Inspired by poverty as a teenager, Que Dallara, president and chief executive officer of Honeywell Connected Enterprise, launched her first business: a three-room classroom that took over her family home. She tells Bill Patterson, executive vice president and general manager of sales applications for Salesforce, how this experience shaped her love of hard work, teaching her to never give up and to keep her goals high. This passion for achievement has left a mark on how she conducts business; Dallara explains how this work ethic propelled Honeywell to build a factory and start producing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in just six weeks.
Talk to us about how you got your start in business
Life gives you a set of tools depending on how you grow up. And when you grow up poor, you get a lot of tools. Poverty really inspired me at a very young age (16) to start my own business. I converted our whole family house – 1500 square feet – into a three-room classroom. I taught classes. I started with one student, and then had over 100 students and five employees. I learned entrepreneurship that way – payroll, cashflow – and I really fell in love with technology, because it helped you do a lot more things cheaper.
What does crisis management and a quick pivot look like at Honeywell?
It always takes a crisis to make you do something. We had a plan coming into January, and that plan became completely redone in about two weeks. The ability to be flexible and read the signs and indicators, as well as customer contact, helped us make adjustments. When the nation needed us, we built a factory from scratch to make PPE in six weeks. Normally, that would have been a year. It’s scary on the one hand, but it’s also exhilarating to be able to see what you’re really made of when a generational test like this falls into your lap.
How has the use of software changed in the age of COVID?
The industrial world has always been about safety first, but in the commercial world, no one thinks about it. COVID has completely changed that. Now, wellness and safety are something we all have to care about before we even get to the office. That’s a real switch. In addition, digital tools have been in the knowledge worker space for decades. But in operations technology (OT), there’s a dearth of the availability of tools. [COVID has made us] see a convergence in OT and IT. The linkage there is going to continue to come from service, customer success, and the speed and agility to bring those things to market.
Watch the Customer 360 Platform and Field Service demo
See how companies can use software to deliver fast and safe support in this demo from Dana Chery, vice president of product marketing, at the 20-minute mark.
Hear the music
At minute 28, Anthony Ramos plays three songs: “Figure it Out,” “Relationship,” and “Stop,” then sits for a conversation.
This was the latest edition of Leading Through Change, our live video conversation series exploring how leaders use software to drive impactful change in industry. For more interviews: Salesforce.com/Live.