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InnerVentures in a doodle

I’ve taken a short break from work and as you do when you have time, I’ve been thinking. For one, about this site, it’s activities and it’s purpose. I thought I would try and capture it in this doodle (DanelDoodle actually), which is in itself a function of many aspects of this site and my activities. This is a good representation for now and this post contains all the categories I write about for that reason. A good baseline for future progression and supplement to my welcome post.

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Content Marketing 2020 – six things that work

Six of the things that I think work in terms of content marketing in 2020, captured in a DanelDoodle. This list is not exhaustive and the brief points for each are also not set in stone. Below is a brief additional paragraph on each.

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Deciding on business outcomes with Microsoft three clouds

click for larger view

With Microsoft where I work (disclosure) currently running several employee and partner related events (Ready and Inspire) with many new announcements, I felt the need for some sense making. This DanelDoodle (and Data Doodle) is the culmination of that. More in the breakdowns below.

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The new customer success partnerships

Customer Success teams in SaaS companies (mostly what I am focusing on here) probably like to think they are the spearhead for making customers successful (as the name suggests). In truth, its not that simple (is it ever).

First a little context on the two DanelDoodle’s I shared in this post. I use the Paper App (iOS) for my Doodles. They have a Paper Store where you can buy Workbooks. I purchased one on Data Doodling. Check out a video of the workbook. Basically it’s a set of instructions and practice steps for creating data doodles.

As part of the practice you create a mind map to break down a topic and then you start to define sources from that breakdown for your data doodle. So that is what you see in the two doodles. What a fun exercise it was and I plan to do more.

Now a few extra words about the subject. I chose it since I am a practicing professional in the space and wanted to explore some recent changes. As mentioned, Customer Success Managers will often take a lead in making customers successful. But since this is a relatively new role in many companies, it will often fall to other roles until CSM’s get up to speed. Even when they do, its a team game.

Mind map

In the mind map I tried to plot all of the functions that typically interface with the customer and even some that don’t normally, other than in some minor way. I also tried to add some new aspects to the typical roles and how they have evolved to work with customers. I’m not saying this mind map is in any way complete or even correct – it was done as part of the exercise and was a spontaneous process, no science.

Once you create the base mind map, you look to identify relationships that can be explored in the data doodle. These are the larger circles which I believe represent the old and new relationships working to serve customers.

Chart

I used one of the template charts from the work book and plotted a change in value the relationships were creating over time. These are then further categorised into new and old. The new and old reference does not imply that some partnerships are disappearing or will be replaced by other newer ones. And the trends are also a non scientific view I have, based on my experience in the customer success role since roughly 2012.

Things are definitely on the move and this view may not stand the test of time very long. Take Microsoft where I work (disclosure), we have just announced a major change in our Customer Success function. I cannot go into it but this public post by a long time and trusted Microsoft journalist at ZDNet gives some detail: Microsoft makes changes in its field sales, support groups as FY’21 begins.

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Metrics that matter in Customer Success

I had an interesting conversation on LinkedIn the other day. It was based on a retrospective view of the customer success profession which I had written about on the State of Customer Success in 2018 after attending a conference. I captured the essence of the conversation in a DanelDoodle and discuss briefly here.

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The reinvention of normal at work

There are key activities and those leading them at the heart of the changes happening at work as a result of the pandemic. Some are quick to adopt them and others not. Then there are those that will unfortunately not survive. Activities focus on events, remote work and learning.

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The innovation train and how best to lubricate the collaboration tracks

It has been almost 20 years since the birth of the social web and maybe a little less for the enterprise which caught up later. In this brave new world, especially in the enterprise, email was to be replaced in favour of tools that were simple, social and collaborative. I’ve been in the business all this time and it seems old habits die hard.

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Trying too hard and the art of letting go

Going with the flow has become a bit of a cliche but there is truth to it. One of it’s establishing principles is letting go. Another way of looking at it, as the philosophy of Wu Wei does, is as “effortless doing” or “action without action”.

Especially in these Corona Times where we have limited control, the inclination is to do more, be more productive, etc. Like pushing a piece of string, it’s sometimes futile and you are better off letting go. If you are working on or trying to do something and it’s not working, try some of these options, they are guaranteed to improve the situation.

Tips for letting go

  1. Get up and take a walk in as much green space as possible, e.g. forest or park.
  2. Take 10 deep breathes. Target 5 a minute, with breaks.
  3. Exercise vigorously for 20 minutes, ideally.
  4. Meditate for 20 minutes, 10 at a minimum.
  5. Go and do something out of the ordinary: help someone, do something you’re afraid of, take a cold shower.
  6. Sleep on it, at least one night, every day is day one and you can try again tomorrow..
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Behaviours of the post modern organisation

I’ve had the luxury of some time to think while in lockdown and created this DanelDoodle. In it, I’m looking not only at the post modern but also post COVID-19 organisation. And by modern organisation I am referring to what I captured here: The modern organisation’s hierarchy of needs.

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Zen and the right view of cloud technologies

On the path to the cloud, just as in life (as the Buddha would have us understand), one must submit our most cherished assumptions to rigorous questioning. We would make better decisions if we were clearer about the foundations of our own thinking. Cloud technology is a vast subject and this post tackles just a few assumptions, in the spirit of the DharmaHacker.

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Half life of information and necessary rate of learning

I’ve just recently completed a series of certifications and learning modules for work. This is in addition to the training we have to do every year. It’s a lot of learning and pretty challenging alongside your day job.

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