Salesforce World Tour 2018 was a pretty special day for me – I was surprised with a Salesforce Golden Hoodie, after all! But it was also a reminder of just how important Trailblazers are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With disruption at our door, the world needs more people to be brave, champion innovation and change the course of history – it needs more Trailblazers. I believe we're all innovative in our own way but often don’t take that next step of putting our great ideas into action.

But, we’re in an age where people have to be thinking about the future and disrupting the status quo – and to achieve this, we need to be constantly learning. This is where Trailhead is such a great tool, helping us learn about all kinds of things. Just this morning I completed the IoT Basics module, so I could start thinking about how the Internet of Things could improve the customer experience at my organisation, QIC Global Real Estate.

Everything is moving faster and faster, and if businesses and individuals don’t embrace the change around us, the danger is we’ll be left behind.

Being a Trailblazer in your business

I understand it’s not an easy path to guide an organisation through change and lead up. It requires perseverance and patience. You need a solid understanding of what it is you want to achieve, to have any hope of selling the dream to stakeholders.

It’s absolutely critical that you understand and can articulate the metrics for success, and how the change will benefit your organisation.

The best bits of World Tour 2018

If I’m honest, the day of World Tour was such a blur. I met so many incredible people, I caught up with my Ohana and I had the honour of speaking in the keynote – receiving the Golden Hoodie topped off an incredible day.

There were so many highlights and learnings but these are the ones that stand out in particular:

  • Hearing in the keynote how 21st Century Fox is using Einstein Analytics to get smarter and more predictive about their customers. In fact, the entire keynote was amazing!

  • Meeting Salesforce executives from San Francisco, including Stephanie Buscemi (EVP of Product and Solutions Marketing), Peter Coffee (VP of Strategic Research) and Erica Kuhl (VP of Community).

  • Sitting on a panel with other amazing Trailblazers from around Australia and New Zealand talking about how we grew our careers with Trailhead – that was pretty special.

  • Learning more about myTrailhead, and how QICGRE can use it to create great educational experiences and learning journeys for our staff.

  • Co-hosting a campground session with my Women in Tech co-leaders Emily Hay and Emily Falk for the Women in Tech Community Groups – we had a crowd of 65 women, when we were only expecting a handful!

  • Hearing about the amazing transformation Starlight Children’s Foundation is undergoing, and the latest updates from Salesforce’s 1-1-1 pledge.

  • Meeting so many new, enthusiastic faces at the Women in Tech User Group networking event held the night before World Tour.

  • And, of course, becoming the proud owner of a Golden Hoodie!

 

The Golden Hoodie is a big thank you hug

It was really such an honour to receive the Golden Hoodie! I don’t come from a technical background and became an ‘accidental admin’, so at times I’ve felt like an imposter.

What I’ve lacked in technical expertise, I’ve made up for in the blood, sweat and tears put into making the Salesforce platform part of QICGRE’s success, and by being an active member of the Salesforce community. So to be recognised in this way by my Ohana is such a rewarding, overwhelming and amazing feeling – my Golden Hoodie is like a big thank you hug.

What’s also been really humbling is the number of people I don’t know who’ve reached out to offer their congratulations. My workplace, for one, has truly celebrated the acknowledgement, while other Golden Hoodie recipients have been quick to get in contact. I’ve even had someone share Golden Hoodie care instructions – because that’s very important!

Diversity is needed to manage disruption

One of the areas I’m incredibly passionate about is progressing diversity and equality in STEM. Diversity brings different thinking and innovation, and that’s exactly what businesses need if they’re to successfully manage disruption.

True equality is much broader than gender, but I think gender’s a good place for me to start making a difference. For the past 18 months, I’ve been co-leader of the Brisbane Women in Tech User Group with Emily Hay, playing an active role helping women grow their careers in technology. We cover everything from goal-setting and building strong mentoring relationships to the sharing of inspirational stories from other women in tech.

‘If she can see it, she can be it’ – there’s not enough female representation on boards and in leadership. Business needs to do better – we all need to do better. And I’m proud to be working on it.

A Trailblazer’s journey never ends

It’s been a big journey for me to get to this point – as I say in the video below, I’ve probably been trailblazing in a lot of aspects of my life without realising it.

Now I realise it, and I’m challenging myself every day. For me, 2018 is about continuously learning, and pushing Salesforce further within my organisation. I also want to earn a certification at Dreamforce this year, so I’m currently working towards that. And then, continuing to give back to the community that’s given me so much.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution needs Trailblazers! Learn how to blaze new trails to customer success by downloading the We Are All Trailblazers e-book. Or start your Trailblazing journey with Trailhead.  

Rebecca Aichholzer is National Commercial Manager at QIC Global Real Estate. She tweets at @bextabooo.