managing change.

He told me that that culture analytics has helped them to track and measure the impact of change on their business performance. Historically they didn’t ask the right questions and they weren’t regularly supported by meaningful data in terms of behavioral analysis and psychometrics. Now, not only do they ask the right questions, but more importantly they have the right tools to analyze and truly understand that data on demand.

The ultimate goal for any business should be an astute strategic direction coupled with a great culture. Employees will know what they’re aiming towards and why, and will feel trusted to go and make it happen and be highly motivated to go and achieve it.

No longer should organizations focus on employee engagement alone. It’s time to measure company culture in order to create healthy organizations and high-performing workplaces.

How do you play a part in the Digital Transformation of such culture-driven organizations?

Digital transformation is happening thick and fast. It’s not enough to just make technological advancements within your company, you need to make sure your employees are aligned with these changes in order to adapt successfully.

Business leaders are expected to make sense of everything, to lead people successfully through this change and still continue to deliver business results.

The Culture Workbench can help uncover organizational network data regarding who within the organization can help accelerate change and transformation initiatives, and who in the team might be critical of the change.

Having this insight can help to guide you in understanding how best evolve.

Which start-ups in the tech industry interest you the most and why?

They’re not so much a start-up, but a business I’m really interested in is Asana for the way they’re scaling fast. They are winning the war on acquiring talent because of their culture, not their tech. They are re-setting the bar on acuity of why people should work there, something that I admire that a lot.

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What technologies within AI and HR Technology are you interested in?

Machine Learning, because it is real, accessible and will soon be democratized for companies of all shapes and sizes to benefit from. There are vast amounts of existing organizational data that, if made sense of, can help shape future strategy. Modern HR technology adoption differs widely from industry to industry but Organisational Network Analysis (ONA) is always one that captures executive attention as it’s not widely understood and provides something pretty special when executed well.

In HR Technology, what are the new emerging markets that you see providing the biggest opportunities?

I believe that there are currently two waves underway; the first is that lots of new technology start-ups are looking to dis-aggregate existing employee experience processes and inject systems intelligence into that to help uncover insight. Inevitably there will be a few winners and lots of losers as application-based HR Technology starts to mature and best in class rises to the top.

The second wave is already underway which is an integrated platform approach, trying to design and build an integrated platform.

What’s your smartest work related shortcut or productivity hack?

I have learned to be more forgiving of myself and not design my workload to be out of kilter with the reality of what I can get done. I have a list of 5 things each day that I need to get done. If I go above and beyond that, I feel like I’m winning.

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Thank you, Thomas! That was fun and hope to see you back on TecHR soon.

Thomas Davies is a Founder and CEO of Temporall, a Culture Analytics software company specialising in the ROI of Culture. Ex-Googler, Non-Executive Director, Executive Advisor to the Association of Corporate Treasurers, regular keynote speaker, published in FastCo and Medium, and qualified executive coach.

He have 25 years in the technology sector, spanning eCommerce, SAP, Enterprise Content Management, and Google. During my 10 years at Google I led the UK&I Enterprise business, then Northern Central & Eastern European Cloud business, before becoming Global Director of Partnerships.

He founded Temporall to help executive teams make better, more informed decisions about their people and organisational culture. We call this Culture Analytics. Our Culture Workbench platform and professional services organisation helps clients design, measure and manage their organisational culture.

temporall logo
Temporall, help executives and their leadership teams develop and sustain high-performance organisational culture. Our real-time culture analytics platform, Culture Workbench, utilises proprietary algorithms and machine learning technology, it is designed by experts in organisational science and enterprise technology.

With integrations into Workplace by Facebook, Slack and Google Cloud, Culture Workbench meets your employees where they are to analyse, measure and grow strategic high growth organisational culture. Culture Workbench captures quantitative, qualitative and ‘network activity’ signals from employees and 3rd party enterprise systems to derive deep cross-company insights.

The Culture Workbench includes a proprietary framework, an index and benchmark of outstanding company culture performance.

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Sudipto Ghosh

Sudipto is a technology research specialist who brings 11 years of professional blogging and technical writing experience. He has developed cutting-edge content for over 100 websites and mobile applications. Our ‘Wordsmith’ is an engaging conversationalist and has done more than 200 interviews with some of the leading names in automobile, digital advertising, IT/ITES, medical technology, real estate, gemstone certification, HVAC, tourism and food processing industries. Apart from technical writing, he loves to blow off steam by chronicling stories about top medical professionals, innovators, spiritual 'gurus', gym trainers, nutritionists, wedding planners, chefs and off-beat hobbyists. The best place to find him beyond work hours— the shadiest underground gym in the city. He is an ardent sports buff and contributes with his witty live commentary too.

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