Empowering Employees to Overcome Economic Uncertainty: Insights from Tableau’s CPO

Salesforce’s data visualization platform, Tableau, was acquired by Salesforce in 2019. Francois Ajenstat, Tableau’s chief product officer, has been with the company for over 12 years and has persevered through an IPO, acquiring Salesforce, as well as other economic downturns and pandemics. In times of uncertainty, Ajenstat leverages the company’s value proposition of speed, insight, and empowerment to guide his decision-making process.

Ajenstat stresses the importance of a company’s value proposition, stating that it is usually the first thing a company develops. He believes that focusing on a company’s value proposition and differentiators allows businesses to pivot and continue to drive forward, regardless of economic conditions. Ajenstat believes in the growth of personal empowerment within employees rather than focusing solely on reducing costs and efficiencies.

When evaluating a company’s assets, Ajenstat recommends that leaders assess the cultural implications of empowering employees to make decisions as well as the technical skills and necessary technology. He suggests focusing on simplification rather than innovation and exploring opportunities to deploy technology through automation or customer applications.

Ajenstat encourages leaders to remain curious and maintain a “beginner’s mindset” even during difficult times. He also believes that strong organizational foundations based on beliefs, culture, skills, and governance mechanisms are necessary to support technological advancements.

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