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7 Questions with Ben Klatt
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7 Questions with Ben Klatt
Name: Ben Klatt
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: SRI
15 years experience within HR and education, started off consulting then moved into ownership of educational facilities. We've put a lot of effort into the overseas markets and are trying to disrupt the traditional education markets, both accredited and soft skills training.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Consistency within technology has been our biggest issue. There are so many options available, in each region and each region has it's own requirements. Trying to integrate them all and ensure staff use the systems in place.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was working for a few years as a compliance consultant but kept finding large gaps in the market. So once my 1st child was born, I left a full time job I had and started to put in place some of the ideas that I had, and built it from there.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Biggest thing for me is dropping my kids at school and trying to pick them up a day or 2 a week. I often have meetings after hours, or lunch times. First up everyday we all have breakfast together, I'll check emails and reply to the things that don't require much attention, that allows me to have that morning to walk my boys into school (and not stress about work building up).
At the start of the journey I was very clear and upfront about compliance and systems, this allows accountability and transparency. This has certainly helped it scale without neglecting our compliance framework in which we work.
We have built our own system for partners to communicate any concerns, so my evenings are often spent updating knowledge management systems as it's a boring job and can often be done with a glass of wine at home.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Not all customers are good for business.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Gary Vaynerchucks Crushing it! Just a great read on the importance of 'doing' rather than planning.
I also read a lot of the HBR (Harvard Business Review) articles, they are often the most current research and trends. This also helps with the education side of the business where we can refer partners to HBR.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Allow staff to have ideas and develop them within the framework in which we work. We've had some amazing results from this as it allows people to think strategically and link systems to outcome.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
Being able to promote work life balance for everyone, partners and staff. Having a partnership model which endorses family life, generally attracts the right clients and partners. Most stories all include this feedback.