Today we are talking to Mark Goldin, the CTO of Cornerstone on Demand. And we discuss, communicating value effectively, bouncing ideas off of your peers, and optimizing your people by finding out what makes them tick.
All of this, right here, right now on the Modern CTO Podcast!
Mark Goldin is the Chief Technology Officer for Cornerstone OnDemand. In this role, Mark is responsible for building and directing the company’s global technology strategy, which will allow the organization to best scale in the midst of rapid growth.
Goldin oversees application architecture, development, quality assurance and technology operations while leading a world-class team of engineers to assure Cornerstone’s continued excellence in providing innovative and feature-rich talent management software.
Prior to joining Cornerstone, Mark was the Chief Operations and Technology Officer at Green Dot Corporation where he oversaw application development, IT infrastructure, supply chain and logistics, and call center operations with a team that helped grow valuation by greater than a factor of 10 in just three years. Goldin has also held CTO positions at Thomson Elite (where he conceived, founded and ran SaaS pioneer Elite.com) and DestinationRx.
Has gone public 3 times as a CTO
First company went public in an unconventional way
Green dot went public after he left but he was still a share holder
How did you get involved with Cornerstone? A recruiter he has had success with helped him get there
Got very interested in building SaaS in the late 90s. Wasn’t called SaaS back then but it essentially was
Just heard that Bennihof bought Time
What does your day look like at cornerstone? Likes to walk around and engage with people
1 hour 3 days a week Performance and reliability team. Goes to show that Reliability is very important
What are you most interested in with emerging technology
Engaged in a complete move to AWS
Cost becomes a big issue when you move to AWS. Move from fixed based model to use based model
Very interested in the People. Technology, People, Process – 3 legs
Bounces Ideas off peers and other people he knows – and the team
Pretty self critical organization. CEO Adam miller is very good at spending time talking to people outside and getting new ideas
What are some of the recurring truths that have come up as a CTO over 20 years.
There’s a tremendous dependency on people.
Optimizing the people. What makes people tick
Got to go beyond pay and benefits to retain talent
People would always like to live in a stress free environment
What are the indicators that someone is ready to be a leader. Communication is a big part of it
Share what you’ve done in an effective way. Asking questions in an intelligent way.
Look for people who really really care. The guy who stays late because they want to get the job done. Someone who has a sense of completion. People who are really engaged with the problem
Today they call HR Chief Talent Officer
Didnt have a centralized leadership development or function
What does the Leadership program look like? Critical Communications
Be very Direct about what your ask is and what you’re looking for. Motivating Achievement
Go away for 3 days then come back and have check ins with the leadership development team
Mark is 100% for learning.
the pioneers for micro learning were the general public. Can go to youtube and learn how to change an air filter – etc
Offer the ability to create user generated content
Call their own implementation of Cornerstone Dogfood.
Were not a content company at all until very recently. They made the platform and let clients source content from wherever. Now they are very much a content company. Resell content. Curated content subscriptions.
Sometime next year you’ll see the first courses coming out of cornerstone.
They have to work hard to be an employer for choice.
Asana has #ABR always be recruiting
Really do believe in a work life balance. Really want people to have fun at work.
What gets you excited? Just came off an annual hackathon. Hackathon 5.0
Just announced that they are building a new office in SLC Utah
Winning team came out of Mumbai India.
It was a product idea that won
Fan of Elon Musk?
BBC Has fantastic podcasts. In our Time.
Bats chasing rocks in Florida
If you could go back in time 10 years ago and give yourself a piece of advice, what would it be?
Word of encouragement. Mark it keeps getting better, it keeps improvement. Stick it out and it will keep getting better. 10 years ago was 2008, financial crisis. Discouraged about the future of tech, but hang in there because the best is yet to come.
Morning is set aside for learning.