with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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This week you and I are joined by Jonathan Rubinsztein, CEO & Managing Director of Infomedia.

Infomedia (ASX:IFM) is a leading global provider of SaaS solutions to the parts and service sector of the automotive industry. Founded in 1987, Infomedia supplies online parts selling systems, sophisticated service selling systems, a range of publications, as well as data analysis and information research for automotive and lubricant industries.

We cover:

  • Bringing values to life
  • How to compress time
  • Three key principles of motivation – purpose, mastery and autonomy
  • Having fun and being passionate about what you do
  • Learning from a range of different people, industries and fields
  • YPO – Young Presidents Organisation

More about Jonathan Rubinsztein:

Previously, Jonathan was the CEO and founding Shareholder at UXC Red Rock Consulting, the largest Oracle Consulting business in ANZ with 8 offices and 600 staff.

He also served as a founding Director of RockSolid SQL is on the Advisory board of the Missionvale charity based in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and on the Board at Humanitix, the first not-to-profit ticketing platform that redistributes profits from booking fees to fund domestic violence shelters, meals to homeless, and indigenous education

He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School and a regular participant at TED conferences. And was awarded the IT Professional of the Year 2013 (AIIA award NSW).

Connect with Jonathan here:

Connect with:
Infomedia here and on LinkedIn

Books Recommended by Jonathan

Quotes and Points from Jonathan Rubinsztein:

  • I learned I think a lot about business and street fighting if you want, I was street fighting as a kid. Cash was king and I think cash still is king in this world
    Well I think that street fighting, understanding the reality to me of business was around cash. And it was to me, it wasn't in the big corporate world, one can almost alienate yourself from the reality of business and I think I got very close to understanding how the money was made, and the reality of fighting for there was a lot of unethical behaviour. I was a young kid and people were stealing from me and there was a crazy world and I realised how to stand up for myself and how to manage people in that type of environment.
  • I think I came from a very interesting social dynamic in South Africa and I came out as a energetic, ambitious, arrogant young punk. And I think I've learned to understand myself and I'm trying to get a better perspective on looking at myself, the reflection of myself and understanding how that impacts other people. I think one of my strengths is that I'm very upfront. There is no bullshit. What you see is what you get. However, I think that the context of that is important that some people don't get that as easily and I think that being able to be aware of that behaviour and therefore modify that appropriately, such that you can get other people's involvement and understanding I think is important for me. I think I've learned that and how to look at myself and understand the good and the bad and the improvement areas and how I impact other people. That has been a great learning for me more recently actually
  • I always try and work out my common view is how do I compress time? How do I speed up the journey? And so to me, compressing time to make decisions, compressing time to get outcomes. I'm a very outcome focused person.
  • to me, life is finite. So in every sphere of my life I try and compress time. I try and get the most out of things. And I think that if you take an adoption process, I try and look at the end goal, what are we trying to achieve and work backwards. To me, everything is a project, it has a start and an end. So if we look at the business and how we try and look at a project, the question is how can we do it faster and how can we get the same results?
  • And we have a forum that is I guess my personal board where I get other people to give me a reflection on myself and I don't always like what I hear and see but it does help me. I get involved in, I learn from lots of other people I think. I am on a number of charity boards that I do support and I've learned a lot from those and I also attend, you know I go to TED every year, that's a global TED convergence and I meet a bunch of people, I'm curious like they are and I learn by reflecting often off them, off different processes and I thrive on that insight, whether how much I learn and how much I change I don't know but I think that certainly helped me a lot
  • So YPO is a not-for-profit organisation and it's really around CEOs typically. Working on their personal, their professional and their business side of their lives. I think there are lots of organisations, there's another one called EO, which is entrepreneurs organisation. There are CEO institutes around the world and there are business manager institutes. To me and different people have different ways of learning about themselves, and learning about the world and learning about the industry they're in and getting insight. For me, YPO has been a great organisation for me to actually have a bunch of people that, and the organisation itself that can help a, provide a forum to think through issues or opportunities that you have and also are like minded people who are sharing similar issues and opportunities at a similar part of their career. I think that having a group, getting a partner, a mentor, a friend, that you can trust that has no agenda if you want and sometimes your partner might have an agenda, it might be your personal partner or business partner might have an agenda but from perspective having that has been extremely valuable to me.
  • once often the people you speak to are often in the same industry as you. And that creates an echo chamber. So in the crazy world of disruption that we are living in where one has to compress time otherwise from my perspective, you either are going to be killed, you're going to be someone else's lunch or dinner or in this world of disruption I think one of the ways to get a broader, different view is actually to have communications with people outside of the industry. If you're thinking about what a bank looks like in the next 10 years, my view is you don't ask a banker, you ask someone in technology. And therefore to get that reflection on different industries and you might ask someone in retail and therefore my view is one of the advantages is having cross functional insight around different industries I think and being curious about what makes and where is the convergence. And how might the customer journey be similar in a different industry, I think that also gives insight around some of the disruption that might happen.
  • And I think there are three underlying factors to success and I think motivation, if one is motivated, I think one can get unstuck and drive and get outcomes that excite you. So if someone is stuck, I question one's motivation and I think there are three underlying aspects to motivation and this is I'll quote Daniel Pink who I like and I think his book was Motivation 2.0 but he talks about autonomy, mastery and purpose. And so if you're stuck, then I would suggest that often one of those three areas are areas that you're struggling with. So are you aligned to the purpose of the organisation you're working in or the business unit? Does that not resinate? Do you not have the autonomy to make decisions if you want? And if you don't have those two you can never get mastery because that will never happen. So to me, motivation and passion comes, if I'm not passionate about something I can never deliver. And so to me, I have worked out what and those three things absolutely align to my passion and motivation and therefore if I can kind of unbundle what about my role or my it might be even the industry I'm working in, am I not passionate about, do I not get motivated? Well maybe I can create a purpose that aligns to that. Maybe I can create that autonomy. If I can't, then I've got to move or work out how to do it because I'll never be motivated. I'll never be passionate, and I'll never be successful then. And certainly that's for myself.
  • I worry about some of the broader political situation. I worry about the refugee situation. We're living in a world where my father was a refugee out of the second world war. He left Poland, went to Belgium, the Belgium Congo and I think about are we treating the refugees in a way that I'm proud of? Absolutely not
  • What I do know is I would like to leave this world in a better place than I came into it. And so my purpose is one and the older I've got it's become much less selfish and much more community based, it's much more around my family, the environment I live in and so I think that if you look at those layers of an onion if you want, where initially it was myself, maybe my wife and then my kids. I think that I've been fortunately enough to be able to think about how do I create a world and how can I contribute to a world that is better?
  • I joined this business and we've significantly changed the culture and the culture to me there's both an art and science to culture, and I think that we've tried to think through both sides of those, so programmatically there are some hygiene factors, some things that are right and wrong, some things that one can do, and we've tried to do those. So we've got clarity around what is good and bad behaviour. We've got clarity around where are we going, what do we want to do, what is our purpose? Those things are easy to do but not necessarily easy to embed. So think they're easy to define and say well here are our core values. You know, our core values and we've got our core values on our wall. We have our four core values, they are accelerating performance. They are driving innovation and service. They are navigating global steering local and they are having fun in the fast lane. Now those are easy to say but hey are less difficult to embed into everything we do.
  • Integrity is not optional. To me, that's not a core value. If you're not, if you don't act with integrity, you cannot work in the organisation. So why would that be a core value? That is just not optional. Whilst these are things that we will define our behaviour by. So if you say honesty is a core value, I go are you kidding me? Do you want people working in your organisation that are dishonest, that doesn't make sense. However when we talk about how do we … what does it mean to accelerate performance? That is, how do I speed up, how do I get an outcome faster? What does a meritocratic organisation mean and how do we embed that in every workflow in our performance appraisals in our conversations? How do we reward those? What does innovation look like?
  • And getting that time to be able to zoom up above the day to day grind gives me I think a perspective that if I find I'm in meetings from seven til seven I literally have no ability to think about what is important to prioritise those things. So I need space, I need the ability to zoom up, speak to people, get insight and I try and get a bit of flex time. It's difficult often but I find that being able to walk around and just speak to people I get the best ideas and I get the best insight around what is actually working and reflecting on how did things go and just listening and not thinking and making decisions. So getting that time to actually be a bit passive if you want, and let your kind of creative right brain juices flow versus just constantly making a consistent very if then else type decision process, I think that I need space to be creative and to actually give perspective.
  • Having fun and enjoying life is a key part of being motivated and passionate and so when one is at work and having fun, I think one's performance efficiency output increases dramatically, one's more motivated and guess what? Your customers, your family, and everyone feels it's tangible. So to me, having fun is not optional. To me, having fun in the workplace is important because it is a key, there'd be a direct correlation from my perspective around people that enjoy the work and their output.
  • We spend more than half of our waking hours working and I think that if I can't have fun, then I can't be passionate and I cannot drive outcomes and I can't be efficient and I might as well be doing something else.