Stephen Knoll: My Journey to The Anti

Stephen Knoll: My Journey to The Anti

When I posted on LinkedIn that I had joined The Anti, I received many well-wishes from colleagues that I had worked with in the past. There was one, however, that I did not see posts or comments from. That colleague was someone that I have known since graduate school.

When I connected with them, the first thing they said was, “Wow, you’re actually going back into consulting?!?”. I responded in the affirmative. We talked about my days at Accenture and all the reasons that I had left consulting back then. Now, I think I need to let you know that I have had offers over the past several years to return to consulting, but it always seemed like it was never the right time or working with a product that felt was either at its peak or coming to its crest in terms of the number of customers I knew had already implemented and that scared me because of cyclical nature of focusing on one product.

In my opinion, ERPs and HCMs have had their time and while they certainly solve so many problems that organizations face, they don’t necessarily solve them all. They definitely serve a purpose and hold an important place within organizations, but they just can’t do it all. Over the past few years, the name ServiceNow had entered my consciousness and I began researching it. What I was amazed to learn was that it worked on so many areas that I have seen organizations struggle with in the past. ServiceNow provides a platform to build consequential solutions across an organization. Across the platform, you can solve for IT, Employees, and Customers. So much can be built in ServiceNow to create robust solutions that provide for better employee experiences. In many of the HR organizations that I have worked with, it seemed that we always strived to maintain Service Level Agreements in answering HR queries (benefits, payroll, employee relations, etc.,) but there was almost nothing that would hold us to meeting those SLAs. Most of the requests that we would get came via email, and chats (Teams/Slack) and try as you might to keep yourself organized (read Spreadsheets), it is no easy feat to maintain SLAs when you are not able to track when requests are received and, depending on the time of year, the sheer volume of those requests could have you waiving but not drowning. ServiceNow has created a product that addresses a number of these issues.

The HR/Employee suite of tools allows HR generalists, specialists and others to address incoming requests based on processes that run across the organization/year. It gives you a central location to post knowledge related to HR processes that so many organizations rely on a suite of tools to deliver. I have worked on HR teams where our tech-stack was so large that we had several applications that duplicated functionality and if we had a tool like ServiceNow we could have dropped many of them. Trying to manage SLAs and enforcing processes across several different applications is a nightmare. ServiceNow is a tool that modernizes the way HR is done and valued within organizations. Recent discussions in several channels make the argument that HR should have a seat at the table in the C-Suite because it is an integral part of the organization driving employee engagement and ensuring that we have the right people in the right place(s) at the right time. In the client meetings that I have been a part of here at The Anti, I have seen how organizations are powering their teams using ServiceNow and it is so impressive. It’s impossible not to see how much value ServiceNow brings to these companies, and I am so lucky and so excited to be a part of an organization that gets to do this very important work.

One of the other things that drove me away from consulting was the general attitude/ego so many consultants took with clients and customers. They (we) would descend on a client with an army of “experts” and tell the client how to run their business with this new tool, process, etc. It seemed like on many occasions that client ideas were discounted, and they were often just asked to sit back and let the team get the work done. There was a certain swagger that many of my colleagues had that they “knew it all” and there was little room for input. There was not a lot of room for being humble and shameless self-promotion on projects was what got you considered for the next level. That was never the route I took (and probably to my detriment) as I felt that work that did would and should shine through. When I spoke to the team at The Anti, I got the sense that they all embodied a different philosophy. Working here is about being humble; there are no egos and attitudes get checked at the door. I see it reflected in our team channels and in every single interaction I have had here. It is such an amazing feeling. Everyone helps everyone and this helps to create the team-first value where we all understand that your success leads to my success and vice versa. We solve our problems together and use our collective knowledge to create better solutions for The Anti and for our customers.

When I received my offer from The Anti, I was interviewing with a few other organizations. I phoned the recruiters to let them know that I found my next opportunity and that we should stop the process. In my first month with The Anti, I have never once had a doubt or a question that I made the right choice. The team here has created an organization that is welcoming, supportive and poised for a lot of success. Everyone embodies the core values of Team First, Humble, Innovative and Smart. I am blown away on a daily basis to see the team interact with each other to make our clients and customers more successful.