How does Goodman’s brand drive top-line growth and profitability? She’s infused this passion for learning into the culture. And that has been a differentiator, especially in a technology company in a fast-changing industry. “One of the things we got right, and I’ll take some modest credit for it, is we knew we were not our customer,” she says. “We [had to learn about them]. We couldn’t assume we knew what they needed—we had to ask them.”

The focus on learning helped the company evolve. People at the company thought about everything. They attracted people who resonated with that culture. When they decided to stop thinking of the organization as just a software company, they had to base its identity on customer ...

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