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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 PM Welcome We’re aiming to start at 14:00… grab your seat and get comfy for an amazing afternoon of speakers!
2:10 PM Observations from 500 Contact Centre Visits over 28 Years! – Dave Thomson Dave 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 PM Networking Break Take time to network with other Salesforce Customers, Salesforce Partners and Salesforce themselves over a cuppa and one of our legendary Doughnotts!
3:30 PM User Story – IHG InterContinental 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 PM ISV – To be announced We’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 PM Food Our 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…”

Here are 10 telltale signs your online community needs a revamp

Online communities are popping up on every digital street corner. From Facebook groups to Salesforce Communities, more businesses are bringing all their people together in one place to connect and engage with each other. Why? Because they know that in 2019, real relationships and human-to-human interaction are key to business success. By creating these online spaces, businesses are not only gaining better customer retention and loyalty, but they’re also getting mega insights into who their buyers are and their biggest challenges.

Read moreHere are 10 telltale signs your online community needs a revamp

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!

Is Salesforce right for your nonprofit?

Rallying donors, engaging with your community and hitting your fundraising targets isn’t easy when you’ve got hardly any time, resources or IT budget. And even if you were to install new technologies to help you overcome your everyday challenges, the chances are they won’t be tailored enough to suit your specific organisation’s needs. The struggle is most certainly real for nonprofits doing demanding, important work with limited resources. Could Salesforce be the answer?

Read moreIs Salesforce right for your nonprofit?

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.

Salesforce customer portals vs. Communities

Thinking of turning your old customer portal into to a Community? These days, Communities are the only available option from Salesforce. If you already own an old-school portal from way-back-when, Salesforce will kindly allow you to keep it alive. But before you get too excited by that, you might want to see what a new Community can do instead.

Read moreSalesforce customer portals vs. Communities

10 great tools for monitoring customer satisfaction

Being in the age of the empowered customer, we’re all increasingly expecting more convenient ways to solve our customer service issues. It’s a no-brainer — by making sure customer service is accessible to suit these expectations, businesses are more likely to build brand-loyalty and receive repeat purchases. That’s why there have been so many new and improved customer service tools popping up all over the place.
Here are 10 of the best tools for providing and measuring great customer experience.

Read more10 great tools for monitoring customer satisfaction