Women in Technology International Interview with Anne Krog Iversen, Chief DNA and Culture Officer

WITI NEWS STAFF

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Can you tell us about your company?

TimeXtender was founded in 2006 and is one of the world's fastest growing software companies. The company enables businesses (Fortune 500, large-sized enterprises, and mid-sized companies) to build a data-driven organization with Discovery Hub®, an integrated approach to IT architecture behind business intelligence that helps organizations decrease time to business insights and data-driven decision making. Why is this important? Because time matters.

What's been one of your proudest achievements at TimeXtender?

A big accomplishment has been expanding TimeXtender across global markets and doing so in a way that all of our people prosper. A big part of helping us grow rapidly as a global company has been corporate mindfulness and our "one minute of silence" in meetings to land, focus, and connect to the task at hand. It's our DNA, the glue that keeps reminding us that we're one global team with a shared purpose. Because time matters we believe in making decisions with data, mind, and heart. We've taken great strides to build and implement this business and way of life.

Our program is made up of many components, such as "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, that was created by Stephen Covey. We use it as a shared language. We host weekly mindfulness sessions so our employees can aim for a bigger purpose while working in unison. This is accomplished through our common DNA and established corporate ethos. I take pleasure watching everyone accept a role, connect with others, and then flourish. When people dare, care, and share, magical things happen, and we're seeing that as TimeXtender continues its rapid growth in more than 60 countries.

So, looking at "because time matters, along with your corporate mindfulness program, how would you say the two intersect?

It all starts with yin-yang balance. Take, for example, a business meeting. We all lead or attend business meetings. However, a business meeting can be jammed into a busy schedule as just another task that is part of the day. It's simple to go from preparing a report for management to rushing over to attend your 2:00 pm meeting. Stop! That can be a lot of stress and hurriedness that can be prevented.

This is why at TimeXtender we start every meeting with a "one minute of silence." This allows all attendees to reset and clear their minds from their immediate past, and focus and prepare for the meeting that is about to occur. In the end, this means less stress, more time productivity, and ultimately better decisions.

Tell our readers a bit more about your corporate mindfulness program.

It all begins by making the decision to invest in your employees to have them become more mindful. It's about training in life skills and mental strength to the benefit of your business, the individual, and the world. Mindfulness has many benefits that come from greater emotional intelligence and stronger brain fitness. These benefits include less stress, more energy, clearer minds, greater focus, more inner happiness, and ultimately to become better business partners.

Once a company has made the decision, then they should start the dialogue with their team and organization. I would then work toward creating an environment filled with images that remind employees we're all striving for greater inner peace, along with building a quiet space where they can recharge during the day. From there, a program should be designed that might include "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, meditation, breathing, yoga, and other group activities. There are many ways to get started, but the key is just that: get started. It's a busy world we live in, and having mental training and improving our life skills helps us prosper in it.

Do you yourself find any personal time during the workday to relax and unwind?

I enjoy going for daily walks, meditating, or just thinking through matters quietly by myself (me time). I enjoy the many aspects of mindfulness on my own and alongside my colleagues at work during group mindfulness.

As a woman in tech, you've led HR, marketing, and now corporate culture. Given all this experience, what's one piece of advice you've learned along the way you'd like to share?

To be able to ask for help. It's okay to admit you don't know everything. Know your worth and that you are enough. Time matters, and you can waste so much time debating negative, mental chatter with yourself. When we first started TimeXtender, I thought I was expected to know everything required to run a business. But I have learned over time it's better to be aware of my strengths, and put them into play. When it comes to my weaknesses I'll ask for help and take advantage of others knowledge and skills.

Anyone in particular who has inspired you?

The work of author Simon Sinek is very powerful. I believe his bestseller "Start with Why, is a must-read for anyone in business today. At TimeXtender, our why is "enabling data-driven decision-making, with mind and heart led by our massive, transformative purpose: because time matters. Not only is this reflected in our company name; it is reflected in everything we do. It's why we have our dedicated business focus and mission, why we have a mindfulness program, and why we start our meetings with a "one minute of silence" to focus and connect with each other and what matters most.

If you were to write a book, what would it be about?

It would be a book about courage. If you are not courageous, then you have a tendency to maintain the status quo and hinder your development. It's okay and even important to take chances and to challenge yourself. No doubt, being courageous can be scary, but it can be quite rewarding and make you a more happy and successful person. What if your happiness is found outside your comfort zone? You'll never find out unless you take the first step.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I would like to encourage everyone to discover mindfulness. People deal with too much stress, often caused by negative inner chatter that does not serve you. But mindfulness gives you the tools to get a mindset that does serve you well and your purpose and happiness. The benefits are plentiful and can improve both your physical and mental health, making you a stronger person at home and at work. After all, don't we all just want to lead a purposeful and happy life?

How can others get in touch?

  • Name: Anne Krog Iversen

  • Title: Chief DNA and Culture Officer

  • Company: TimeXtender

  • Website: www.timextender.com

  • Email: aki@timextender.com

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/krogiversen

  • Twitter: @AnneKrogIversen

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