Learning outside the
VMware’s Jenni Flinders learned quickly at an early job in South
Africa that taking risks pays off.
Jenni Flinders, Global
Describe your current job role?
My role is to lead the VMware Partner
Programs and Strategy, covering over
75,000 partners worldwide. My charter
is to activate a vibrant partner ecosystem
with confidence to sell and deliver services
across our advanced technologies.
When you look back at your
career, what has been the
most exciting part or
One of the most memorable experiences
I have had in my career was working in
Latin America. During this time, I helped
actively grow my company’s business
through our partner ecosystem. I helped
partners build capabilities in order for
them to be successful. This involved adding
structure and process, which empowered
our partners with the ability to realise their
potential to grow their businesses.
This time period required lots of risk
taking on my part. I had to be a learner,
not a knower. Being in an unfamiliar
setting, I had to adapt and approach
situations with the goal of learning and
gaining insight, rather than being the
subject matter expert at all times. innovation comes from a diverse group
of people. I also find it critical to build a
person’s capabilities, while also helping
I firmly believe that every idea is worth
hearing. If someone took the time to come
up with it, one can take the time to hear it.
Fostering an environment of honesty and
respect is also very important.
I enjoy celebrating my team’s
accomplishments, achievements and other
milestones. It is important to take the time
to recognise great work.
What first made you think of a
career in technology? What will be the hot technology
talking point of 2018?
I was initially interested in the medical
industry and the technology industry was
not on my radar. However, one of the first
job opportunities I was presented with was
with a small software company in South
Africa. It seemed like a great opportunity,
so I pursued it.
When I first started at that job, it
initially threw me out of my comfort
zone, but I learned a lot r