As the leader of the CX 5essions events I had a unique vantage point in 2023 as I brought together 50+ leaders in community, CX, product, and support over the course of 14 events, for more than 30+ hours of conversation. I’d like to share the top 5 reflections for the year:
In the last quarter of 2023, I made a fundamental change to CX 5essions: I added product, experience, and support disciplines to the community folks that CX 5essions was founded around. And wow… what an amazingly positive change. Attendees have mentioned how great it is to connect with folks outside their daily routine. The quote of the year was “It’s great to have my brain scratched”.
Change management and community leadership
In nearly every 2023 event some form of frustration was voiced about how hard it *still* is to get organizations to take community seriously. We focused how community and product people alike need to focus on internal politicking , consensus building, and change management.
Health metrics vs. impact stories
Every event I’ve hosted to date (nearly 60) has included some amount of metrics conversation. But community health metrics in particular are particularly problematic. They both keep community teams myopic and also create surface area for friction from colleagues who want to use them as a reason to debate community program necessity. Sharing stories of impact, relative to the company’s core business goals is what we need to be looking at in 2024. And understanding that a key function in our roles as community/product people is change management.
Less fear, more fearlessness
Change can’t happen without action, and taking action can’t happen without fearlessness. If we want to move a community agenda forward or we want to get buy-in for a new product direction, we have to be fearless. We often hear the idea of “fail fast”, but I’m more interested in being fearless.
The role of AI in community management
At the start of 2023, this topic rarely came up. By the fall, it was taking up big chunks of conversation time. While there was general discussion about the opportunities that AI presents (and will continue to present) for experience teams, by far the bulk of the conversation focused on how to cool the jets of executives who are chomping at the bit to implement AI RIGHT FRIGGIN NOW.