Six months ago I accepted a position as European Creative Director for Salesforce Customer Experience Design (CXD), which is Salesforce.com‘s full service inhouse digital agency (from transformation through to fully custom branded solutions).
Before the epic Dreamforce 2014 hits me full on, I just want to take a pause and look back at my first 6 months at Salesforce. I can reveal it has been an incredible ride that I hope will just keep going and going.
Being part of the world’s most innovative company
While our CXD offering is well established in the States since 2011 it is less known here in Europe so part of my role is to bring it to our clients and educate the local industry and my peers many who have not even heard of Salesforce before.
However, I am representing the world’s most innovative company according to Forbes. Think about that statement for a second… would you introduce yourself as working for the world’s most innovative company? If you had asked me before I joined Salesforce I would have said “no”.
But things are different now I understand why and believe in it. Now it doesn’t sound presumptuous because I understand it is a 15 year journey with our customers that has earned us this recognition. As such it is quite humbling to say it out loud, but I can do it with confidence and trust.
Likewise, in the past I’ve always introduced myself as a Designer eventhough my titles have been more senior, but here at Salesforce I have become comfortable introducing myself as the Creative Director simply because our work, our expertise, our eco-system backs me up. I know we can deliver. We.
Nobody wins or loses alone
Salesforce is an incredibly fast moving company, leading from the front. Salesforce is also a people’s company. Not in the slogan or marketing, but at heart. One of the many ways this manifests itself is in the ethos “Nobody wins or loses alone” and I have experienced both.
There is not a single project we have successfully won or completed where I feel comfortable saying “I did it” because it would be a false statement. Every opportunity I get to do something good, somebody will step in to support me to make it even better. it’s always a team effort.
Likewise starting up a new team and introducing a new offering to the market, is full of challenges. But the few times something has threatened to throw toys out of the pram, colleagues have stepped in to support long before things actually left the pram.
The support here is like nothing like I have ever experienced before. It has the same family feel as a small design agency but with the power and specialist expertise of a massive organisation… and a speed faster than both.
The personal push
My direct manager, who runs Salesforce Services in EMEA, is a competitive full contact Irish guy. He constantly pushes me to think further ahead in business terms and at the same time incredibly supportive in making things happen.
I also have a strong dotted line to our global executive creative director, who is a classic pure creative type. He sets a very high standard for what he expects we deliver creatively. And rightly so. As Salesforce CXD we cannot fail, we cannot under-deliver, in fact we don’t even settle for delivering on brief. It has to go beyond for ourselves to consider it a success.
The combination of the vision of these two leaders; The expertise our talented colleagues bring; The clients who are looking for us to help them succeed as customer centric companies, the combination of all that is an incredible personal push for me. In a very short span of time my thinking have moved away from “let’s just hope we can deliver this project” to “Anything is possible. Everything is possible. Let’s go on this amazing journey with our customers”.
Right! Time to pack for Dreamforce 2014. So much to look forward to including these guys: