Life @ Cohesity | Martin Dunne on Creating a Culture of Learning

Martin DunneIn our Life@Cohesity series, we shine a light on the various ways Cohesians—what we like to call ourselves—create community, lead by doing, and exemplify our RADIO values in the work we do, both inside and outside our #LifeAtCohesity.

In this edition we sat down with Martin Dunne, Learning and Design Production Manager in Cork, Ireland, to learn how he solves problems through education, communicates with his team while keeping a positive attitude, and the importance of making personal time a priority.

Abandoned Castles and Michelin Star Restaurants

I live about 15 minutes from our Cork, Ireland office in a town called Blarney, which is world-famous for Blarney Castle, a structure that’s just about 600 years old and built on an eight-meter (26 ft.) cliff of rock. The castle’s also known for being home to the Blarney Stone, which according to folklore, bestows the gift of eloquence (the gift of gab) on those who kiss the stone. I cannot confirm nor deny this legend.

The people of Cork are known for our hearts and hospitality, as well as for our cuisine. We have some of the best eateries in the world, and there are multiple Michelin star restaurants throughout the city. Craft brewing is also starting to take off here. If you’re ever in town, I recommend KC’s for their famous King Creole, a chicken breast filet roasted in blackened Cajun spices, served in a hot pita with mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce, and chips. I also like Market Lane, an award-winning restaurant and bar in the heart of Cork’s city center.

Hanging with Zelda and Cooper

In an ideal world, I’d love to spend my weekends relaxing on a sunlit, marble patio somewhere in Italy, with an Aperol spritz in one hand and a slice of Neapolitan pizza in the other. Most weekends, though, I’m outdoors with my two dogs, both cockapoos: Zelda and Cooper. We do a lot of urban exploring in and around the beaches and abandoned castles here in Blarney. And as a visual artist, I am always shooting photos and videos, even outside of work. I especially enjoy drone photography as a way to capture some of the amazing aerial views around me.

Zelda and Cooper

Since I Was a Little Kid, I Wanted to Make Movies

In 2015, I moved to Canada with the sole purpose of creating movies. So here I was, in British Columbia, handing out 50 resumes a day with no response. Then one afternoon, while on Instagram, I reached out to a director from a production company in Vancouver, and somehow he agreed to meet me for coffee. While I was explaining my dreams and qualifications, he gave me a project. He said, “Edit this pilot episode for a TV series for me. I’ll give you one week to show me what you can do.” After three, 14-hour days of frantic editing, I showed him the edit and started working for him the following Monday (and for the next two years.)

In my first year there, I was a video editor for numerous TV commercials, working with brands like Best Buy, Toyo Tires, and Rocky Mountaineer. Then it happened; one year into the job, the director named me lead editor for a feature-length movie, 37-Teen, which was released on Amazon Prime. It literally was a dream come true.

Solving Problems Through Learning

I’m now coming up on my two-year anniversary at Cohesity, and in that time I’ve created training materials for customers, partners, and Cohesians. No two workdays are the same, but typically I’m partnering with various stakeholders at Cohesity to understand the needs of their learners and what problems we can solve through the use of eLearning content. We also look to create a learning experience that’s empowering, one that not only increases the individual’s skill set and overall job performance but also motivates them to always be continuously learning.

Of course, we’re always looking to innovate. The Cohesity Academy Team is currently investigating ways to incorporate artificial intelligence for voiceover technology into our eLearning. Stay tuned for more details about that!

Came for the Innovation—Staying Because I Feel Valued

No question, the innovative technology is what first drew me to Cohesity, but also, the company has such a fantastic reputation, both as a brand and as an employer. What keeps me here? The culture and the awesome people. Cohesity is very transparent, with clear company goals, and it’s obvious that they only hire and expect the very best. Everyone around me, especially the Cohesity Academy Team, wants to be here and understands that they’re making a real impact on the business. It’s such a highly collaborative environment, too, yet my colleagues all operate with a sense of ownership.

For me, I continue to stay at Cohesity because I truly feel valued as an employee, and I also appreciate all of the well-being programs that the company provides. I feel like they understand what their employees need, and get a real sense of belonging.

RADIO Value that Resonates Most

A lot of my job is about delivering content, and in order to successfully deliver, I also have to have a customer obsession. So those two values resonate with me. But even more so, I believe that having a positive attitude is an essential value in every aspect of life. Positive energy is contagious. It impacts the people around us and has the ability to completely change the dynamics of a situation. Being positive, I’ve found too, can actually help predict success. When you remove the negative from the equation and look at problems as challenges, the positive energy will help you and your team focus and reach a solution more quickly, with less stress and frustration. Positivity is also about encouraging and praising the people on your team, making time to celebrate the everyday wins, no matter how big or small.

I’m a Natural Born Storyteller

I love storytelling, and in my role, I have the pleasure of creating and sharing visual stories in the form of learning and training content. I’m also very passionate about creating and fostering a culture of learning. I am a believer in focusing on engagement by delivering what learners need and value. I love transforming complicated ideas and concepts into creative and compelling content. I believe when we create engaging and meaningful learning experiences, it will encourage people and enable continuous learning and development.

How I Get my Creative Juices Flowing

It’s amazing what a 20-minute walk can do for your wellbeing. If I’m feeling overwhelmed, I’ll grab the dogs and get outside to clear my head. When I return, I always feel less anxious, more focused, and more productive. Sometimes, too, a short walk can help get my creative juices flowing, which is super important for the kind of work that I do. A good friend of mine lives a few doors down, and we’ll often meet up for mid-day walks. It’s just a great way to take a mental break and recharge myself for the rest of the day.

My Call to Action

While my team will often get together at the Cork office for in-person meetings, many Cohesians across the globe are working remotely and rarely get the chance to connect face-to-face. For full and hybrid remote Cohesians, I encourage others to make time for personal touch points. Don’t be a lone wolf. Utilize the many channels in Slack to find other employees who share common interests. Take time to build connections. The company is filled with some amazing people, you just have to reach out and start a conversation.

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