Moving Forward and Changing Processes

Over the last three years, Autodesk had to change delivery times due to customers' faster delivery demand. Autodesk was able to move forward using software as service, thinking about process, and innovating in an established company.

Course Lectures
  • Carol Bartz, president and CEO of Autodesk, Inc., argues that entrepreneurship is more important in large companies. The companies that survive do so because they know how to innovate, take risks, and reward risk-taking organizational behavior and structure.

  • Bartz talks about a slogan inside Autodesk called fail fast forward to counter a fear of failure within an established organization. Their goal was to have employees understand that failure is very acceptable within an established organization-the key is to identify it quickly, and move forward with lessons learned. This is an attempt to break free from those who are worried about risk-taking.

  • What kind of attitude do you bring into a situation? Are you willing to change and take risks? Bartz reminisces about a team member with a negative attitude and explains how she looks for go-getter attitudes in finding new team members.

  • Managing Cycles
    Carol Bartz

    Bartz shares her view on the concept of cycles. She challenges entrepreneurs to manage cycles in their personal life, professional life, and within product cycles and the market.

  • Bartz argues that you should learn how to pick your self up, be scared and cover it up, or be emotional and show it at different points in your life. The younger you learn, the better off you are. Do not be something you are not, she says, learn who you really are.

  • Bartz stresses the importance of surrounding yourself with good people. Some of the best leaders in the land, she notes, are adamant about surrounding themselves with good people.

  • Bartz passion for programming is not about making money; it is about loving what she is doing. Whatever it is your doing, she says, make sure it is something you enjoy. The best leaders who are entrepreneurs are doing what they like.

  • Bartz believes you will spend more time at work than in personal activities. If you are in management, one of your responsibilities is to make sure you care for your employees with compassion and interest in their lives.

  • Bartz explains that the way to earn her trust is to be blatantly honest. It is hard to unravel a situation if it has been covered up. For this reason, she looks to people who admit their mistakes.

  • Bartz argues that you must understand how a company is run. Life is about horizontal and lateral moves. She also talks about the various positions she has held in the past, from analyst to VP of customer service. By the time she became CEO, she had acquired a strong background in various fields.

  • Autodesk's vision is to keep the design data in digital format. Wireless industry is essential in this area. A small team of engineers at Autodesk banded together and built a wireless product on the fly to address an immediate need.

  • Bartz examines long-term balance and encourages people to catch themselves before they fall too far. Learn how to manage the various activities you are involved in, she says. Juggling is pertinent to career development.

  • Over the last three years, Autodesk had to change delivery times due to customers' faster delivery demand. Autodesk was able to move forward using software as service, thinking about process, and innovating in an established company.

  • Bartz discusses Buzzsaw.com, a company created to provide a hosted environment for the construction industry. Because Autodesk had no experience in the construction industry, the company spun out Buzzsaw and then bought it back after a successful fundraising round with VCs.

  • How do you seek out and promote quality leaders from within a company? Leaders are often self-selected from peers, Bartz says. On way to identify them is to set up a management meeting and tap into the different groups across the company and note who gets picked to represent the individual groups. Usually, these are your leaders. Because they are easy to work with and are creative, they are sought out as leaders at whatever level they are in. No one wants to work with an asshole, however qualified they may be.

  • Learning From Failure
    Carol Bartz

    Bartz talks about how people who failed within Buzzsaw, were often given new projects to work on. Failure was valued, she says. Rather than criticizing projects that failed, Bartz notes how people wanted to apply the knowledge they learned from mistakes into new projects.

  • How do you take a task that you already know how to do and do it a whole different way? Bartz talks about lateral moves within companies to improve innovation. She looks forward to future technology that will allow the creation of rich media content.