Sense Making

This page displays all posts on this site from the Sense Making category. This is pretty much a catch-all category that go beyond the two main categories which are Startup Innovation and Dharma Hacker – the essence of InnerVentures. Read this post for a little more on the skill of sense making.

Innovation is the why, change is the how Sunday, May 28, 2017 - There is a lot of talk about being more agile, responsive, lean, etc. These are all very worthwhile approaches. They all very often take a view on different ways of dealing with change starting with the need for change. The central theme to all of the above is very often that the pace of change […]
State of Customer Success – Learnings from Pulse 2017 Monday, May 22, 2017 - I attended Pulse 2017 in San Francisco a few weeks back, a three day event run by Gainsight, a vendor selling customer success software. A massive event for this nascent industry with over 4000 attendees. Gainsight is gaining traction and on the first day of the event they announced a new round of investment at $52M. […]
Role of the customer success manager Sunday, April 23, 2017 - This is pretty much an abridged description. I’m adding a few words to some of the headers in the diagram although I think they are pretty self explanatory. If you think I got anything wrong or missed anything let me know in a comment. I’m doing this because I think it will be useful in […]
Building user success managers Friday, March 31, 2017 - One of a customer success managers (CSM) main tasks with customers he or she works with is to build user success managers (USM). It’s not unlike the famous Intel Inside campaign that targeted end users of a technology component (microprocessors) through promotion of the PC in which it was used. The hero was the PC. Sales of personal […]
Technology alone is not enough Sunday, March 19, 2017 - As we approach a fourth transformation (according to Robert Scoble and Shel Israel it’s How Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything), we face some challenges and questions. Will machines master humans, especially in the work place? How will we coexist with machines that begin to outstrip our intelligence capabilities? What are humans uniquely positioned […]
Notes for system design Friday, March 10, 2017 - I was thinking, since I’ve done some work on a few systems, that I should capture some notes. Guidelines really since I plan to create a few more :) Here is an example of one system I recently created: Lean startup methodology applied to successful enterprise technology adoption So here are the notes in summary, in […]
The post robotic AI age and the role of creativity and innovation Sunday, February 12, 2017 - You’ve heard the news. Jobs will come under fire if not already so. Machines, robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI), are going to take over. The Matrix, Terminator, all those movies had it right. So is it time to start a resistance movement? What happens if it’s all true but the ending is not a tragic one. […]
Connecting customer advocates to drive product strategy and customer success Sunday, January 29, 2017 - I’ve written a lot about ways to scale success efforts but the best is always face to face. Events like customer meetups are a perfect way to bring customers together. I’m running these in EMEA for the company I work for currently. The context is enterprise technology. This is what I’ve learned so far and […]
Customer Success from the customer and vendor’s point of view Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - Just a quick doodle to capture this thought I had and a note to accompany it. Customer Success is the business I’m in. That is, the task of ensuring the customer of my technology platform (mostly this is what it concerns) is successful in the use of the platform. We both have an interest in […]
The feature / function trap of enterprise technology adoption Saturday, January 21, 2017 - Features and functions are easy to obsess over. They are tangible. You can click a button and it does something. Or not, at least not what you expect. And you can obsess about why not and what it should be doing. I’ve been included in countless enterprise technology adoption programs and find this the most […]
Lean startup methodology applied to successful enterprise technology adoption Saturday, January 14, 2017 - The Lean Startup isn’t just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business. It’s about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do. I imagine Lean Startup principles applied to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world’s great problems. It’s ultimately an answer to the question ‘How […]
Enterprise technology adoption – Use cases are the currency of success Saturday, January 7, 2017 - I work in customer success in the enterprise technology space and have written several posts on the activities required for the role – find them under the customer-success tag. This one is about the use case which I see as the currency of customer success management. A use case is a set of interactions between a […]
Launch like a boss – bringing consumer startup practice to your enterprise technology platform Monday, December 12, 2016 - The users of a technology platform inside an organisation are a peculiar, collective beast. They are very different to the masses of end users that are customers of a consumer product or service. They are also subject to very different forces than the free, open market subject’s consumers to. However, we can draw parallels and bring in comparisons and best practices from […]
Creators win in digital age Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - I discovered this new way of evaluating a company’s standing amongst competitors in this video over on HBR (and there is a follow-on link to a more detailed article worth reading): In the Digital Age, Physical Assets Are a Burden. It’s especially relevant to the digital age we are currently in. It places a premium […]
After robots and AI – intellectual capitalism where creativity and imagination thrive Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - I loved this video by Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science. Probably because it supports my hypotheses that creativity, imagination and innovation will be the high ground of organisational actualisation as work modernises. Check out my post on that here: The Modern Organisation’s Hierarchy of Needs. I also believe like he […]
Scaling your customer success efforts online – a guide Monday, November 7, 2016 - I mentor startups that go through Microsoft Accelerator’s London program. Because of recent experience I focus on customer success management practices and enterprise software startups, but not exclusively. I recently joined a startup (again) and here too I’m helping with building out a customer success practice. In all cases what often comes up is the […]
Can you outsource success? Sunday, October 16, 2016 - 3 minute read. I’m in the success business. I work at Percolate, a marketing technology startup. I help drive the successful use of our technology by customers. I’ve done the same in roles before this at Yammer and then Microsoft. Customer Success Management (CSM) is a pretty new role and function. It started with enterprise technology startups. It’s now applied […]
Digital Marketing Innovation Framework Thursday, July 28, 2016 - This post is in the Sense Making category for good reason. I’ve tried before to look at this space – check this LinkedIn post: Marketing Technology Solutions and the Digital Transformation Challenge. Unlike the article before, this attempt really has me stepping back and trying to form a view without too much influence from outside perspectives. […]
Five paradoxes to navigate when trying to reinvent your business Friday, July 8, 2016 - Often labelled change or transformation efforts (and there is some confusion about which is which: We Still Don’t Know the Difference Between Change and Transformation) there is little doubt organisation’s of all kind are under increasing pressure to keep pace with a rapidly shifting marketplace. I chose reinvention because it’s the more innovative and proactive […]
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — Pablo Picasso Find and share your gift by working out loud #wolweek 2016 Monday, June 6, 2016 - This is the first day of this year`s Working Out Loud Week #wolweek and Simon Terry has recommended to reflect about PURPOSE. First I was contemplating about the term “purpose” and what it exactly means in German. Is it more about intention, a goal, aim, only a task or it more about a higher meaningful purposeful goal with […]
Making sense of sensemaking Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - I see sense making as a bit of an art but also believe there is a science to it. At least to doing it well. I also believe we will have to get better at it since it will be one of the key skills of the 21st century (check out this article on a […]
Intrapreneur’s Playbook: Why dissent is good for your organisation and 10 ways to foment disruption Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - I work in an organisation and industry where a key mantra of work and of the value we offer to customers is (improved) collaboration. Central to this is effective teamwork and working like a network. I believe in this wholeheartedly with every fibre in my body since I have been working in this space for […]
The Modern Organisation’s Hierarchy of Needs Sunday, May 29, 2016 - This (doodle) started out as a fun way of framing the way the world of work is moving within a very established framework – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Each element in the hierarchy kind of speaks for itself. I added a few lines of elaboration for each below. Over time this post has become the most read […]
How to communicate and get what you need from decision makers Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - I learned of a technique in a training session given to Yammer Sales and Customer Success Management (CSM) staff in 2012. The technique adopts an approach for emailing someone, typically for the first time, that you are keen to get something from – essentially you would be cold calling them. We called the technique “the Hoff mail” after […]
Welcome and pointers Sunday, May 22, 2016 - @ragnarheil welcome to this site :) Just want to let you know that you can mention users in this site in the standard way using the @ symbol and user name. You should receive a notification from this post. And this way we can work together and out loud #workingoutloud :) As you can see […]
Working in a networked world – 10 rules to guide you Friday, May 13, 2016 - This is an old post from past blogs I’ve run that seemed to go down well and so I’m bringing over to this site to keep a record of and tagging them: #archive Consumers work this way already, they share what they learn about the product, service and company experiences they have every day so […]
Mondo growth hack strategy is simple and effective Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - Below is a screenshot of the app when you land and that is all you see until you get given access. To get access you have to get through a queue. I’ve explained what you need to do to get bumped up the queue. Simple. #newcool
Customer Success Management – Experience Hacking in the Subscription Age Sunday, April 10, 2016 - Having been a customer success manager and advising startups on the practice you would probably expect me to be trumpeting its value. You’d expect it from Gainsight too, the customer success company: Information Services, the Subscription Economy, and the Value of Customer Success. And what about the subscription economy itself – whats in that? According […]
Hackathons as a key intrapreneurial activity and route to innovation Friday, December 11, 2015 - In my time at Yammer first then Microsoft, I worked with customers to devise a program for running innovation hackathons. It considers more than just the 24 hour period typical for hackathons. The “pre” and “post” of hackathons is as important. Activity should start long before the 24 hour period and carry on long after. […]
Intrapreneurs: The New Corporate Innovation Brokers Friday, October 30, 2015 - A very quick doodle with some initial thinking that I’ll try and incorporate some elements of in the book – something around key attributes of an intrapreneur. Needs more work. #workingoutloud
Proposed outline for interviews Sunday, October 18, 2015 - This is some high level thinking on the types of interviewees being sought and questions that would be asked. The purpose is to gather feedback from practitioners that can be used in the trend report – more here. This is a work in progress and will change based on feedback (comments welcome :) and progress […]
@intrapreneurtrends < woohooooo love it,… Saturday, October 3, 2015 - @intrapreneurtrends < woohooooo love it, you can even @ mention users on this site (as long as they are users that have been created in this site, e.g. I cannot @ mention other users on Here I @ mentioned myself as a test. You can even use hashtags when you create a post as […]
Publishing in the conversations section of this site Friday, September 25, 2015 - This is what it looks like above but its only visible to users logged into the site. It’s awesomely flexible and super quick – it updates without having to refresh the page. Just like on Facebook for instance. It has some rich text options and you can add easily add images, links and code even. […]