Thought Leadership

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After dissolving the business I had started (more on that here: Birth of Enterprise Social) I continued using the brand to create a platform for thought leadership. I originally had some thoughts around thought leadership (funny that :) in an enterprise environment but decided to put it into practice for myself – see diagram for some quick notes on my thinking.

Essentially a blogging platform which I made available to a group of contributors and thought leaders. Mostly they were friends or colleagues who I knew were good writers and extremely knowledgable on the subject of enterprise social which we were all in at the time, i.e. social networking, innovation and collaboration in the enterprise.

I’ve added this project to the technology solutions category but it was much more than just about technology. We wrote about change management, culture, methodologies, etc. All of the things that make for the real success behind social technology adoption and implementation within the enterprise.

The platform I created was based on WordPress using a multi-author magazine site theme. The video shows different elements of the site:

  • Home page with aggregated content including featured and recent content filtered by category
  • A page to show authors / contributors and a sign up page if you wanted to become one
  • A landing page promoting specific events and activities linked to from an ad in the side bar of the site
  • A page with aggregated videos integrated from YouTube with automated updates every time you added videos to a playlist
  • WordPress admin view with calendar plugin to manage post scheduling and author contributions

Collaborative Workplaces

I’ve worked on several software product development, implementation and support projects (owned many too from a company owner point of view – more on that here: Birth of Enterprise Social). A lot of them have centred around supporting collaborative workspaces. That is to say the use of social technology platforms to facilitate collaboration, content creation and sharing.

As covered in the link page above, these were often based on either Confluence, the third party tool my company resold, customised and supported, or the platform we built ourselves and did the same for.

The link above has a lot of screenshots of some of the work we did for various customers based on either platform. Below you can see some screencasts of work we did for three customers based on Crowdflo, our own platform. In all cases they were extranets, that is to say, externally accessible web based collaboration platforms. They were used by the customer to support their enterprise customers in turn and provide a space for them to create profiles and connect with co-customers.

In all cases my company not only provided the platforms but also the training and support for our customers to support their customers in adopting the platforms.

Experience and Subscriptions

Customer Success Managers are the workhorses of the experience and subscription economy.

Born in the Software as a Service (SaaS) sector not that many years ago, customer success has become an indispensable function in small and large technology organisations that target mostly enterprise customers.

Getting to success is part art and science. The latter relies heavily on data – usage data and how it can be tracked and grown. Good methodology comes into it too. Success can be quantified through customers (or users) of a technology platform, using a platform and deriving value from it.

Usage is the currency of the customer success manager who in turn is the custodian of success.

Customer success management can be practised and perfected over time. Many activities can and should be automated but ultimately it is the skill and passion of the people delivering the service that makes the difference (the art).

I am writing a new trend report / eBook on the subject and have written a post that outlines the thinking and chapters: Customer experience, the subscription economy and 10 ways success teams will make you win

The approach is very much in sync with this success hacking approach I wrote about.

Below in the SlideShare deck is some of the early thinking that started all my efforts on the new trend report / eBook.

Since I’ve been in the customer success business since at least 2012 working in startups and large organisations, I also mentor around the practice. If you follow that link you will find the approach I take to scale maturity in customer success teams.