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7 Questions with Dylan Webb
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7 Questions with Dylan Webb
Name: Dylan Webb
Current title: Chief Executive Officer
Current organisation: Datamine
With a diverse history in mining operations, advisory consulting, product development and commercial management, Dylan's passion is the application of technology to drive productivity and sustainability in mining operations.
In his current role as Chief Executive Officer of Datamine, Dylan is responsible for the oversight and leadership of a portfolio of mining technology investments with operations in 20 countries servicing over 6000 customers.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Datamine has expanded its range of technology and expertise rapidly in recent years. With time zone, language and COVID-19 travel restriction challenges, we are constantly looking for the most effective ways to recruit and train staff, keeping them up to date and appropriately qualified to sell and support our complete solution in every region.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Prior to becoming CEO, I had been a member of the Datamine executive team for 9 years, working on mergers & acquisitions, product strategy and managing R&D teams. This gave me a good understanding of the company and its growth objectives, as well as an opportunity to form relationships with the global management team. A previous role running the Asia Pacific operations of a technology company, along with a history in advisory consulting for many of our major customers around the world provided a useful background for the role.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
My days start early with calls to the Americas or some exercise, and finish late on most days with evening calls to Africa and Europe. During local work hours I spend time with staff and customers in the APAC region. Within that I schedule some time to focus on family activities, usually school and sports drop-offs or helping the kids with their homework.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
During COVID-19 our organisation has accelerated its plans to provide more autonomy and opportunity to the next generation of leaders. Invariably they have embraced the responsibility and achieved excellent results for our business in a challenging environment. We will continue to place trust in our emerging leaders and focussed teams to drive their personal career development and deliver growth for the 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?
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore was first published in 1991 but has a multitude of lessons that remain relevant for anyone working in technology. This book highlights the critical importance of engagement between innovators and early adopters on the pathway to broader market acceptance of new products. We ensure that our teams collaborate closely with real world customers in the development process. The early involvement of customers in our R&D ensures the functionality is tailored to market requirements, a sense of urgency is maintained, and willing reference sites and advocates are in place when we take a new product to market. These elements are critical in accelerating commercial returns from our investments and delivering a sustainable product to our customers.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Our strong preference is to develop leaders from within our organisation, rather than hiring outside talent. Our existing staff know the customers, how the business operates, understand our strategy and have aligned with our values. As a part of Vela Software Group (an operating division of Constellation Software Inc), Datamine provides formal leadership training that draws on sharing of best practices across Vela and CSI. Our people have opportunities to mix with peers in other group businesses, learn from each other and have a broad network of support for any leadership challenge that arises as our managers take on more responsibility.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
COVID-19 has created a challenging set of circumstances for many of our staff around the world with long term lockdowns and restrictions. The resilience of our people to maintain a positive outlook, stay motivated and find ways to deliver for our customers has been a highlight of the last twelve months. Whilst we look forward to a return to more normal conditions as vaccines are rolled out, there are learnings about workplace flexibility and remote delivery of services to customers that we will embrace well into the future.