Interview with Founder & CEO, Perdoo – Henrik-Jan Van Der Pol

1. Tell us about your role in Perdoo?
I’m one of the founders and CEO at Perdoo. My co-founder, Jonathan Morrice, is responsible for the Technology-side of our business, and I’m responsible for the business-side of things (Marketing, Sales, Customer Success and Finance).

2. Can you tell us about your journey into this market?
I have previously worked as a management consultant. In one of my consultancy projects, I’ve helped an established but poorly performing organization to pivot and start working towards a radically different mission & vision. Here I’ve learned first-hand that goals are a critical tool to bridge the gap between today’s reality and a desired future, and to bridge the gap between strategy and execution. Since there wasn’t a good solution available at that time, we tracked all those goals in spreadsheets. Soon after that project, I’ve decided together with my co-founder to build a dedicated solution for this.

3. How do you think technology is changing the HR Sector?
As we all know, technology can make life easier and unlock new possibilities. In the HR sector, the first technology wave enabled HR leaders to become more efficient (e.g. through process automation) so they could spend more time on areas where they could really add value. The risk here is that it can also make people lazy. For instance, it makes no sense to digitize a 1:1 that a manager should regularly have with his or her direct reports, simply because technology cannot replace the human factor that is so important in such meetings.

The second technology wave, which is happening now, is making HR leaders more effective. This includes recruiting technology that can predict whether a candidate is a good fit or not, or feedback technology that can almost show in real-time when issues arise within an organization.

4. For Our audience to understand, can you explain how Perdoo helps an organization in achieving their goals?

We’ve built a solution that makes it easy for organizations and teams to manage and track their goals. We’ve quickly learned that the quality of the goals that you track on our platform is the most important ingredient for long term success. Since organizations are so vastly different and since there is only so much technology can do, we’ve also developed Coaching Programs where we work 1-on-1 with an organization to help them identify the most important goals and structure them in such a way so that it all makes sense and the entire organization is pointed in the same direction.

5. How do you think Employee Engagement acts as a key aspect in achieving an organization’s goal? How can employee engagement be improved?
Goals don’t achieve themselves. It’s employees who have to put in all the important work that is required to achieve a goal. Nowadays, there is tons of research that proves that employees perform better when they’re motivated and engaged. So if you want to increase your chances of achieving your goals, you better make sure that the people working on them are motivated and engaged.

In order to engage employees and motivate them to work on a certain goal, you first need to increase transparency. You need to make the goal transparent and also show people the bigger picture, so that they understand why they are working on a certain goal.

The next step would be to ensure people understand the goal they are working on. You can do that by explaining why that goal is important and why it’s urgent, as explained in this article.

There are many other things you can or should do, such as involving employees already in the goal-setting process.

6. Can you explain how your platforms backed by OKR lead the path towards the success of a Company?
Perdoo is a goal management platform in the broadest possible way. You can manage and track any type of business goal on our platform, such as OKRs, but also KPIs and Initiatives.

What makes Perdoo unique is that we help organizations to use goals (like OKRs) to realize their ambitions. We always take the Mission & Vision and/or the Strategic Goals as the starting point and then help our customers to align their organization behind it. We then empower employees to effectively implement such strategy using OKRs.

7. How according to you has Perdoocontributed to developing the HR Sector?

Perdoo is not really an HR tool, but a strategy execution solution.

Nonetheless, it’s often HR leaders who put Perdoo on the agenda of the Executive Team. I think we’ve helped HR to become more aware of the importance of goals as a tool to engage and align a workforce.

8. What advice would like to give to the upcoming HR Tech StartUps?
Pretty much the same advice I would give to any B2B startup: focus on your customers, not on investors. Build something that offers value to your customers and the rest will follow.

9. What technology according to you will leave its mark in 2019?
I have no idea, but I am desperately waiting for these self-driving taxis to break through so that the costs of taxis can be dramatically reduced. I hate driving, it is such a waste of time (and yes, I also hate public transportation).

10. Can you tell us about your team and how it supports you?
The way you phrase that question sounds as if everyone in the team is there to support me, which is not the case. Everyone in our team plays a critical role in making our company, Perdoo, successful. It was a long journey to get the right team in place and there were many things that my co-founder and I had to learn when it came to building a team. We’ve improved with every new hire and today we are blessed with a very talented team that consists of individuals who can operate autonomously, are all very passionate about what we do, and care a great deal about making sure that our customers succeed.

11. Which Book are you reading these days?
The Culture Map. It’s without any doubt the most insightful book I’ve read during the past couple of years. I highly recommend anyone working in an international environment to read it, especially anyone in a leadership position or in HR. It’s helped me understand my own behavior much better and how my own behavior can sometimes cause trouble with people from other cultures.

It’s also a great read if you’d like to understand your own culture better and how it compares to others.

12. Can you give us a glance of the applications you use on your phone?
Other than the typical productivity apps (Slack, Gmail, etc.), I don’t think I have anything exciting to list here. I use The Economist app to read their weekly issue, and I use Pocket a lot to read anything that I pick up on the internet that I believe is worth reading. And then Wordfeud to play games with my mom :D.

Henrik-Jan Van Der Pol CEO and Founder, Perdoo

Henrik is the CEO and Co-Founder of Perdoo. He is an expert on OKR, Strategy Implementation, Strategy Execution, Goal Setting.


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