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EVENT: Nottingham Salesforce Women in Tech | October

On October 9th from 2-5pm, we’ll be having our 5th Salesforce Women in Tech event! And as always, there will be four inspiring, wonderful, brilliant speakers there to share their knowledge and chat to us about their career journeys. Here’s a little bit about them…

Salesforce Women in Tech Nottingham

Rebena Sanghera

Derby College

Lecturer in Computing and a Microsoft Certified Educator

Rebena Sanghera is a Lecturer in Computing and a Microsoft Certified Educator who specialises in security and project management concepts. She builds blended, eLearning and classroom products with a focus on measurable behavioural outcomes and is currently converging computing and HR with her niche interest in eLearning compliance behaviours. She also works with individuals to develop their profiles using eLearning as a way of growing their professional brands.

Salesforce Women in Tech Nottingham

Jo Milton

Breadwinner

CFO/COO

An entrepreneur by nature, Jo has been involved in evaluating & financing companies or running companies since she left University. Her interests have always led her to continuous refinement and expansion of a business and its processes, and she thrives on making order out of chaos.

Jo is currently the CFO / COO of Breadwinner Integrations, which produces cloud-based integration software. Their principal integration tool is Breadwinner which integrates Salesforce and Xero. As well as her official title, she wears several other hats, as anyone at a fast-paced tech start-up inevitably does. Until recently, she’s been running four companies and has just sold one. 

Salesforce Women in Tech Nottingham

Arianne Donoghue

Edit

Associate Director – Digital Strategy

Arianne is Edit’s Associate Director of Digital Strategy, helping clients solve their business problems through marketing, technology and data. Having worked for some of the biggest search agencies in the country and client-side for the likes of Thomas Cook, Mamas & Papas, and icelolly.com, she’s at the forefront of what’s new within the industry. Arianne is involved with initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in digital and is a regular industry speaker at digital events across the country.

Salesforce Women in Tech Nottingham

Susan Hallam MBE

Hallam

Founder/CEO

With more than 30 years’ experience working in the digital industry, Susan Hallam is a leading influencer in the Internet world and a thought leader who inspires businesses to greater success through digital engagement. 

She is a practising digital marketing consultant, a public speaker, and Founder/CEO of Hallam —  one of the UK’s leading digital agencies.

As Chair of the Board of Nottingham’s Creative Quarter, Susan is committed to the growth of the city’s creative economy, and developing Nottingham’s reputation as a great place to live, learn, work, and invest.

Susan was awarded an MBE for services to entrepreneurship and innovation in the Queen’s Honors 2018. Also in 2018, Susan was named a BIMA 100 CEO & Leaders shaping the digital industry, and she was made a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing.

She is a Freeman of the City of London and a Trustee of Nottingham Castle. She is also a chartered member of CIM and CILIP. Born in the USA, Susan has resided in the UK since 1985.

Formerly a Senior Lecturer in Computing at Nottingham Trent University with a specialist interest in digital technologies, Susan also held senior digital marketing roles at BT and Capital One before establishing Hallam Internet in 1999. A Premier Google Partner, Hallam Internet employs more than 60 people who, under Susan’s leadership, provide a full range of digital marketing services to companies regionally, nationally, and internationally.  

Agenda

2:00 PM Welcome! We’ll kick off at 2pm with a short welcome from organiser Emily Malone.
2:10 PM ‘Elevating to Expert: Building eLearning to grow your brand’ — Rebena Sanghera Are you networking enough? Have you embedded SEO into your LinkedIn? All of that and more? More importantly, amongst all the noise, where can the key people perceive the value only you can bring? This talk focuses on how building eLearning products can aid your professional visibility and make your authentic self known to others. We’ll introduce a simple brand model for eLearning and review what it means to encapsulate your expertise and how through the creation of eLearning products, others can experience and see your value — even when you’re not there.
2:40 PM ‘Cut the Crap’ — Jo Milton When life just gets busier and more hectic, let’s look at the ways to prioritise, organise and ultimately make ourselves more efficient. We only get to live life once so nail everything. Make your work efficient and productive and enjoy your free time/ family time. Let’s look at ways we can make this happen. All this from the perspective of someone who runs four companies, has recently become a mother and just finished an 18 month home rebuild.
3:10 PM Break Tea, coffee, and Doughnotts!
3:30 PM ‘Driving Diversity & Success By Reframing Failure’ — Arianne Donoghue One of the (many) issues facing us in digital right now is a lack of diversity, including gender where recent stats estimate that only 26% of people working in our industry are women. Something that might be holding women back is a fear of failure and taking risks. In this session, Arianne will talk about how we should not be scared of failure, and why we should embrace it, using her own history of epic fails as a backdrop. She’ll also give actionable tips and advice to women who are early in their careers — about things they can do to gain confidence, build their networks and make their voices heard.
4:00 PM ‘From Start Up to Scale Up: My Entrepreneurial Journey’ — Susan Hallam Join Susan Hallam for a conversation where she explores her entrepreneurial journey from a business Start-Up to one of the UK’s leading high growth Scale-Up digital marketing agencies. With over 30 years’ experience in the digital marketing arena, Susan started Hallam nearly 20 years ago. In that time a great deal has changed, and Susan will share with us her entrepreneur’s journey — the highs, the lows and some lessons learned along the path to building one of the UK’s most successful digital marketing agencies. Susan and her team at Hallam have an enviable reputation for remaining at the forefront of a constantly changing industry and Susan will also offer some insight to future market developments before a Q&A discussion with the audience.
4:30 PM Giveaway, buffet food and drink! We’ll be doing a giveaway — Prize TBC. Sign up and tweet about it with the hashtag #SFWiTNotts for a chance to win! There will also be a free hot buffet and drinks to end the day. Stick around with us for a chat! We won’t close the doors until 7pm.

Sign up for your free spot here!

EVENT: Nottingham Salesforce Administrators’ Group | September

Welcoming you back from the Summer holidays is our September Salesforce Admin Group event! As usual, we’ve got an afternoon of fantastic speakers and the opportunity to network with like-minded Salesforce Professionals.

This month, we’ll have our first-ever keynote from Dave Thompson of Salesforce — who was so brilliant when we saw him at the Call & Contact Centre Expo, he received a standing ovation!

We’ve also got the lovely Emma Keeling from InterContinental Hotels coming to share their Salesforce user story. Emma is going to present her journey on Salesforce and how IHG use the platform, complete with a demo of their Salesforce Org.

Our third talk of the day is still to be confirmed, but we can reveal it is an awesome ISV. Paul will be announcing more about who this exciting speaker is later on. For now, check out the agenda below and sign up for your free spot here!

Oh, and as always, there will be a Doughnotts break and some hot food, drinks, and networking afterwards.

2:00 PMWelcomeWe’re aiming to start at 14:00… grab your seat and get comfy for an amazing afternoon of speakers!
2:10 PMObservations from 500 Contact Centre Visits over 28 Years! – Dave ThomsonDave will reflect on his last 28 years, working with contact centres all around the world. How have the challenges and role of the contact centre changed, as technologies and customer expectations have changed? What separates the good from the great? Who are the Trailblazers? And what are contact centres doing, to meet the challenges of the next decade?
3:00 PMNetworking BreakTake time to network with other Salesforce Customers, Salesforce Partners and Salesforce themselves over a cuppa and one of our legendary Doughnotts!
3:30 PMUser Story – IHGInterContinental Hotels owns several brands including Holiday Inn and Crown Plaza. Emma is a product manager and is going to present her journey on Salesforce and how IHG use the platform along with a demo of their Salesforce Org.
4:00 PMISV – To be announcedWe’re working hard to confirm our last slot — we’re just waiting for the ISV to confirm. You won’t want to miss it when you learn who they are!
4:30 PMFoodOur local catering supplier Mrs B’s will be cooking you a culinary delight; washed down with a selection of drinks before bringing the event to a close about 18:00.

Sign up for your FREE spot here!

The one where the team played LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® with Rebecca Godfrey

On Tuesday, the oe:gen team were joined by Rebecca Godfrey to partake in some LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. Why, you ask? Well, as our team is growing, we want to make sure everyone has a voice and is heard. We also want to make sure we can communicate and work as one team to achieve the same goals. And playing with LEGO®, turns out, is a great way to do that. 

We were greeted with three tables topped with big ol’ piles of multicoloured building blocks, where we sat in teams and excitedly awaited our instructions.  

The first was to demonstrate our LEGO® building-skills, and some of us were clearly better at it than others. I’m honestly not sure whether that’s because some of us have kids, or we’re just big kids ourselves. Rebecca asked us to each build a tower in under a minute, using only three colours.  

The result?  

Some of us took so much time building a solid, sturdy base that we didn’t have time to build the rest of the tower, some saw it purely as a height competition, and others (like me) just panicked and made some sort of vague tower chaos that would never feasibly work in real life.  

The point is that each tower was different. Everyone has different perspectives and ways of working, and when they’re all laid out on the table in front of you — albeit in the form of some wonky LEGO® towers — it really is eye-opening.  

Building our LEGO® skills 

Next, we had to learn how to use the blocks as metaphors for other things. For example, I had to describe my best friend using building blocks of various colours, which really wasn’t easy for me under the pressure of being timed and everyone giving me their undivided attention.

And I guess that says a lot about me! I prefer the time to be thoughtful before speaking, so there wasn’t any time to think about what I was about to say. But surprisingly, it actually came out alright in the end. I remember pointing at the green block and saying something about being ‘green with envy’ over my best friend’s sense of style. If you’re reading this, Karl, don’t let it get to your head… 

After this challenge, we practised telling stories with our creations. This is where we all had to build an image of something that makes us happy in life, and then tell the story of that using the blocks. Around the tables there were depictions of family, running, gardens, the seaside and more. 

After this, we were asked to build something that depicts what we’re most proud of achieving this year. With these builds, we went around the table one-by-one and each told our stories. This wasn’t only a great way to practice communicating in a storytelling way, we also learnt a lot about each other in the process. 

Building a business model… with LEGO®

After lunch, we started using these skills to build something a little bigger.  

Rebecca asked us where we want oe:gen to be in the year 2022, and what we can do as individuals to make sure this happens, so we each built something of our own to portray this. We then put our individual builds together to create one giant business model and told the story of that model to the rest of the team.

After this, we were asked what important behaviours we think we need to put into practice to achieve this. Our answers were written on post-it notes and stuck to the wall. With these, we did a dot-vote to see which resonated most with the team. The three with the most votes were then discussed to find our core team values.  

Our values 

  • Communication 
  • One Team 
  • Support.

Conclusion 

Through LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, we were able to practise important skills like active listening, creative thinking, and articulating ideas and values visually. Everyone had a voice, and everyone was heard. There wasn’t a single person who was excluded or who drifted in and out of the conversation. We were all engaged together.

This methodology not only helped us learn what’s important to each of us, but to use metaphors to articulate our shared values and goals. And we came out with actionable steps we can take to ensure we reach those goals!

We also had loads of fun while doing it. If someone told me a few years ago that I’d someday be walking into work to play with LEGO® with a team of people who basically felt like my extended-family, I’d have laughed my head off. As my colleague Mark so perfectly put it: “If Carlsberg did work days…”

What I learned at Nottingham’s Salesforce Women in Tech event

As the speakers were gradually being announced on social media, it was with ever-building excitement that I anticipated June’s Salesforce Women in Tech event. With topics such as imposter syndrome, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), self-belief and re-defining the idea of being professional, for me it was ticking all the boxes!

We had four incredible guest speakers covering a range of thought-provoking topics, with personal and professional experiences that in some cases really brought a tear to my eye! If you missed it, all I can say is… you really missed out! But don’t worry too much, as here’s a little recap of what we learned on the day.

Rebecca Godfrey – Thriving in the Face of the Imposter

I’ve heard nothing but great things about Rebecca from those who attended her previous LinkedIn Local event at the oe:gen offices — where she was a facilitator of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® — so I was super excited to see what she would bring to the table!

Rebecca is a very upbeat, confidant person. She started her talk by taking us back to a happy, joyful time at a festival where she was thinking about how great life was and how far she had come… great family, career, friends — living the dream!

However, all was not well on the inside and in reality, she was struggling with the life she’d made for herself. Rebecca got promoted and her responsibilities grew to 24/7 support with people constantly looking for advice. Taking long haul flights once or twice a month, making high impacting global decisions, upholding the relentless pressures of work — all while trying to juggle being a mum, a wife, a friend.

In fact, Rebecca had only taken one day off in eight months! With work taking over every waking moment of her days, she was starting to lose sight of herself.

It’s no surprise that the work-life-balance was simply not there and ever-depreciating. Feeling more and more out of her depth, she was becoming overwhelmed with self-doubt. Yet, she kept telling herself and others that she had to work!

Although I couldn’t relate to Rebecca’s exact experience, this could very easily have been me in previous job roles, and I think everyone in the audience could relate to some part, if not all of her story. She described feeling overwhelmed and out of her depth, worried someone would think she’s not that good at her job, and then Rebecca said it — she felt like an imposter; she felt like she was pretending to be good at her job and if someone were to lift the veil, they’d see her as the fraud she felt she was. And of course, this only made her work harder and longer to make sure the curtain didn’t slip! 

It wasn’t until her mother-in-law saw what was happening and intervened that Rebecca finally gave up and was diagnosed and signed off with stress and even after 7 weeks off work Rebecca was still not right, so still slightly in denial Rebecca went to see a specialist who told her that her brain is shutting down. Rebecca then had to accept professional help.

Rebecca went on to explain imposter syndrome, what it is and how it can affect people. Using statistics and studies and drawing on from her own personal experiences as an example, this talk gripped the whole audience. For years I have suffered from depression, and looking back I can see times when imposter syndrome has played a huge part in this cycle. And although I’ve developed ways and means of dealing with my condition, I found the honesty and openness of Rebecca’s talk not only welcoming but incredibly inspiring!

If you haven’t heard Rebecca’s talk on imposter syndrome (or any of her other talks!) then I strongly suggest that you do. It was a deeply moving and insightful talk that I believe everyone can relate to and learn from.

Elaine Grace – ‘Recalibrate to Great’ with neuro-linguistic programming

I’ve always found NLP fascinating, and I have a workbook at home that I dip in and out of from time to time, but I’ve never really stuck at it!

Elaine went on to explain NLP and how it is to achieve results by setting goals or looking at where you want to go. She guided us through how our brains file things away to stop us imploding (always a bonus I think!) and how our brains process day to day info and sorts them into categories such as:

  • Generalise
  • Delete — zero interest items
  • Distort — to fit our perception of reality based on our belief system.

She then went on to further discuss our perception; how this is based on our beliefs and where some of these deep-rooted beliefs have been imprinted on us from an early age.

An example of this is whenever our parents told us ‘don’t touch that, it will be hot’. However, we also test and push the boundaries based on reality. Some of us may touch it to see if it is actually hot, and some of us might just acknowledge that as fact without even testing it out.

Elaine then went on to dig a bit deeper into this and further explained the difference between being in ‘cause’ or ‘effect’. The individual belief systems that we have ultimately shape our reality. So a limited belief on what we can achieve will limit our goals and future decisions.

I can’t do that because…  I’ve not done it before.

I can’t do that because… I’ve been told it’s hard.

Elaine then went on to discuss goals! Who has any? Who feels goal-less? Who has put their goals on hold? With a show of hands from the audience, this got my brain ticking… what are my goals? What’s stopping me achieve them?

Using her experience with horses, Elaine went on to advise that if you want to move a horse forward, you sometimes have to approach it and push it from the side to get things moving. This is similar to how we can re engage our brains by using NLP! We can actually change the way that we deal with situations buy recreating a new path based on new beliefs.

Elaine continued to then give great advice on how you can make positive changes using NLP to achieve the goals you set yourself.

There were so many top tips and ideas running through my head that I was struggling to write them all down, and then the final question really blew my mind as it really hit home:

When it comes to having a goal what is the relationship you have with yourself?  Are you your own best friend or are you your own worst enemy?

There have been so many times I’ve talked myself out of things when, if I was giving myself the same support I do to a friend, I would possibly have handled it differently. It’s time to really start thinking about my own beliefs and setting and achieving some goals!

Kirsty Hulse — ‘The neuroscience of self-belief’

Kirsty brought tonnes of energy to the room with her talk ‘The science of self-belief’, where she spoke about why we fumble our words, forget what to say, or freeze. She comes from a very male-orientated environment and is now offering presentation training for women in order to try and level the playing field. Coming from the agricultural industry and having been to some very male-dominated events in the past, I can relate to that!

Kirsty did a survey on Twitter and out of 800 followers, 94% of people believe that confidence can hold them back. She realised that it wasn’t presentation training but confidence training that was needed. And this made her start looking into more and more research in order to apply it to her work to help others.

Kirsty then started looking at the Limbic System, which is the emotional centre of the brain that causes us to freeze, flight, or fright. The brain is constantly looking out for threats and fires up far more intensely than for other more relaxed situations.

When we feel nervous and the Limbic System fires, what happens?

  • Our ‘mind goes blank’
  • We stutter
  • Our words don’t come out
  • We start sweating
  • We can’t formulate ideas
  • We struggle to communicate exactly what we mean
  • We remember key points afterwards
  • … and much, much more.

This is the same if we make a mistake — we go into panic-mode by default. But Kirsty went on to reassure us that there are things we can do about it (phew!).

Re-enforcing some points raised by Elaine in the previous talk, we can hardwire new beliefs and recreate new habits enabling the growth mindset and turning I can’t do that into ‘I can’t do that yet…’

View the change you make as a test, so you can try it out and get comfortable with failure without putting pressure on yourself.

Kirsty went on to tell us about a personal experience where she had the opportunity to talk at a huge event of over 6000 people, but she wasn’t ready. She should have said no, but it was this huge dream of hers. So without planning it out and without enough time to prepare, she did it anyway. Fraught with tension, she blasted through the talk in record time, not even taking two-seconds for breath and… epically failed the talk.

Obviously, she was dreading the reviews, but they came back 50/50. Some were glowing and others were really bad, and it was at that moment she realized that she can’t win them all, which was a huge turning point for her.

One of the common things we all focus on is getting everyone on board with what you’re saying and making sure everyone likes you. But you don’t have to get everyone on board and not everyone will like you –  you just need to do your best!

Looking at a video on her first talk compared to one later and seeing the differences were astonishing. The first was defensive, self-critical, anticipating negative thoughts. The second one was confident, assured, knowing a quarter of the room will think she’s great and focusing on them.

Kirsty then went on to explain that nerves can be helpful as this increases attention. Also, what works for some, doesn’t work for others. For example, practising her talk in the morning made her lose her edge which meant that her talk wasn’t as good in the afternoon. However, this might help others. Own your nerves, it means that you care!

Kirsty left us with and what we need in order to be great speakers:

  1. Emotional regulation – Cortisol is the stress hormone
  2. Breath – controlling your breathing to keep yourself calm (power-posing can help with this)
  3. Social support – test your talks on friends and get their feedback first
  4. Laughter – don’t take life too seriously and learn from your mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over them.
  5. Be prepared – what do I want to work on? What do I want to do? What do I want to achieve? If we believe the situation is going to be stressful, we then react to it in that way.

Really powerful and impactful stuff from Kirsty, and with the offer of free confidence training in local areas! Who can say no to that?

Emma Watts — Leading as yourself

Emma started by talking to us about being professional. What does this mean? To a lot of people, this means being emotionless, acting serious, keeping private life private

This, I can totally relate to! I remember my mum taking me clothes shopping some years ago as I’d just been promoted to a senior management role and I needed to look ‘more professional’.

The fact I’d just been promoted based on my skillset but dressed in bright blue tights and boots that jangled (like a cowboy in a western film, but my work colleague’s at the time would say Christmas elf… either way I’ll take it!) all seemed to be totally irrelevant, it was all about the smart shoes and the knee-length fitted suit, apparently!

Emma went on to explain that by redefining professionalism, you must consider that between professional and private life there is a human element. And yet, some attitudes towards subordinates are not classed as unprofessional, when it should be!

Emma told us that you should be able to show up as yourself without fear of psychological abuse, and this is the highest success factor in working teams.

Emma then started looking at alternative ways of dealing with situations such as:

  • Leading by example – be accepting of others and they will be accepting of you.
  • Listening to others and really hearing what they have to say.
  • Junior roles don’t make a junior person.
  • Reframing the situation to find the opportunity – why do you not get on with your boss? What can you do differently to resolve the issue?
  • Centering (mindfully) – be grounded, feel your space, and feel yourself breathing into the centre of it. This is a calming effect and brings you to a place where you can react appropriately.
  • Social connection – talking about positives, going for a walking meeting, going for a coffee, laughing, eating lunch with people. These are all techniques to bring you back to being calmer and more productive.
  • Being yourself builds more trust, which means openness equals higher-performing teams.

Speaking openly and from experience, Emma gave us deeper advice for when we’re dealing with stressful situations. Some people can move into more traditional roles in order to gain control. However, by doing this, they lose sight of the team focus and might not get the results required both in the short and long term.

There is also a worry that people can become ‘too soft’ and won’t give too much feedback. However, by having an open and accepting forum, we’re able to be more likely to give feedback and more accepting about receiving feedback without judgment.

Emma concluded that to be high performing, we need a great and accepting working environment where we can be ourselves.

So all in all, what did I come away with?

My brain is going to have its work cut out in order to ensure it doesn’t implode with all this info.

I received so many good ideas and honestly wouldn’t know where to start. I absolutely loved the speakers, and although it was a total roller-coaster of emotions deep-diving into such thought-provoking stuff, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I really felt my heart and mind open to the idea that the world is really starting to change by the impact of people around me.

I have felt like the imposter, I have been the person filled with self-doubt, I have been the person trying to win over 100% of an impossible audience, and I have done it all wearing an ill-fitting suit and bad shoes all in an attempt to be ’the professional me’.

I’ve now got to a point that I do what I love, which makes me awesome at my job. And best of all, I’m working within a company that not only values my skills but promotes a totally ‘professional’ environment that also empowers me to be myself and perform to the absolute best of my ability. This is what every business out there should be looking to achieve!

Yet another massively inspiring day to add to the Salesforce Women in Tech collection. I seriously think I need to come armed with a bigger notepad and at least two weeks off to completely transform my way of thinking!

Thank you to all the guest speakers, you have truly been life-changing!

Next time…

If you did just miss the last event, don’t worry! oe:gen is always keen to share the knowledge, so keep an eye out for future events. The next Nottingham Salesforce Women in Tech event is on 9th October, so pencil it in your diary and keep an eye out for speaker announcements.

If you feel you could benefit from some free knowledge, or if you feel you have something to share, then make sure you join our next event or contact our lead organiser, Emily, right here. Sharing is caring and knowledge is power! And did I mention there are always DoughNotts?!

Notes from The Nottingham Digital Summit

Thanks to Hallam, this year’s Nottingham Digital Summit was even bigger and better than last year. Across not one, but three stages there were talks on thought leadership, customer experience, future trends, business management, creative campaigns, SEO and more.

So, after a full-on weekend walking around Glastonbury with inadequate footwear, I hobbled down to the Nottingham Playhouse to a) introduce myself back into civilisation and b) learn some useful stuff. And to no surprise, it was yet another awesome day full of practical advice and inspiration. Here are some of my notebook scribbles, translated.

Storytelling and future gazing — Billy Williams 

Very few businesses have zero digital presence these days, so it’s more important than ever to craft our digital services carefully and deliberately.  

Let’s go back to 2009 when the iPhone had only been around for two years, and Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Amazon had just started becoming Tech giants. They have a phrase in Silicon Valley: “Move fast and break things”. We’re increasingly learning from data and moving at such a fast rate. But with all this data, users become faceless, quantitative data points, and that affects our customer experiences.  

“The thing I have noticed is when the anecdotes and the data disagree, the anecdotes are usually right.”  

– Jeff Bezos 

Digital experiences are rapidly expanding and becoming more diverse. Billy’s example of this was Ikea’s virtual reality app — every part of that customer journey is digital. however, Billy still wanted that personal touch; he wanted to physically go into the Ikea store.  So, what do we do?

Borrow from the past and turn to storytelling 

“Advertising is about one thing, happiness”  

– Don Draper, Mad Men 

Everything in the advertising world of the 1950s and 1960s was about storytelling. We need to take from that and be more ‘user-centered’ and ‘emotionally-led’. We need to be thoughtful about emotive design instead of relying on just data-driven design.  

So how do we tell stories with our customer journey? 

Billy used the 90s TV show ‘Friends’ as his example of great storytelling, which might not be very high-brow, but each episode has a simple story arc that everything leads back to — will Ross and Rachel get together? 

The little touches matter, and each platform within your customer experience should have its own role and lead back to the underlying theme.  

Take Monzo, for example. They claim to be ‘The bank of the future’. Their whole experience is community-led, they make you the star of the show, and they provide engaging imagery like colourful graphical interfaces and emoji notifications. This isn’t anything like any other bank we know!

Why does this work? Because they know it’s the little things that make their customers smile — like sending a mobile notification with a Swedish flag and a hot dog emoji whenever they shop at Ikea. Billy’s conclusion is that digital storytelling can be an optimistic and more human approach to product development, and that we should all be doing it.  

SEO and UX teams, unite! – Ben Wood and Julio Taylor 

The second talk of the day was led by a Digital Director and Creative Director. These guys were discussing the dynamics of SEO and Design, showing us how UX teams and SEO teams don’t collaborate enough, and telling us why it’s important that we change this.  

With the introduction of Google’s Rankbrain, Google is now understanding search queries and measuring how people interact with search results. Specifically, it’s looking at: 

  • Organic click-through rate 
  • Dwell time 
  • Bounce rate 
  • Pogo-sticking 
https://backlinko.com/google-rankbrain-seo

So, SEO needs to consider UX design. And UX design also must adapt to this ever-changing human behaviour.  

Take Voice Search for example. These trends are conditioning users to discover and expect information faster. Design and SEO need to work together to create a great user experience that caters to this.  

Key takeaways? Work from the same brief, make your work visible, control your ego, and believe in the mission. 

The power of archetypal branding – Matt Davies 

Brand is the meaning people attach to you. But the problem here is that it seems out of your control. You need to manage your own branding; you need to create your meaning and own it. So what’s the best way to create meaning? Well, Matt Davies says it’s all in the stories we tell. 

Think back to when you were a child. How did you learn about and understand the world around you? Through stories, that’s how.  

Branding includes your culture, your product/services, your customer experience, and your marketing communications, so we need to have a strong story that feeds into each of these branding elements. Matt Davis says there are 3 key strategies here: 

  1. Know your customer story 
    Make the customer the hero of your story. 
  2. Know your archetypal character 
    Archetypes are a recognizable stereotype of a character in a story. For example, Harry Potter is the hero of his story, right?

    These archetypes help us to manage our meaning by telling better stories. According to Carl Jung, there are twelve archetypes, and Matt says we need to pick one of them for our branding.

    This is so we can be consistent throughout everything we do; picking too many archetypes, he says, can confuse people about who you are as a brand.
     
Image result for the 12 archetypes
https://conorneill.com/2018/04/21/understanding-personality-the-12-jungian-archetypes/

3. Live your story 
Finally, allow your story to flow through every part of your business. 

Why is this worth it? Well, just think of a Gucci handbag — functionally, its exactly the same as any other handbag. However, people are willing to pay much more for a handbag with their logo on as they identify with that meaning.

Recommended reading: The Hero and the Outlaw – Building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes by Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson 

Impero’s Cloud Journey – Nikki Annison 

Next up was Nikki Annison from Impero Software demonstrating how they created a fully-integrated campaign for their journey to the Cloud. They went with the four C’s of campaign success: coherence, consistency, continuity, and complementary. They also used Kotter’s 8 steps to change to really make an impact: 

https://www.kotterinc.com/8-steps-process-for-leading-change/

Impero came up with their desired action, communication objectives, and started getting their team, existing customers, and new businesses involved at an early stage. Everyone on the team was especially involved during the creative process.  

Before selling the benefits with conviction and evidence, they needed to create awareness. So to get people talking, they wanted to pick a fun theme as an analogy. As they were doing a big product launch, they decided to go with a movie premiere theme, and this underpinned the whole marketing campaign.  

And of course, they couldn’t have a movie launch without a trailer. Seriously, watch this — it’s utterly brilliant: 

Key takeaways: 

  • Consistency is key 
  • Involve everyone 
  • Track success and share 
  • Have fun! 

Lessons from working at Google – Robert Craven 

Robert kickstarted his talk with tremendous energy; energy that wasn’t initially reciprocated on such a hot, long day. But he tried again, asking the audience to cheer as if their favourite band had just come on stage at Glastonbury, and it worked.

This is probably the kind of energy that landed him a job at Google, and here’s what he says he learned while working there:

  • Mindset 
    Here, Robert talks about having a ‘can-do’ attitude and asking us what’s holding us back. We were then asked to think of one thing that holds us back every day and talk to the person next to us about it. Then, he noted that most of us would have started our sentence with ‘They, he, or she’ — putting the blame on someone else is something we as humans are really bloody good at doing. It’s never our fault, always ‘theirs’.  
     
    Secondly, he noted how Google uses this concept called ‘Moonshot Thinking’, which is basically thinking outside of the box, being bold and brave, and not being afraid to try new things and maybe mess up.  
     
  • Speed 
    Google moves twice as fast as everyone else. In fact, they don’t even bother with business plans for the year; all their plans are actually 12-week business plans. Robert says he never knew what he’d be doing next quarter. At Google, everything moves faster, everything happens quicker, they learn more in a shorter amount of time, and it makes things more exciting.  
     
  • Team 
    Psychological safety — it’s okay to take risks, it’s okay to be vulnerable in front of each other. 
     
    Dependability, structure and clarity — everyone knows what they’re responsible for and what they’re always supposed to be doing. 
     
    Meaning — each team member knows what they’re doing is worthwhile and that they’re each making an impact. 
     
  • OKRs 
    Google use Objectives and Key Results, which is a goal system that creates alignment and engagement around measurable goals. They’re usually frequently set, tracked and re-evaluated quarterly. The goal is to make sure everyone is constantly and consistently going in the same direction with clear priorities.  

Not only was this a huge day filled with some seriously impressive talks, but we also managed to raise an insane £18,047.21 for Samaritans with our tickets (plus more donations were made via Larry the unicorn on the day!).

Larry the unicorn Samaritans

I can’t wait for next year! What did you learn? Let us know in the comments below!

Ethical tech, responsible marketing and mental health

We’re pretty lucky, these days. Thanks to technology like Salesforce, we can analyse data, make predictions, and recommend actions based on in-depth data insights and machine learning. This means marketers can plan, produce, personalise, promote and overall perform better on a much bigger scale.

AI, hyper-personalisation and micro-targeting are already in full swing, affecting how we as brands interact with our audiences, and their potential to manipulate negative human emotions isn’t really understood yet, but it’s still a real concern.

One thing is for sure; AI is known to have the potential to produce outcomes that infringe on our human rights, damage our businesses, and hurt our society. So with these new powers comes a responsibility to do good things with them — we’ve all been given the chance to decide the path our industry will take as we move into the future of technology.

The truth is that technology can help or harm society, and it’s companies just like us, and just like Salesforce, who have the responsibility to make sure we put empathy, trust, and inclusivity first. In every ad, every email, and every marketing campaign, we need to consider our inherent human nature to be compassionate and vulnerable.

The race to capture human attention isn’t going away, but we can do this without capitalising on vulnerabilities.

Responsible Marketing

“There are two reasons people buy things… Those reasons are guilt and anxiety”

This depressing quote comes from Emotions Matter, a guide to Return on Ethics (ROE) by Phrasee. Here, CEO Parry Malm is quoting one of his first bosses, who believed that if a marketing campaign could summon these negative emotions in its audience, sales would follow. And although this strategy definitely feels like a dodgy way to do business, the sad truth, he says, is that it sometimes worked.

But we don’t have to use people’s negative human emotions to sell; the statistics are there. More and more, people are making their purchasing decisions with their morals and beliefs. Besides, you shouldn’t have to trick people into buying something. Not only is it exploiting instead of empowering, but it’s just lazy marketing.

The statistics

Nelson found that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for socially conscious brands, and this number moves to around 90% when you look at only millennials and Gen Z.

– ‘Emotions Matter: a guide to Return on Ethics (ROE)’ by Phrasee — quote from Amy Williams, Social Entrepreneur and Good-Loop founder

Consumers see human rights as a business imperative. 90% of consumers believe companies have a responsibility to improve the state of the world. 

– Salesforce Research, October 2018 

87% of consumers believe companies have a responsibility to advocate for human rights.

– Salesforce Research, October 2018 

72% of teens think they’re being manipulated by technology. They believe that tech companies manipulate users to spend more time on their devices.

– ‘How to Stop Technology From Destabilizing the World’ — Tristan Harris, Co-Founder of the Center for Humane Technology

93% of consumers are concerned about emerging technology’s potential to bring misinformation

– Salesforce Research, October 2018 

77% of consumers are concerned about emerging technology’s potential to bring increased/widened inequality.

– Salesforce Research, October 2018 

81% of consumers believe emerging tech can make a better place.

– Salesforce Research, October 2018

67% of consumers say that technology is neither good nor bad – how it’s used is what matters.

– Salesforce Research, October 2018

Smart tech with unplanned consequences

YouTube has an auto-play feature which will automatically schedule a related video for you after you’ve finished watching something. You can turn the auto-play feature off so you don’t end up falling down an endless ‘YouTube hole’ like I so often do, but it’ll still show you recommended videos based on what you’ve already shown an interest in. This is entirely chosen by the algorithm, which is amazing!

What wasn’t expected was the consequences this can result in. For example, one minute you could be a new mum or dad watching videos giving tips and sharing new parent experiences, and the next, the algorithm thinks: ‘here’s a video that will probably interest this person based around what they’ve watched before’. Before you know it, you’re being shown an anti-vaxxer video — which will then prompt the algorithm to show you other conspiracy videos.

Facebook has a similar problem with its algorithm for Suggested Groups; tenuously leading some people to far-right groups and hate speech. But it’s also making us experience something called ‘Learned Helplessness‘, where people are learning about big global human problems that they can’t do anything about on a much bigger scale. Really, it’s no wonder there’s a strong link between social media and mental health issues.

Technology at its worst, as certain experts like to remind us, can adversely affect our mental health. It can lead to feelings of isolation and depression, as well as negatively impacting our social skills, concentration levels, attention spans and sleep patterns; there’s an emotional risk.

– ‘Emotions Matter: Technology’s role in Mental Health’, in conversation with DR Fjola Helgadottir, PHD R.Psych

We as social media users need to change the way we’re raising awareness of world-issues from the negative ‘this is terrible, look at all the plastics polluting our oceans’ to the more positive message of ‘look, here’s the great thing being done about plastics in our oceans.’ This is obviously something we can’t enforce, but we can talk about and encourage. And I know I’m going to be more mindful about how my messaging affects people when sharing these issues in the future.

Snapchat also has photo filters which distort reality to create fun, silly selfies to share with your friends. The thing is, they also include heavily-used ‘beautification filters’ which edit and manipulate your natural facial features by giving you smoother skin, bigger lips, a smaller nose, higher cheekbones, a smaller jaw etc.  

Gigi Hadid using a Snapchat filer sourced from Inverse’s article ‘Plastic Surgeons Are Really Worried About “Snapchat Dysmorphia”‘

Worryingly, both young adults and teenagers, who are pretty much at the peak of discovering their self-identity, are using these filters, meaning Snapchat is — whether knowingly or not — profiting on one of our key vulnerabilities; body confidence and self-image.  

As Commissioner Sharon Bowen of Seneca Women states in ‘Ethical Responsibility in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, “just because you can go 120 miles per hour, doesn’t mean you should do so in a school zone.” 

Smart tech with a positive impact

However, there are loads of examples of how tech can be used to impact our mental health in a positive way. Dr Helgadottir, AI-Therapy Founder, has established Overcome Social Anxiety (OSA), which is a fully-automated treatment programme for social anxiety. And this, she says, has already treated people from over 30 countries.

FaceTime is another example of this. There’s nothing wrong with FaceTime; it’s positively impacted everyone. Especially those who work long hours away from home who want to feel close to their loved ones.

What can we do?

We need to start by looking at an honest appraisal of human nature. The next phase of our evolution is doing the uncomfortable thing and looking back at ourselves. And seeing that yes, we’re vulnerable to social validation. Yes, we’re vulnerable to magician’s tricks. And yes, we’re vulnerable to supercomputers. And yes, we’re vulnerable to algorithms that split-test 66,000 variations of toxicity or hate speech.

‘How to Stop Technology From Destabilizing the World’ — Tristan Harris, Co-Founder of the Center for Humane Technology

Honesty and transparency are key here. And we need to be thoughtful about our human vulnerabilities, but leverage our strengths and focus on the positives.  

In her article for Phrasee’s Ethical Marketing guide, ‘Market Differently: How does your marketing measure up for mental health?’, Bernadette Fallon goes through some guidelines for being sensitive and thoughtful in our marketing activities. We think they’re pretty spot on:

  1. Don’t make false claims 
  2. Don’t exaggerate facts or distort the truth
  3. Don’t promote messages that exploit your customer’s negative emotions (guilt, anxiety, anger etc.)
  4. Don’t use fear tactics
  5. Don’t conceal important information
  6. Don’t bad-mouth your rivals
  7. Don’t copy competitors
  8. Don’t be racist, sexist, ageist or fall foul of any other ‘ist
  9. Don’t exploit children
  10. Don’t spam your customers.

What Salesforce is doing

We know that technology is not inherently good or bad; it’s what we do with it that matters. And that’s why we’re making the ethical and humane use of technology a strategic focus at Salesforce.

– Mark Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce. 

Salesforce count trust, equality, and diversity among their core values, which are values we also share. They want to actively educate people to help them be a part of this conversation and think about ethical implications. Check out their ‘Ethics and Humane Use’ page right here.

Empower, don’t exploit

So the message is to empower, not exploit. Tech is moving at such a fast pace now, and its potential to positively or negatively impact society is only growing. But we mustn’t forget that we still have the power to use these new tools to create a respectful, positive experience for everyone. There’s a clear call for every business to introduce an Ethics Policy, and we’re working on ours right now.

My first month at oe:gen

It’s been one month since I started working at oe:gen, and this is what I have to say…

To date I’ve been very fortunate in my career progression, working within some great companies, engaging with great people and overcoming many challenges across multiple industries.

Leaving a company has always been a very positive experience for me. Each time I’ve decided to move on, it’s been on the basis that I’ve simply outgrown my position or require a more challenging environment to fully use my skillset and push myself forward. In either case, it’s always been on good terms with my employer and the old company’s doors have always been left hanging wide open should I ever want to return.

Starting a new job, however, is a totally different story. I’m no longer surrounded by people I‘ve known for years, no longer talking confidently about subjects I know inside and out. What systems are they using? What are their processes? Who are these people? What am I doing?!

Although it doesn’t normally take long for these fears to dissolve, the first few weeks in a new company can be tough, and on some occasions, I’ve found myself asking if it was too late to turn back!

oe:gen, on the other hand, was different. One month in and already I feel fully integrated, valued and my input respected. There have been no nerves, just a little self-doubt (I’m only human, after all), and only three outfits changes required on day one!

These are my top 5 reasons why…

They invest in developing their people

I’ve been at oe:gen for one month and I’ve already:

  • Attended a Salesforce Women in Tech event
  • Attended a Salesforce Administration User group
  • Attended two agile events
  • Received internal training on ‘guest speaking’
  • And have a program of events already mapped out for the months ahead.

This is more training in one month than a whole annual program in previous companies. Encouraging and providing these soft skills really shows oe:gen is committed to developing their team and investing to support the growth of the company. This also doesn’t cover the personal development plans that are carried out and reviewed every three months to make sure each person is achieving their own personal goals! 

The office

This might seem like an odd one, but I’ve always been envious when I see other companies’ Instagram posts of bean bag meeting rooms with their brightly coloured decor and popcorn makers. Well, not any more with the bright blue and yellow decor, whiteboard and blackboard walls, a foosball table, and on my second day being invited to a retro gaming lunchtime session… SAY WHAT?! I’m now ‘that person who works at that place’!

Not only is the office a bright, fun and inviting place to be, it’s also laid out in a way that encourages a free flow open environment. This means you can catch a quick relaxing meeting in the comfortable seating area or have a break while making a cup of tea looking over the living wall. You can even have two minutes thinking time while reviewing the inspirational wall of images submitted by each member of the team.

In one company, I wasn’t even allowed to have my kid’s first school photo on my desk due to it being a ‘distraction’, and yet now here I am with full access to the Spotify playlist. Get ready because here comes some old-school 1980’s hip hop!

The culture

Office culture… that’s a thing, right? Well, up until now I didn’t quite realise how important this was. From the team members to the biodegradable stationery, the oe:gen culture is the life force running through the veins of the company.

This not only sets the tone of the documents it produces, but also defines how the business is run, the message it sends out, who is working within the team, and who their customers are – going along the lines of “if you’re not a right fit, you’re not allowed in!”

Although the oe:gen team is equipped with an amazing set of skills, they also have to be a representative of the oe:gen culture. I’ve worked in companies where, although the IT department has adopted agile (or tried to) and is committed to improved change with open and honest communication, the rest of the company failed to also adopt the same culture. This means you’re constantly pushing water uphill, and no one wants to do that.

Culture also applies to the customer base; in order to have a healthy, long-lasting, productive relationship, our customers also must be the right fit. You can’t put a square peg in a round hole and expect everything to run smoothly. That’s not to say its oe:gen’s way or the highway – it’s about establishing a good fit and building a relationship and the shared agreement of how the projects are going to work, which turns the ‘ To whom it may concern’ emails to ‘Hey John, how was the camping trip?’

The people

The oe:gen team are more like a close-knit friendship group than work colleagues. They truly care about each other and have a supportive and inclusive ethos. For example, the development team have a concept of ‘swarming’, which isn’t something I’ve experienced in other workplaces.

‘Swarming’, for those of you (like me!) who don’t know, is when a particular development item is blocked or the developer has hit a creative road block. When this occurs, all the other Developers will put down tools (where possible), collectively ‘swarm’ together, review the item and help solve the problem or give some additional insight to support each other and remove the blockage… it’s brilliant!

The senior managers also sit amongst the team and encourage open and honest conversations. They have an open-door policy (possibly because there aren’t any!) and are all just as prepared to roll up their sleeves and dig in to help push projects to the deadline if needed.

Being truly valued

Having multicoloured hair, riding a motorbike and having visible tattoos can sometimes make me a target for pre-judgment, regardless of my technical ability or amazing personality! *wink*

In the past, I would always wash out any colour and cover up my tattoos, and this could sometimes span the whole of a probation period just to ensure that I don’t offend or scare someone within the company.

However, oe:gen accepted me for who I am and truly value the skillset and insights that I bring to the company, I was encouraged to speak up in meetings and my points and perspective were always considered. I was introduced to clients without hesitation and not judged on the clothes I wore or the colour of my hair, but encouraged to be myself, which make me feel truly valued.

I was really taken aback in my second week when Col, the project designer asked me to submit some of my own inspirational images to be included to the new kitchen table … instantly, I was made to feel a part of the building and part of the team and that my views and passions were important. It was a simple gesture that really made my day!

So, in summary…

When people ask me how I’m getting on, I can’t help but have a wide smile on my face and relay the above points.

I’m now working in a fun and exciting environment, a company culture that’s passionate about inspiring its highly skilled, inclusive people, with senior management fully investing in developing the whole team to ensure they’re providing the best possible outcomes for clients.

So, yeah! It’s not going too bad!

Upcoming event: Nottingham, UK Salesforce Women in Tech, June 5th

Next month we’re hosting another Salesforce Women in Tech event right here at the Nottingham Science Park, and we’re insanely excited.

It’s going to be a fun afternoon learning about overcoming imposter syndrome, recalibrating our minds with neuro-linguistic programming, self-belief, and authenticity in leadership.

What is Salesforce Women in Tech?

The Nottingham Salesforce Women in Tech group is powered by those who want to share their industry experiences, receive free career advice, close the diversity gap in Tech, and above all, support each other. 

Salesforce has Trailblazer Community groups located all over the world, and we’re the UK East Midlands one! Along with Salesforce Women in Tech, we also run a Salesforce Administrator’s Group, so if you’re a Salesforce user, check out our previous events here!

This is an all-inclusive event that aims to encourage, empower, and support those who want to thrive in their career. Anyone who wishes to learn some new skills or how they can help close the diversity gap in the technology industry is welcome. And to make it as accessible as possible to our community, this event is totally free to attend!

We’ll have four awesome speakers come to give some practical advice, share their stories, and spark ideas:

2pm — Welcome!

We’ll start with a short intro from myself.

2:10pm — ‘Thriving in the face of the imposter’, Rebecca Godfrey

Do you ever worry that your success is down to being in the right place at the right time, down to luck or down to some kind of mistake rather than being due to your own ability? Do you ever worry that one day your colleagues will realise that you are not as talented as they think you are?

This isn’t modesty, this is something a lot deeper. Imposter Syndrome is experienced by up to 70% of us at some point in our lives. It can prevent us from enjoying successes we have worked so hard to achieve and can really hold us back from realising our full potential. In this talk, Rebecca is going to take us through her own personal journey with imposter syndrome and how we can thrive in the face of the imposter!

Rebecca is the founder of Etheo, a Team & Leadership Transformation consultancy with a focus on the highly regulated technical industries.

Rebecca is a scientist by background having completed a PhD in Immunology at the University of Cambridge. Since leaving academic research, Rebecca’s career has given her the opportunity to build and develop a successful drug safety consultancy business, work with and lead colleagues from more than 90 countries, live and work abroad and lead organisations and groups in roles ranging from Company Director of a small consultancy to Global Head and Global Director roles in two of the world’s top 10 pharma companies.

Having thoroughly enjoyed a fruitful and successful career so far, in 2018 Rebecca took the leap to set up Etheo bringing her wealth of business experience, outstanding leadership skills, strategy and process development expertise and passion for meeting new challenges to support individuals and leaders build cohesive, high performing teams with a focus on operational excellence.

2:40pm — ‘Recalibrate to Great’ with neuro-linguistic programming, Elaine Grace

Imagine a world where your belief system responsible for how you experience life could be very closely likened to our modern world of tech. They are not too dissimilar and, just like we can update our apps and scan and deal with viruses in our tech systems, we can do just that with what our belief system is about ourselves, our environment and even our relationships.

Imagine what life could look like if you could reprogram your mind; if you could enter a new code of belief and set that program to run as your main operating system and… it was exactly as you had designed it?

Elaine is an NLP Master Coach who specialises in working with people to get them to train their mindset and brain to develop positive thoughts and habits that lead them to confidently take action to be the architect of their own reality. Join us to see how this is possible for everyone to benefit from and even make real changes in the very moment.

3:10pm — Break

Tea, coffee, and Doughnotts!

3:30pm — ‘The Neuroscience of self-belief’, Kirsty Hulse

What is happening in the brain when we stutter, stumble over our words or our mind goes blank? Why are we hardwired to perceive and avoid social threat? And how can we train our brain to be happier with risk and less afraid of failure? In this practical and inspiring talk, Kirsty will help us navigate these questions and provide tangible advice to improve our self-belief.

Kirsty Hulse is the Founder of Manyminds, a marketing agency working with clients such as Virgin Atlantic, Claire’s and IBM. For nearly ten years, she has travelled around the world speaking at conferences to audiences of thousands, and is a seasoned stand-up comic who ran a sold out one woman show at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe.

She has trained with ICF accredited Neuroleadership Institute, to apply the fundamentals of neuroscience to enable better conversations, grow self-belief and regulate nerves. She believes, passionately, that a recognised, empowered workforce improves collaboration, creativity and internal and external communication and recently founded Roar a confidence, communication and allies training company that levels the professional playing field for everyone.

4:00pm — ‘Leading as Yourself’, Emma Watts

In this talk, we’ll explore how to show up and lead as yourself, whatever your role may be. The workplace is changing rapidly, but often those at the top got there through adhering to an outdated set of rules around leadership, what it means, and who should do it. Is the corporate mindset fit for the modern world? Who created it? Who perpetuates it?

Working in tech as a woman has its own particular challenges which intersect with all of these questions. We’ll discuss what it means now to be ‘professional’, to lead, and to be yourself despite the pressure we might feel to be a different version of ourselves at work.

Emma is a certified Transformation Coach who heads up the team of Implementation Consultants at makepositive, a leading Platinum Salesforce partner. She’s also the founder of Many Measures, a private coaching practice for people who want to create success on their own terms.  

4:30pm — Giveaway, buffet food and drink!

We’ll be doing a giveaway! Sign up and tweet about it with the hashtag #SFWiTNotts for a chance to win some goodies! There will also be a free hot buffet and drinks to end the day. Stick around with us for a chat! We won’t close the doors until 6pm.

Sign up for free below! Spaces are filling up fast, so don’t miss out. With this line-up, you’ll be kicking yourself if you do.

Our top picks from the Summer ’19 Release for Users and Admins

Top picks for the Summer '19 released notes from Salesforce for users and admins

Our Head of Salesforce Development has been an absolute legend and highlighted some of the best new features for users and admins from the Summer ’19 release. Thanks, Mark!

Now, we’ve got to say that this release is in preview, so don’t make any purchase decisions based on these yet — make them instead based on the generally available products and features of Salesforce, yada yada yada. Got that? Awesome. Anyway, here they are!

Reinvent learning at your company with myTrailhead!

With the Summer ’19 release comes myTrailhead — a platform that lets you create, manage and publish your own modules and trails for your users. For example, say you need help onboarding new employees — you can create content that welcomes new employees and orients them to their job role and your company and design custom training programmes.

With the tools available through this release, you can format your content, add graphics and videos, create quizzes, create releases for them, and customise it based on your company’s unique brand colours and imagery.

myTrailhead is available to customers with Enterprise, Performance, or Unlimited editions for an extra cost. 

Zoom through related lists with Quick Filters

Now you can use quick filters in your related lists to find the data you’re looking for, dead fast. These are different from your bog-standard list view filters because they aren’t saved, persist only throughout your current session, and can’t be shared.

This applies to Lightning Experience in Essential, Group Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

Choose from two record view options

Now you have two default record page view options. One is the current view — now called Grouped view — and the new shiny view is called Full view. You can choose which view is best for you, but Full view displays all details and related lists on the same page, whereas Grouped view focuses on specifics by grouping information across tabs and columns.

How do you make use of this new feature, you ask? Well, if you’re already using Lightning Experience, you can change your org’s default record view in Setup.

If you turn on Lightning Experience after Summer ’19, however, you configure these settings in the Lightning Experience Transition Assistant before you switch on Lightning Experience, or in Setup after switching on Lightning Experience.

In Setup, enter Record Page Settings in the Quick Find box, and select Record Page Settings. 

Power up your Related Lists with Enhanced Related lists.

With new Enhanced Related lists, you can show up to 20 columns, resize and sort your columns, perform mass actions, and wrap text. To take your related lists to the next level, select Enhanced List from the ‘Related List Type’ dropdown via the Related Lists component in Lightning App Builder. Here, you can customise how many records to display at once and choose whether to show the list view action bar.

Choosing Enhanced List affects all related lists in the component. To customise which columns appear in a particular Related List, edit the Related List in the page layout editor and add more fields.

This change applies to Lightning Experience in Essential, Group, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

More in item menus on the navigation bar

Salesforce have increased the number of recent items shown in item menus from three to five. They also made some styling enhancements, such as bold section names and separators, just so it’s a little easier to tell the difference between sections. This means an object’s item menu now displays up to five times each in the Favourites, Recent Records, and Recent lists sections.

This applies to Lightning Experience in Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

Find what you need fast with search results that reflect how you navigate

The items in an app’s navigation bar now help determine your top search results in Lightning Experience. And because your users can personalise an app’s navigation bar, they have more say in how they search in Lightning Experience. This applies to Lightning Experience in all editions and affects search results only for the app currently in use.

Access Lightning Experience from Safari on iPad devices (beta)

Now, users can run the full desktop version of Lightning Experience on their iPad device, which is handy for when they’re away from their desktop or laptop. In Setup, simply enter Lightning Experience in the Quick Find box, and then select Lightning Experience on iPad Browsers (Beta). 

This change applies to Lightning Experience in Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

It’s worth noting that Lightning Experience on iPad browser is a beta feature, meaning it’s a preview and isn’t part of the “services” under your master subscription agreement with Salesforce. Use this feature at your sole discretion and make your purchase decisions only on the basis of generally available products and features. Learn more here.

Keep Record Context When Switching from Salesforce Classic to Lightning Experience 

Spring ’19 has brought with it the ability to keep record context when switching over to Lightning Experience.

When you switch, you’ll land on the same page in Lightning Experience, if it exists. If the same page doesn’t exist in Lightning Experience, you’re redirected instead to your default landing page, whatever that may be set to in your org’s customisations.

This applies to Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Group, Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

New email template stuff: enhanced letterheads and images 

Want more consistent branding and compliance? With enhanced letterheads, you can now include header and footer info in Lightning email templates. You can also add images and global merge fields to letterheads and email templates to give your messaging that extra li’l something.

Here are the feature details, as described by Salesforce themselves:

Create Knowledge actions and Global Quick actions

You can now create an article from pretty much wherever you fancy. Simply choose Knowledge when you build global quick actions that create a record. Plus, new Knowledge-to-Knowledge lookup fields are now a thing, helping you make actions in the Buttons, Links, and Actions screen in the Object Manager.

This change applies to Lightning Experience only. Salesforce Knowledge is available in Essentials, Developer, and Unlimited editions, and for an additional cost in Professional, Performance, and Enterprise editions.

MORE lookup features for Lightning Knowledge

Create an article from a lookup while creating other records, and add article-to-article lookup fields so you can use a related list of articles and build even more types of article actions.

Have I said “article(s)” too much? Has it lost all meaning now?

This change applies to Lightning Experience only. Salesforce Knowledge is available in Essentials, Developer, and Unlimited editions, and for an additional cost in Professional, Performance, and Enterprise editions. 

  • Create master-detail relationships

This allows you to make use of Knowledge as the parent in a master-detail lookup relationship. Say you wanted to create a master-detail relationship between articles and the records in an article review custom object. Well, now you can. Then, you can create roll-up summaries from fields in the custom object.

  • Use Cascade-Delete with Knowledge

Cascade-delete is this new thing which removes related records in a lookup when articles are deleted. You can use this in lookups from custom objects to Knowledge.

If you wanted to, you could delete records from an article review custom object when the article version is deleted. Just bear in mind that lookups to Knowledge link to a specific article version, and if you publish an article and don’t use the option to Publish as a new version, the previously published version is deleted. Child records in a master-detail relationship using cascade-delete are therefore also deleted. 

  • Build Knowledge-to-Knowledge lookups

Now you can choose Knowledge as the target in a lookup field on the Knowledge object — just add the Knowledge related list to your page layouts. This change also lets you create new Knowledge record actions in the Buttons, Links, and Actions screen of the object manager, and create global quick actions with Knowledge. 

  • Create an article from the lookup while creating a related record 

When you create a record with a lookup to Knowledge, you can now choose to create an article from the lookup dropdown. And once you save the article, it’s linked to your new record. 

Evaluate each record in reports with row-level formulas (beta) 

If you need to answer business questions, you’ll sometimes need to make a calculation on every row in a report. For example, if you were to calculate the number of days between each opportunity’s created date and close date, you’d subtract the created date from the close date.

With row-level formulas, you don’t need to export report data to a spreadsheet or ask an admin to help you out with a one-off custom formula field — instead, you write a row-level formula directly into the Lightning report builder.

You can enable the row-level formulas beta feature from Setup. Just enter Reports in the Quick Find box, then click Reports and Dashboards Settings. Select Enable Row-Level Formulas (Lightning Experience Only) and click Save. 

Please note that this feature is in beta, so don’t go making any purchasing decisions based off this yet.

New Salesforce CMS (beta)

So CMS for Community Cloud has gotten even bigger and better, and is calling itself Salesforce CMS. Salesforce wanted to improve its usability and flexibility, so there are loads of new features.

Now you can share content across communities more easily and collaborate with local and regional teams on your projects. You can also create content outside of your communities in CMS workspaces, which has some lovely perks. You can also take advantage of role-based access to control who can author content and access settings.

Here are some reasons this is all a bit nice:

  • Assign content access with new contributor roles that don’t require administrative access to your communities. 
  • Create one or more CMS workspaces to organize your content and share it across multiple communities at once. 

Within your individual communities, you can also customise the experience for your users. 

  • Reuse content published from one or more CMS workspaces. 
  • Curate content into collections that automatically refresh as content changes. 
  • Reuse your existing CRM data, such as inventory, to help users find what they need. 
  • Connect to an external CMS to reuse content you already host elsewhere with CMS Connect. 

This is available automatically to all Community Cloud customers, so if you’re already one of those, check it out in the App Launcher!

Again, Salesforce CMS is a beta feature. Community admins, Salesforce admins, content managers, and content admins can access this beta feature in the Salesforce App Launcher and in the Content Management workspace of any community. You can provide feedback and suggestions for Salesforce CMS in the Community Cloud group in the Trailblazer Community. 

It’s available in Lightning Experience for Lightning communities in Enterprise, Essentials, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

Set up mass quick actions in Communities

You can set up mass quick actions in Communities now, same as in Lightning Experience. This means your customers can select up to 100 records in a list view and perform mass updates, rather than painstakingly updating records one at a time.

This applies to Lightning Communities accessed through Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Enterprise, Essentials, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions. 

Increase password complexity requirements for Communities

Salesforce have upped their security by offering a password complecity option that needs internal and external users to include at least three of the following characters in their passwords: one number, one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, and one special character (! ” # $ % & ‘ ( ) * + , – . / : ; < = > ? @ [ \ ] ^ _ ` { | } ~). 

This applies to Lightning and Salesforce Tabs + Visualforce communities accessed through Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Essentials, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

Analyse your automated business processes in Automation Home (beta)

Salesforce’s new Automation Home helps you with automated business processes. With it, you can:

  • Explore flow templates on AppExchange, or navigate to an automation tool.
  • Get a quick view of the most commonly used automation types.
  • See your org’s flow activity in charts, such as total errors and total started automations.
  • Learn how much time it’s taking users to complete screen flows, so you can optimize as needed. 

This change applies to Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic in Professional, Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited editions. 

Again, this is in beta, so you know what not to do…

Salesforce Surveys: free sending, customised email invites, and an improved UX

Now you can create surveys and send invitations for free, and only pay based on the number of responses you receive after the free allotment.
You no longer need a license to create and send surveys. Anyone who has been assigned one of the provided four profiles can create and send unlimited surveys for free.  Receive up to 300 survey responses for free. After the first 300, you can purchase an add-on response pack based on the number of responses you receive.

To help improve your response rates, you can also personalise your email invitations to participants. Plus, you can up the user experience of surveys and have more words to play with due to the increased character limit for questions, response choices, and participant comments. Mobile devices work well with these surveys too, meaning participants can fill them out on-the-go.

Path: Celebrate sales milestones with… confetti!

This one’s dead fun. Imagine celebratory confetti raining down on your screen whenever you win an opportunity. Yep, you can now help your teams celebrate their successes by throwing some virtual confetti whenever reps reach a designated path stage.

To set this up, in Setup, use the Quick Find box to find Path Settings. Then, enable Path and create or edit a Path.

I mean, it’s much better for the planet than throwing actual confetti, at least!

This applies to Lightning Experience and all versions of the mobile app in Essentials, Group, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.

So, as you can see there are lots of great new features to get your teeth into this Summer. What’s your favourite? Was there anything you were hoping for that isn’t in the Summer ’19 release? Let us know in the comments below!