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In order to succeed in the next decade, do companies need to have a purpose?

by Olive Huang  |  November 20, 2019  |  Comments Off on In order to succeed in the next decade, do companies need to have a purpose?

Back in 2013 I came to Dreamforce and wrote a blog "My Dreamforce as a Fish Market Theory". Then for the past six years I didn't come back to this event. It is a bloody long way to fly from Australia and Salesforce's local events in Sydney are just as informative. Coming back this year I am glad to report Dreamforce is still a fish market: bigger, louder and this time with trees. The event has grown so big that is choking downtown San Francisco. But the vibe and passion didn't change. Hollywood standard production, well rehearsed speakers, world class entertainment performance, wide range of topics - we are talking about the best of the best conference productions here.

Dreamforce 2019 showground

Dreamforce 2019 showground

What is quite different from 6 years ago, is how much time Salesforce spent during opening Keynote to explain its purpose - almost half of the time of the two hour keynote was spent on its economic and social impact delivered from income and job creations, veteran support, sustainable development, gender equality, and trust.

What amazes me in particular, are the speakers on the stage for the opening keynote. There are close to a dozen people coming to the stage to talk but I can't help noticing there are SO MANY female speakers, and from different ethnicity backgrounds. The keynote was finished by the very lovely Alicia Keys singing "This girl is on fire". This is no coincidence.  I just spoke for Gartner Symposium in Gold Coast three weeks ago as the only woman in the group of four opening keynote speakers. Knowing how hard it was for Gartner to make it happen, I think Salesforce is making some extraordinary effort here.

We can all be cynical sometimes that we say these large corporations have to look good in front of the society, therefore they stage this kind of equality in conferences. No doubt there is certain truth in it. But I am a believer if we set a goal, we have to keep talking about it with everyone else. Then we'll at least make more people understand it and have a chance to work on the goal. If we stop talking about it, it will never get done. Gender equality is no difference. Plus there are so many companies who do not give a damn about it.

Do companies need to have a purpose to succeed in the next decade? I'd say yes. 10 years ago no software companies needed a purpose and no customers ever cared. Today we are living in a very different world. Gartner research on cultural values shows Gen Z values "identity", "diversity" and "inclusion" more highly than any other older age groups. They will be 24 years old in 2020 and become our customers, partners and employees. Salesforce sets its purpose called "core values" in the sequence of trust, customer success, innovation and equality.  What is your company's purpose?


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Category: crm-software-industry  crm-strategy-and-customer-experience  crm-strategy-and-customer-experience-for-technical-professionals  customer-experience  

Tags: customer-experience  equality  gender  innovation  purpose  salesforce  trust  women-in-it  

Olive Huang
Research Director
1 years at Gartner
16 years IT Industry

Olive Huang is a Research Director in Gartner Research and is part of the company's CRM software research team. Her research area focuses on customer services and support, contact centers, CRM vendors and service providers, and CRM strategy and best practices in the Asia/Pacific region. Read Full Bio

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