Do you currently manage a community?
It’s an interesting question. I build strategy, engagement plans and activation plans for countries all over the world and ask each country to build a community. I have to encourage, evangelize and help them understand the value of a community and once they see the value, I push them to give me a resource to help build the community. Right now we are in North America, (USA and Canada), Germany and France.
What career path brought you to where you are now?
I worked at Forrester Research for close to nine years with 40-50 IT and Vendor Management executives at any given time. My role there was understanding their goals, initiatives and connecting them to their peers. I also worked at FinancialForce.com w/ Nick, for a short time, as a Community Customer Success Manager. Nick is a great resource here on FeverBee and a great person to work with!
What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?
There are a lot of challenges, one being getting the buy-in of employees to engage in the community. I believe, because we have sold a certain way for so long, that customer facing employees have a hard time using and talking about the tools at their disposal. The company is an older company and have done things a certain way for a long time. The old saying “Changing the culture is very hard” is very true. We are getting there, but cultural change is not easy. Coming from my background, it is very hard to be patient. We are seeing progress, and that is good!
What’s the best job you ever had that wasn’t in community management and does it inform your CM work in any way?
One of the best jobs that I ever had was with Forrester Research. I spent close to nine years there and learned how to work with real businesses from a B2B standpoint. I think they prepared me for the business world in a sense. They helped me to better understand business strategy, goals, how business initiatives should correlate to business strategy and tons of other aspects of business. I got to work with big companies with people that were in a high place.
I had a chance to connect senior level executives to their peers on a daily basis, through face to face, email, phone calls and an online community. So, yes, it has informed my CM work in a big way.