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Meet the WIICTA winner: Kelly Griffith of Slack

Meet the WIICTA winner: Kelly Griffith of Slack

Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) has celebrated gender diversity and recognised female excellence across the Australia tech channel since first launching in 2012, acknowledging the achievements of a talented group of female front runners who have become influential figures across the local industry.

Kelly Griffith (Slack) wins the WIICTA Shining Star (Partner - National) Award in 2021

Kelly Griffith (Slack) wins the WIICTA Shining Star (Partner - National) Award in 2021

Credit: Supplied

As winner of the Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) Shining Star (Partner - National) award in 2021, Kelly was responsible during her time at her previous employer, Data#3, for laying out the blueprint for lasting sales success.

Kelly's outstanding performance also extended to leadership, providing support and guidance to sales management and the senior executive team.

How did you get your break in the IT industry and progress to the role you have today?

I certainly didn't grow up saying I wanted to be in the IT industry or sales when I was young. I fell into the industry while doing my degree in fine arts by working a part time admin role at an IT reseller. When I finished at uni, they offered me a full-time role on reception where I almost lost my job for 'talking too much' and clogging the switchboard.

When I explained that sales reps weren't getting back to customers after several calls (the reps were still 'out to lunch') and that I was helping them buy what they needed, they quickly moved me into sales. I then fell in love with sales and the notion of helping customers solve business problems through the use of IT.

Before too long I moved into sales management and spent 20 years leading teams to do the same. From there I pivoted into sales enablement to utilise my background in a more strategic way and at greater scale. Leveraging my lived experience and working closely with senior leadership and cross functional departments, the focus was to bridge the gap between our internal sales challenges and customer challenges, enabling company growth and customer success.

What have been some of your career highlights and proudest moments?

Circa 2008, as the reseller industry consolidated, I proudly led a team to support rapid expansion as I joined Data#3. It's a period of time etched in my mind, filled with lots of fun, comradery and hard work, but ultimately success for our customers.

After the birth of my last child I searched (within myself and the industry) for a new challenge that allowed me to continue a trajectory of personal and professional growth. I found enablement, which was only just evolving as a function, and in the coming year invested personally and professionally in education and self development.

With the support of the executive team, I led the implementation of real enablement at Data#3 and the start of a global journey. I have been blessed to meet some wonderful enablement global small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) who I now call friends. Through my passion for helping others, it has now led me to my board position within the Sales Enablement Society (SES) and landing a dream job.

What are some of the key lessons you've learnt along the way?

Firstly, there is no 'I' in 'team', so by far you are only as good as the people around you – both personally and professionally. Every team member is individual, with unique skills and unique needs. As a manager and leader, collaborating and leveraging strengths is a powerful thing and hard to master, but the joy and success that it brings makes the process so worth it. 

Secondly, women don't necessarily get tapped on the shoulder in this industry to progress their careers proactively, so do your homework and have the courage to put your hand up, ask and back yourself. 

Thirdly, I'm also a big believer in speaking up (for yourself and others) if something isn't right. See something, say something. Again, have the courage to have a voice.

What are some of your professional ambitions in the months ahead?

Not just where we work but how we work has been completely reimagined in the past two years and I'm now with Slack where we are helping customers create their new digital HQ. Our growth has been phenomenal and so my ambition in the months ahead is to build out an enablement team in the Asia Pacific and Japan region to support the exponential growth of our thriving sales and success organisation. I'm totally energised to be surrounded by smart, humble, hardworking and collaborative people. 

Additionally, as a dedicated enablement practitioner, I'm personally looking forward to continuing my work on the SES board, helping to elevate enablement as a profession and support new talent. 

Who or what has influenced you professionally?

I have been blessed with many supportive managers, which shaped the manager I became. Every manager I have worked with or for has influenced me in some professional way, including the negative experiences. Those good and bad experiences always present opportunities for learning. I have made plenty of mistakes myself as a manager but often it's your own team who give you the best feedback, so they have certainly shaped me over the years. Feedback is definitely a gift if you are vulnerable enough to really hear it. 

I also learned to ask for help and seek mentorship from external sources and through this I have met and been influenced by some of our industries most successful enablement peers both domestically and globally. I am lucky to still be surrounded by these people today.


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