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Dreamforce Unpacked: 4 Ways Businesses Can Create Change

If you didn’t catch Dreamforce 2021, we’ve captured our top inspiring moments for business leaders to help you to start creating change.

It was clear from the moment Marc Benioff stepped out on stage that business leaders were being called upon to transcend the current trust, sustainability, inequality, and workforce crisis being felt across the globe. 

During Dreamforce we turned to some of the world’s most influential companies, such as GE Appliances, and thought-leaders, such as Time 100’s most influential, to provide business leaders with direction. And it all starts with becoming a Trustblazer.

1. Become a Trustblazer

In his keynote address, Salesforce Chair and CEO Marc Benioff called upon businesses and individuals to become Trustblazers. So, what exactly did he mean and how can becoming a Trustblazer create change? 

To start, a Trustblazer is an evolution of a Trailblazer, where a business looks at the current trust crisis and chooses to tackle it head on. And since business is the greatest platform for change, Benioff shared a look at the Trusted Enterprise playbook as a way for businesses to transcend the trust crisis and become a Trustblazer. You can dive into the full Trusted Enterprise episode on Salesforce+. Here are the highlights:

1. Trust

With 89% of customers saying how a company acts during a crisis demonstrates its trustworthiness, businesses need to reflect their core values in their actions to establish a foundation of trust with their customers. 

2. Customer First

With customers wanting more direct, trusted relationships, it’s no surprise that being a Trusted Enterprise means being customer first.

3. Digital HQ

“If Parker and I were starting Salesforce today, would we do it up at 1449 Montgomery Street, a few blocks away from here?” Benioff asked the San Francisco crowd. “Or would we have just stayed in our homes and set up at digital headquarters instead?” It’s a question worth thinking about, especially as digital headquarters start to become as important, if not more, than physical ones.

4. Health and Safety

Being a Trusted Enterprise means putting health and safety first. Dreamforce itself was an incredible example of this, with Benioff calling out testing procedures — some involving the mailing of q tips — required to make the in person aspect of the Dreamforce 2021 a reality.

5. Sustainability 

The last piece to the Trusted Enterprise playbook is all about doing good for the planet — because there is no planet B. Every company is going to have to pay attention to its carbon footprint and join the “Race to Zero,” where more companies commit to 1.5° Celsius science-based targets. 

“It’s why Salesforce built our Sustainability Cloud 2.0,” exclaimed Benioff. And that brings us onto our next point for business leaders.

2. Lean into sustainability technology and data

It was clear from the Sustainability Priorities in the Race to Net-Zero session that real change doesn’t come from the top down. Businesses need to democratise it within their organisation and make their mission and actions clear to their customers. 

But with 72% of people saying that emission reductions should factor into operations, and only 31% of people trusting businesses to do so, there is a huge trust gap. Which is why business leaders need to tap into technology to help close that gap and act on sustainability. 

To showcase how business can lean into technology Sustainability Cloud’s General Manager, Ari Alexander, spoke with GE Appliances and Telus Communications about their sustainability goals. Despite being from very different industries, they shared a common view: the importance of data that tools like Sustainability Cloud can provide about a company’s environmental impact.

“We’re hearing more and more about the circular economy, yet we have limited resources,” says Geoff Pegg, Director, Sustainability & Environment at Telus. “Businesses need to be concerned about this. To that end, one of the most important aspects is data. What are we learning and how can we leverage it? It’s why we partnered with Salesforce and Sustainability Cloud, so we can make the right decisions in respect to the circular economy.”

Viren Shah, Chief Digital Officer at GE Appliances agrees: “The future is about data. How do we use data collectively? That is the next frontier for sustainability. How do companies work together and use this data and information together in an ethical manner and help us become a better place?” 

To hear the full story with GE Appliances and Telus, and a demo of Sustainability Cloud, catch their session on Salesforce+.

3. Tap into a gold medal mindset

Have you ever wondered how Olympicans and elite athletes get to the highest level of their sports? Well Olympic gold-medalists Aly Raisman and Blake Leeper revealed all to Salesforce’s CMO Sarah Franklin.

For USA Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, she turned the saying “practice makes perfect” into her life motto. Not only did she practice every day, but she recorded herself so she could see where she nailed her technique and where it needed improvement.

But it was Paralympian Blake Leeper who provided the quote all business leaders and professionals need to live by: “Don’t ask ‘why me?’, ask ‘why not me?’.” By fostering the right mindset and figuring out how to make himself better, Leeper was able to reframe challenging situations into ones that he could overcome.

So, how do you tap into that gold medal mindset? Through structure, focus, determination and courage. Watch their powerful session on-demand on Salesforce+.

4. Make space for the generation of tomorrow

In one of the most inspiring panels on the Dreamforce stage, Eddie Ndopu, Human Rights Activist; Nice Nailantei Leng’ete, Global Ambassador Amref and TIME 100; and Kristy Drutman

Founder and Content Creator of Brown Girl Green, shared how Generation Z are determined to hold themselves and others accountable on society’s most pressing issues — and why business should make space for them if they too want to create change.

Leng’ete bravely shared her personal story on escaping the cut — the female genital mutilation ritual of her culture — and has gone on to advocate for girls and women rights around Kenya.  

“Girls are not seen as human beings — they are just seen as women. The future I want to see is one where girls have a voice,” Leng’ete shared. “But to change culture takes time. And you have to be prepared to talk less and give others more time to talk. You have to make space for all voices” 

Making sure that the right voices are heard was a common message to business leaders from each of the activists.

Having been frustrated with the storytelling on climate change, Drutman started Brown Girl Green to uplift the voices of climate change affected communities left out of mainstream media. “How are you going to come up with solutions [to global problems] if you don’t have the right people in the room?” Drutman asked. 

For Ndopu the words ‘possibility’ and ‘disability’ belong in the same sentence. “To tackle the biggest issues of our time we need to do so inclusively,” says Ndopu. “We need to pass the mic and amplify the voices of those who are the furthest behind.”  

Watch their moving discussion on The Next Normal Designed by the Next Generation in full on Salesforce+.

Watch all the inspiring and thought-provoking sessions on-demand on Salesforce+.

Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organizational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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