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What Makes a Good Anaplanner?

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Hello current and future Anaplanners! I’m Josh King and from my perspective as a current Anaplan exclusive partner and former Anaplan VP, I’d like to share the core values and skill sets that make for a great Anaplanner. I joined Anaplan in 2011, just after the product went commercial and was one of the first 10 employees. While my background was consulting, I joined Anaplan as the VP of Presales and was tasked with building out the Presales team. We met with prospects, agnostic of industries and use cases, and had to demonstrate all of the different ways Anaplan could add value—no mean feat, considering all of the knowledge required.

Throughout this process, we quickly realized the need for a continuous development culture and team members with the skills and disposition to match. Over time, the team coalesced around their shared interest in rapid career development, appreciation of our mission, and the desire to achieve success together. Once that foundation was in place, we adopted a leadership/successor philosophy to then scale teams and process. We succeeded, failed, and collaborated our way towards creating an agile team and culture. It was, frankly, both the hardest and the best five years of my career. In early 2016, I was fortunate to take what I learned at Anaplan and join Twelve Consulting with the goal to scale teams again, but on the services side. Twelve was founded by my wife, Jill King, who had a vision for creating a company that could deliver a positive impact for our customers, people, and communities through a culture that the employees could define and shape. The four partners at Twelve also worked in conjunction with our friends at CO2 Partners to develop our core values. These values set out the behaviors and defined our Twelve DNA. Determining the core values early in the development of a company helps to find the right people, progress faster, and achieve more success. At Twelve, we focus on finding folks with diverse backgrounds and skill-sets, but who align with how and why we do things. I truly believe that it’s part skill, part values. I’ve brought this emphasis on core values and skill-sets back to Anaplan in my current role assisting with hiring. As a leadership team, we’ve spent a lot of time debating and deciding on our core values and these are the main characteristics that we look for when hiring a new Twelve Anaplanner:

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Collaboration "Engaging as a team to strengthen the community." Nobody walks into the Anaplan world knowing all that is required because mastering a platform as wide and deep as Anaplan requires various skills. Initially, Anaplanners need to understand the technical foundation, and over time, start to learn how it applies to different business models and connects with other enterprise systems. In my experience, those that jump into the technology and leverage the mindshare of others ramp the quickest. You’ll often hear me say, “Things are not going to get less complex, so we need to get better at solving for increased complexity together.” Excellence "Accountability to deliver results through perseverance and passion.” At Twelve, we are committed to delivering value for our customers through Anaplan projects, enablement, program management, and other components of an implementation. Delivery success is not only important to our clients but also critical to each stakeholder’s own career—success impacts everyone involved. The reality is we’re digging into some core business processes that are going to require complex solutions; it’s both the challenge and the fun part of our job. With delivering success being the goal on every project, how can we develop the team, process, enablement, IP, etc. to work smarter, not harder? Personal Growth “Empower people to achieve their aspirations.” The exciting and challenging reality of being attached to Anaplan is that it never stops changing. We want to find people that excel in these environments and see it as a positive versus a negative. The exciting and challenging reality of being attached to Anaplan is that it never stops changing. We want to find people that excel in these environments and see it as a positive versus a negative. At both Anaplan and Twelve, I have seen so many folks accelerate their career trajectory by diving headfirst into the platform. At Twelve, we’ve spent a lot of time building out a career path rubric so that career opportunities are tangible and attainable. If you enjoy a faster pace, it’s a great place to be—if not, it will likely be uncomfortable. This is one of the most opportunistic ecosystems to be in. Wellbeing "Making time for healthy and happy.” I am a big believer in seeking out ways for all of us to find balance in our personal and professional lives. Instead of defining that for our employees, we’d rather put in the systems, process and clearly defined job responsibilities so that independent people can decide that themselves. Our Instagram has become a platform to highlight folks getting off the grid, meeting up for a workout and joining forces with community partners. My favorite activity of the year is when our entire team gets together for our annual kickoff. We bring in thought leaders from the community, participate in fun activities, and look for ways outside of our 9-5 to stay inspired. If it were just about billing on projects and sitting in our home offices, what fun would that be? These core values enable Anaplanners to keep driving forward and build a dynamic culture. As we top 50+ people, it’s fun to see how many folks continue to evolve our company and grow their careers off of their Anaplan skill-sets. If you’re not in the Anaplan ecosystem, but thrive on a good challenge and see this as an opportunity, I encourage you to visit our company’s webpage or just reach out to me directly!

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