Summaries

Taking a European Company Global and Learnings Along the Way | Celonis & Accel | Slush 2023

Published
December 8, 2023
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December 18, 2023
Jenna Pitkälä
Taking a European Company Global and Learnings Along the Way | Celonis & Accel | Slush 2023
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Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?

You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a speech by Martin Klenk, co-founder and CTO of Celonis, backed by Accel in 2016.

(psst: the notes were automatically generated with Wudpecker's AI notetaking tool. If you'd like to check these notes + transcript + audio recording without needing to log in, press here.)

<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>

Celonis is a software company that develops technology for process management, process mining, observability, and automation. The company grew organically, introducing structure and turning key leaders into managers as it expanded. Celonis decided to globalize its engineering organization due to business needs and the shift to a cloud-native platform. This move introduced complexity but provided access to a larger talent pool and the biggest software market. Key actions include establishing accountability structures and trust between different teams and locations, regularly bringing people together in person for planning and strategy alignment, creating career tracks for key contributors, and ensuring that managers focus on driving the company's strategy and aligning teams with organizational goals.

<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>

Introduction

  • Celonis is a software company that develops technology for process management, process mining, observability, and automation.
  • The company started in Munich and initially built its organization organically.

Building the Product Organization

  • In the early days, Celonis grew its organization organically and hired talent internally.
  • As the company grew, it introduced structure and turned key leaders into managers.
  • There was a challenge in transitioning engineers into management roles, as leadership and management are not the same.

Taking the Engineering Organization Global

  • Celonis decided to take its engineering organization global due to business needs and the shift to a cloud-native platform.
  • The company needed a presence in the US to comply with customer policies and regulations.
  • Internationalization introduced complexity but provided access to a larger talent pool and the biggest software market.

Cultural Integration and Role Changes

  • Recruiting engineers and managers from Silicon Valley created a culture clash with the existing team.
  • Onboarding key individuals with experience and networks helped establish trust and alignment.
  • Bringing people together in person and having exchange programs facilitated integration.
  • The role of the CTO changed as the organization grew, leading to the hiring of a Chief Engineering Officer.

Learnings from the Journey

  • Adapt advice to fit your company's DNA and situation.
  • Bring people together regularly in person for better alignment.
  • Prefer running local projects over global ones for easier execution.
  • Create career tracks that allow key contributors to be successful.
  • Managers should focus on driving the company's strategy and aligning teams, rather than protecting their own work.
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Taking a European Company Global and Learnings Along the Way | Celonis & Accel | Slush 2023
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Taking a European Company Global and Learnings Along the Way | Celonis & Accel | Slush 2023
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