With November 3rd rapidly approaching, the Kintone team getting excited about our inaugural digital business and workplace collaboration conference.  

We have some of the best and brightest minds leading keynotes and workshops on business transformation, workplace collaboration and digital tools for the agile leader. Over the past few weeks we have been chatting with some of our Kintone Connect superheroes.  Today we hear from Michel Fester, Co-Founder and CEO of Usermind.

KINTONE: What are you looking forward to about attending and participating at Kintone Connect?

MICHEL: We're in the period where the entire definition of work in the front office (marketing, sales, support) is being transformed by technology. It's an exciting time to think about what non-technologists can learn from IT, and how they'll shape the pace of innovation.

Your 20-year journey in the tech world is inspiring.  It started at Harvard and led you to where you are today as the CEO of Usermind.  What happened in between is not what most people would expect.  

I dropped out of Harvard. At the time I did not think I was a techie.  Many drop-outs left for Silicon Valley to start their careers, but I took a job at a convenience store and considered it a colossal failure.  This was a humbling experience.  I did learn the basics of business management and gained valuable insight into hiring as the manager of the store that I still draw from today. I learned about business leadership later in life. Steve Jobs famously said that sometimes we connect the dots in reverse. This is true in my case and I would not change a thing.

You have created a passionate culture of people at Usermind, what do you consider the key to that success?

Context is the key.  Be transparent.  People need to understand how their work and efforts are essential for the company as a whole to achieve its objectives.  People operate best in a world where they have as much context as possible.  My role is to provide context constantly so that people can align their priorities.

You also talk about “unlocking” your people as a key to leadership.  What do you mean by that?

Most people do not see themselves very clearly.  Our internal narratives prevent us from seeing our superpowers and our weaknesses. My philosophy is about helping people unlock what they are really amazing at and help them understand their weaknesses enough to manage them, because you are not really going to change who you are.  

Who should attend Kintone Connect and why?

Managers who are prioritizing cross-functional initiatives like customer journeys, digital transformation, and business process management.

We appreciate you sharing your insights.  Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts in San Francisco in November for Kintone Connect!

About Usermind:  Usermind was founded to solve the challenges of siloed enterprise systems, fragmented customer data, and disjointed customer experience. As provider of the only unified Customer Engagement Hub, Usermind directly connects disparate systems and data sources into a customer data platform, coupled with a powerful customer journey orchestration engine, a machine learning environment, and closed-loop analytics. With this infrastructure in place, companies can deliver data-driven, omnichannel customer engagement throughout the full customer lifecycle.

About Kintone Connect:  This one-day conference will gather change leaders from around the world to share digital workplace tools and best practices through inspirational talks and collaborative workshops.  Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how to use digital tools to increase team collaboration, transform business processes, and enhance citizen developer skills in the workplace. You will be exposed to a diverse network of businesses to widen the scope and influence of your partnership ecosystem.


Subscribe to Blog

Try Kintone For Free!

Our clients have built and deployed over 340,000 Kintone applications. Join them by signing up for a free trial–no credit card required–or scheduling a customized product demo.

Try Kintone for freeSchedule a Live Demo