Dreamforce #DF14 – Relationships Always Matter Most
This year the spectacle that is Salesforce.com’s “Dreamforce” conference / hubbub / bizdev scrum / fiesta has reached new heights of both technology – and cultural – impact. It is one of the most important events all year for software and digital marketing people because it provides the chance for people usually at a distance to see each other in the real world and improve our personal and professional relationships with each other.
There as ample evidence of this theme in the names and featured content of the actual sessions this year, too. Fully 74 of the sessions listed included the word in the title or description.
Therefore, we thought we’d take that lens and apply it to our summary of the week.
We have the benefit of a first-person vantage point on Dreamforce this year. Our CEO Robi participated in a panel entitled “GROW OR DIE! From Idea to IPO: Fund and Grow your Startup“ which was part of the Startups @Dreamforce content track on Monday. Robi spent the remainder of the week there also — forming new relationships, renewing old ones, and generally observing the whole thing. What follows are some personal observations of his about how the theme of real, personal relationships struck a chord with him during the conference.
Direct Dispatches from @RGanguly at the ‘Relationships Festival’, #DF14:
- “The world needs dialog. Because dialog builds trust.” – Klaus Schwab, Founder @WEF #DF14
- “You have to sustain the community” – Klaus Schwab, Founder @WEF #DF14
- “You have to have face-to-face trust interactions and constant digital communication” – Klaus Schwab, Founder @WEF #DF14
- “The Leaders of Today need: Passion & Professionalism, Vision and Values, The Heart, and, these days strong nerves” – Klaus Schwab, Founder @WEF #DF14
- “At Dreamforce, ethics are as important as electronics” – @hillaryclinton #DF14
- “If you are not in dialog, if you are not communicating and building trust, you are not building relationships.” – @hillaryclinton #DF14
Hillary Clinton also shared stories of how leaders (FDR, Kennedy, Eisenhower) used to have time to recreate and think: human beings haven’t changed that much, but the scrutiny, the attention, the negative approach has created very difficult hurdles for those who want to serve and want to lead, to do so. Her point was that the media has intensified scrutiny over time, while the amount time spent reporting the actual news has dramatically shrunk. In discussing this, she made a point that I thought was particularly insightful and really something worth keeping in mind:
“Technology has put a higher premium on face-to-face meetings and encounters. To go to them. To listen to them in their settings. In unlikely settings. I don’t think there is any substitute to spending that time together.” – @HillaryClinton
For us, one of the key takeaways from Dreamforce is that it presents a chance for us all in this industry to remember what the words behind the acronym ‘CRM’ *really* mean. It is a moment in time when we should all recall that “Customers” matter most. When we can all remind ourselves that “Relationships” are what create the most value in business, as in life. Managing both requires not only powerful software, but a little time spent together – face to face – in the real world sometimes.