Thu, 17 November 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we’ve got the Monthly Retro for November.
Join us as we review the top product, community, and career content for November, and celebrate National French Toast Day.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation from our Monthly Retro.
The Learn MOAR Trailmix is still going. If you complete it before Nov 30, 2022, you’ll unlock a special community badge and be entered to win 1 of 5 Cert Vouchers—see the link and Learn MOAR page for all the details. Get up to speed with the upcoming release!
Blog highlights from November
MFA auto-enablement is coming on February 1st, 2023. You’ve still got a couple of months to prepare, so read this blog post and learn why it’s not as scary as you thought.
Video highlights from November
Jennifer Lee continues to crush it with the How I Solved It series. This month, she joins forces with CeCe Adams to tackle how admins can design a better user experience. Dynamic forms can do a lot of the heavy lifting—a significant improvement from the days of wading through page layouts just to add a field.
Podcast highlights from November
Gillian hopped on the pod with LeeAnne Rimel to talk about making your “Brag Book.” Having a place to record all your wins can be incredibly helpful, not just to grow your career but also to help those around you. We also had a fascinating conversation with Kathy Baxter and Rob Katz about data and AI ethics that you shouldn’t miss.
Just for fun
Mike and Gillian chat about a few things French to close out this episode. November 25th is National Parfait Day. A parfait, French for “perfect,” is a frozen dessert that has been around since 1894. November 28th is National French Toast day, so we thought we’d include a recipe to celebrate. Finally, in December, Gillian will be keynoting at French Touch Dreamin’.
Apple-Cinnamon French Toast
Make the topping by melting the butter and brown sugar in a pan, stirring frequently. Add apples and cinnamon. Stir to coat, then reduce heat and cook until apples are slightly tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, whisk together milk, eggs, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into a casserole dish. Soak bread in mix for 1 minute, turn and soak for 1 minute more. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add battered bread to pan. Add bread and cook until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Flip over and cook that side until golden brown. To serve, place bread on platter, cover with apples and sauce and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
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Full show transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins podcast in the November monthly retro for 2022. I'm your host, Mike Gerholdt, and in this episode we're going to review some of the top product, community, and careers content for November, plus anything else we find interesting. To help me do that, I'm joined by the very familiar voice of Gillian Bruce. Hey, Gillian.
Gillian Bruce: Hi Mike. Hi Mike. Good to be back with you on the pod. I like our little monthly tradition we've got.
Mike Gerholdt: We check in on each other.
Gillian Bruce: It's good.
Mike Gerholdt: It's a fun time.
Gillian Bruce: Good. November was a fun month.
Mike Gerholdt: It was. It was hot and it was cold. It was like a Katy Perry song, depending on where you lived in the US.
Gillian Bruce: Yes. Chaos. There was 70-degree weather in New York, and I've been quote-unquote "freezing" here in San Francisco at 50. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Literally, today when we're recording, the high at noon is 70. Tonight, 12 hours later at midnight, the low is going to be 31 in Iowa.
Gillian Bruce: Ouf!
Mike Gerholdt: How do you dress for that? Come on.
Gillian Bruce: You just stay inside.
Mike Gerholdt: That's my plan, and record podcasts. The other thing you could do, depending on when you're listening to this, if it's before November 30th, is you could go to our Learn More campaign and unlock the community badge for a chance to win one of five cert vouchers.
Gillian Bruce: It's so cool. It's cool to be able to win, possibly win a cert voucher, but the community badge is pretty awesome. Those are one-time deals.
Mike Gerholdt: Like the Trick or Trailhead badge.
Gillian Bruce: Mm-hmm.
Mike Gerholdt: Oh shoot, I forgot to get mine. Well, anyway, link is in the show notes. You have until November 30th, so hop on it.
Gillian Bruce: Hop on it, and then you'll be totally prepared to make the most out of the winter release.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep.
Gillian Bruce: There you go. We also had a bunch of content.
Mike Gerholdt: We did. We did, a little bit of content. You know what? I'll start us off because I helped review this post from Tammy. So, want to put out, Tammy wrote a great post for admins on Get Ready for Multi-Factor Authentication and Plan for Auto-Enablement. Auto-enablement is coming February 1st.
Gillian Bruce: Still got a couple of months there to prepare.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep, but I think, I come back to this. You should read this post. It's not scary, and I say that, but I've gone through MFA at organizations. I also went through it in my personal life, like during the pandemic, one of my fondest memories was binge-watching all of Tiger King-
Gillian Bruce: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: And setting up MFA on all my accounts. I kid you not, I spent a Saturday doing that.
Gillian Bruce: That's amazing, Mike. I love that combination. Now, the biggest question is, did you wear any Tiger-King-appropriate apparel while you were setting up all of your MFA, and watching Tiger King?
Mike Gerholdt: No. I'll tell you why. I was too busy getting alerts from Instagram that somebody in Russia was trying to log in to my Instagram account.
Gillian Bruce: Well, hey, who doesn't want to be Mike Gerholdt?
Mike Gerholdt: Seriously, honestly, parody accounts. I need a verified check mark.
Gillian Bruce: Well, apparently anyone can buy one now.
Mike Gerholdt: Right. Yep.
Gillian Bruce: That's great. But yeah, MFA is super-important. That's a good reminder. I've done it a little bit for some of my personal stuff. I need to do it for the rest, so it's a good reminder. But yeah, MFA, it's coming. It's a real thing.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Get ready, everybody.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yeah, this is a good thing, seriously. You know what, Gillian? You and I both did a podcast-
Gillian Bruce: [inaudible].
Mike Gerholdt: So, let's start off with the podcast you did, because that was just most recently released.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I got our amazing teammate, LeeAnne Rimel, on the pod because we've been having a lot of discussions. It's the end of the year, and it's figuring out how to capture the work that you have done, and figuring out what work you're going to do in the next year. We actually talked about a concept that, Mike, you introduced to both of us, the brag book. So, the idea of how do you capture your work and your feedback throughout the year in one place, so that you can really explain and demonstrate the impact and the value that you added to the organization in your role.
Mike Gerholdt: Right.
Gillian Bruce: So, talking about that mind shift of a) it's not all about you, it's about the impact you have. Then b) understanding that capturing your feedback and sharing your accomplishments is not really the traditional brag. It's not like, "Hey, look how great I am!" No, it's look at the impact you're having and the value that you're adding.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: That's what helped LeeAnne get over the hump. It's been a shift for me too. So, it was a fun discussion.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. I will say... so, teaser... we have a cool podcast coming up in December. I'm not sure when it's going to come out. Where we talk about stress and anxiety. When I listened to this episode, it made me think of when you put this together and you accomplish something. I always kept that brag book deck open in a browser tab, because then it felt like I got to cross a finish line and cheer a little bit before I moved on. That was the thing that I always explain to LeeAnne, is, "I know you want to do the work, but like stop and celebrate what you're getting done."
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: I don't think we do that enough.
Gillian Bruce: Well, it's hard. I think everyone works in a pretty fast-paced environment, and so it's really hard to take a pause and be like, "Wait, no, that was really cool. Like, that's something special." So, yeah, I think to your point, having this as a way to, "No, no, like stop and think about how cool that was, that you just did that," is important.
Mike Gerholdt: I know. Listen to Gillian. The other episode we did, and this sounds very pedantic, but I am going to encourage people to listen to it because I enjoy talking with Kathy Baxter and Rob Katz, Data Ethics and AI for Admins. Sounds like a mouthful, but it really was eye-opening for me when we were recording the podcast, to look at just the shift of where things have come and where things are going.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. God, Kathy, I remember having Kathy on the podcast a while ago, and just my whole mindset being shifted about how to think about data and what it means. What it really means, other than what the data set actually is. Yeah, Mike, it was a great discussion. I really enjoyed listening to the pod too. Yeah, it makes you think about things a little differently. Just because you can get the data doesn't mean you should. Right?
Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Well, and what's it mean to be responsible for that data too.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, and it's a good podcast to sit down and take notes on a rainy day.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Probably not one you want to walk the dog with.
Gillian Bruce: You can't really multitask very well and pay attention-
Mike Gerholdt: No.
Gillian Bruce: ...to what's going on. There's a lot of really good diving deep.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, just to be honest.
Gillian Bruce: But yeah, it was a great pod, Mike. Good job with that one.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah, it was good. Jen, of course, leads the way in video. She is a face and a personality for video.
Gillian Bruce: She has got it down.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Another How I Solved It with Designing User Experience, A Better User Experience. I think this is always the thing that it's interesting for me, comes up every now and then, when new automation tools or new things come into the ecosystem. I think immediately as admins, we think, "How can we apply this to a business problem?" We forget that sometimes creating a new user is the most thing-involved task-listy job that we fail to automate.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and Cece, our amazing trailblazer that Jen features, is really good at... You know what? Hey, guess what, Mike? It ties into that Salesforce Admin Skills Kit, believe it or not. It's all about the designer's mindset skill.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep.
Gillian Bruce: So, really thinking about that experience, and Cece really epitomizes that. So, it's a great video. Everyone should definitely check it out.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep, and Dynamic Forms, which is-
Gillian Bruce: Yes.
Mike Gerholdt: ... something I've waited a long time for.
Gillian Bruce: I was going to say, Mike, do you remember the days, the before times, when we had no dynamic forms?
Mike Gerholdt: I remember the days when I used workflows-
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Record types, and page layouts, to mimic dynamic forms.
Gillian Bruce: How many page layouts did you have to create?
Mike Gerholdt: Billions. Billions. Billions. It was a full-ti... Oh my. You need to add a field? Hang on. That's a week. Why does it take you a week? I got so many page layouts I got to add it to.
Gillian Bruce: Exactly.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, man.
Mike Gerholdt: Yep. Yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Thank you, dynamic forms. Thank you. Thank you.
Mike Gerholdt: No kidding. Last month, I hope everybody enjoyed our discussion about apple cider and pumpkin spice. The tweet on that was fun.
Gillian Bruce: Oh, I think it was the most viral tweet we've had in a long time.
Mike Gerholdt: I know, and I was surprised how people were dialed up about pumpkin spice losing. I'm fine with it. Anyway.
Gillian Bruce: You're going to get them all activated again, Mike.
Mike Gerholdt: I know. All riled up.
Gillian Bruce: The pumpkin spice lovers are going to come after us.
Mike Gerholdt: I know. Yeah. Well, I won't reemerge until after fall when pumpkin spice goes away. That'll be my plan. Housekeeping note... and so fun discussion... we're going to take November 24th off, so there's no podcast that's going to come out, because the US holiday of Thanksgiving. We've done episodes on Thanksgiving that have been released, but I'll be honest, just nobody listens to them. So, we're going to give you the week off, but we will return the following week. Which is, I think, December 1st.
Gillian Bruce: I love a parfait day that leads into French Touch Dreamin. I think that was parfait, sir.
Mike Gerholdt: It was parfait, yeah.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. No, I'm really looking forward to it. I got invited to keynote at French Touch Dreamin, which is happening on December 1st in Paris. It's going to be really amazing to connect with the EMEA community. I haven't had a chance to do that since before the pandemic, honestly. So, it's going to be great to meet some new faces and reconnect with folks I haven't seen in so long. Hey, if you are inclined to go to Paris from December 1st, please come join us.
Mike Gerholdt: [inaudible].
Gillian Bruce: The registration is still open, yeah. Yeah, it should be really good times, and it's going to be a really fun keynote. It's going to be a little different than stuff that I've done in the past. So, just teaser, just teaser hanging out there. Come play with us in Paris.
Mike Gerholdt: I expect to find out things that you ate while you're there, because I promise they probably don't have French toast. They have something better.
Gillian Bruce: No, but they probably have parfaits. I don't know.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, parfaits are good. I like parfaits, to be honest.
Gillian Bruce: I definitely plan on consuming quite a bit of crepes.
Mike Gerholdt: Oh, crepes are really good. Oh, man.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, crepes. Definitely a fair amount of wine, because that's just, you have to.
Mike Gerholdt: [inaudible] French. It's in France.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Good pastry.
Mike Gerholdt: Savory crepe or sweet crepe?
Gillian Bruce: I am a sweet crepe person. I like maybe a little Nutella or just a little powdered sugar. Nothing too complicated.
Mike Gerholdt: All right.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. How about you?
Mike Gerholdt: Same. Strawberries.
Gillian Bruce: Oh yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Strawberries and powdered sugar. That's it.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: Go all day. I also like funnel cakes that way. Oh!
Gillian Bruce: I was going to say, it sounds very funnel-cake-like. Yeah.
Mike Gerholdt: It does. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Gillian Bruce: I love Mike on our retro pods. We always talk about food. It's great.
Mike Gerholdt: Imagine that, but also French Touch Dreamin and French toast.
Gillian Bruce: Yes. Oui, oui. Oui, oui.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yep.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, if anybody has fun French sayings that I need to know, please tell me, because I clearly do not speak French.
Mike Gerholdt: Or not know, Gillian, because I will say I'm really good at figuring out things you shouldn't say in Europe too.
Gillian Bruce: Right. Especially when you're up in front of a packed room-
Mike Gerholdt: A whole bunch of people.
Gillian Bruce: Delivering a presentation.
Mike Gerholdt: You learn.
Gillian Bruce: And you say something you think is going to play and be really funny, and people look at you like, "What did you just say?"
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Yep. The London admin user group knows that.
Gillian Bruce: Mm-hmm.
Mike Gerholdt: Anyway. Well, I'll include the apple cinnamon French toast recipe in the show notes, because it sounds amazing. Just flip over and cook that side until golden brown. To serve, place on a platter with apples and sauce. Mmm!
Gillian Bruce: I'm going to have to make that over the holidays. Just, it looks too good.
Mike Gerholdt: The main ingredients are sugar, butter, cinnamon, vanilla.
Gillian Bruce: Come on!
Mike Gerholdt: And apples. All of those taste good on apples, so we're good there.
Gillian Bruce: See, and this is a theme from the last pod, or was that two pods ago, when we talked about apples? Right?
Mike Gerholdt: We did, last one. I tried to stitch together... It's for you that I do this. The time spent creating a through-line, it's all consuming. [inaudible].
Gillian Bruce: I appreciate it, Mike.
Mike Gerholdt: And sometimes completely accidental, to be clear. If you want to learn about all things admin that we talked about in this episode, including the links to the blog, and the podcast, and the video, we will include those links in the show notes, and you can find them on admin.salesforce.com. You can also stay up to date with us on all things social for admins, including pumpkin spice or apple cider.
Thu, 10 November 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we bring on LeeAnne Rimel, Senior Director of Admin Evangelism at Salesforce, to share how you can build a “Brag Book” to capture your wins and successes.
Join us as we talk about why it’s so important to put all your successes in one place, how to get started, and how to feel comfortable talking about your accomplishments.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with LeeAnne Rimel.
What is a Brag Book?
“Imagine you’re getting ready for your end-of-year or end-of-quarter review with your boss,” LeeAnne says. It can be hard to remember what you were doing last month, let alone the last six months or last year.
“That’s where the Brag Book comes in,” LeeAnne says, “it’s a place to collect your wins, your accomplishments, your project completions, your accolades, or awards, or feedback, throughout the year.” By putting everything together as it happens to you, you’ll be ready whenever you need to talk about your career. “It’s one of those chances to do future you a favor.”
Building your bragging muscle
You need to get in the habit of saving positive feedback whenever you come across it, like building a muscle. When she first started her Brag Book, LeeAnne used a private slide deck with a slide for each project. Then she could simply drop in whatever she came across that was worth keeping, whether qualitative (like an appreciative YouTube comment) or quantitative (like attendance or adoption numbers).
These days, LeeAnne uses a private Slack channel with herself, with threads to organize everything into individual projects. “It doesn’t really matter where your bucket is,” she says, “pick your place, make it easy to get to, and then practice building it into your muscle memory.”
Shine a light on your collaborators
It can be hard to get into the mindset of bragging about your accomplishments. If you’re used to working behind the scenes, it might feel weird to step into the spotlight. “It’s really not about you, it’s about the work and the impact that it’s having,” LeeAnne says, “and it’s helpful for the people around you to know if that work is impactful or not, if that’s something they might be able to learn from for their own work, and if that information might influence decisions that are coming up for them.”
Nobody works in a silo. Even if you’re a solo admin, you have partners who help you succeed. Capturing the story of a successful project gives you a chance to not only talk about your work but also to shine a light on other people who deserve credit. Getting the opportunity to give those well-deserved kudos can make anyone feel like bragging.
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Full show transcript
Gillian Bruce: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast where we talk about product, community, and careers to help you be an awesome admin. I'm your host today, Gillian Bruce, and I am joined by the wonderful LeeAnne Rimel. Hi LeeAnne.
LeeAnne Rimel: Hi Gillian.
Gillian Bruce: Thank you for joining me. We are going to be talking about something that you posted on Twitter not too long ago as a thread and just took off and got a bunch of attention. And we're going to talk about this idea of creating a personal brag book. But before we get into all that, I want to set the context for our listeners. So admins, you're listening to this, it's getting towards the end of the year. You did a lot of great things this year, whether it was for your organization or for your personal career, and it's a really good time to think about all those contributions you made, all the work you did. And I know it's really hard sometimes to capture that work and then share that. It's one of the reasons we built the Salesforce admin skills kit to help try and give you some language around that. But I really wanted to get LeeAnne on the podcast today to talk really about how you can build this idea of a brag book to help you capture what you're doing, capture your wins and successes. So LeeAnne, can you give us an overview of what a brag book is?
LeeAnne Rimel: I sure can. So imagine you are getting ready for your end of year or end of quarter review with your boss or with your manager, or you are wrapping up a project, maybe a three month or six month project, and you're getting ready for your postmortem report to your team or your leadership. Or imagine your thinking about leveling up your career, whether that's applying for a job internally at your company, looking for jobs elsewhere, looking to go into that next role. Sometimes it can be really hard to sit there and say, "Okay, what did I do the last 12 months? What are all the things I did in the last three months?" A lot of us, especially Salesforce admins, are often moving really fast. We move really quickly through project, through work. People are working a lot.
Gillian Bruce: So one of the things that I think you hit on is that you're doing this throughout the year because like you said, I do the same thing. I'm like, "Cool, so what did I just spend the last nine months working on? I don't know, I think I did that." But your concept is capturing that in the moment. And so how do you capture it? What are you saving? Where does it live? Talk to me a little bit about how you approach that.
LeeAnne Rimel: So it's definitely a muscle that you build. It's this muscle that you build of constantly being aware of inputs in your environment, whether that's a feedback note, whether that's a great survey result, whether that's user adoption training that you had really high participation on, and all of your sales leaders were so happy about it because everyone used Salesforce after. So whatever it is, creating that muscle of, okay, I'm going to collect this somewhere. So, where you collect it is totally up to. So when Gillian and I both started doing this many years ago because our team leader Mike Gerholdt said, "You guys need to create brag books." And so we created brag books, and at the time we started them in, I think Google Slides, and this was not a beautiful automated solution. This was a place to put things.
Gillian Bruce: I think the idea of putting it somewhere that's really easy because I think for me, especially when we use the Google Slides, I've always felt this pressure to make it look pretty when I put it in, but the idea now... The private Slack channel's brilliant. I think now I need to start doing that because I literally just have a Quip doc where I just paste stuff and paste feedback, which has worked fine, but the Slack thing I think makes it even more accessible and easy. I love that. So that's a great tip and I think everybody uses Slack so it's super easy.
LeeAnne Rimel: I love private Slack channels. I also have a private Slack channel just for call notes, which I highly recommend as well. But yeah, private Slack channels are great, especially if you get comfortable with Slack Search and how to use Slack Search quickly because then you'll surface stuff just really fast when you're looking for things if you are trying to create a specific preso on here's what we learned with this project or this presentation.
Gillian Bruce: And one thing that I also want to address is some people might feel weird about the idea of bragging, right? Because it's not comfortable sometimes to talk about how great you are and all the great things that you do. But here's the thing, if you don't do it, no one is going to do it for you. And I know it might be uncomfortable, I think for some of us, myself included, this is not hard. This is a natural muscle that I have had since I was, I don't even know, able to walk and talk. But often when I talk about this or just in general sharing your accomplishments, I usually get people being like, "I don't know, that feels uncomfortable and weird," but you got to do it. And it's not all about you, you, you, how great you are. I think the biggest thing is focusing on the impact.
LeeAnne Rimel: I was really uncomfortable with it. I was super uncomfortable. I was like, "No, I do my work." My background is I've always had pretty technical roles and the mindset I had was very much, I do my work, I did my project, the work speaks for itself. And that's that. It was a mindset shift for me to think about... It's almost remove yourself from the equation like you're saying. Because I was like, "Oh, it feels weird to just sit and talk about a project I worked on, and the information's available. People could have watched the webinar if they were interested. So why do I need to talk about why it was great?" And I suffered from being just incredibly illogical. And there's a few things that helped me overcome that hurdle.
Gillian Bruce: 100%. And one thing that you said about helping, getting the feedback and sharing it with your peer groups to help them work better, it's also a way to shine light on others too, right? Because it's empathetic for your manager, it helps them understand all the great work you're doing, the impact you're having, but it's also a way to propel the work that other people you're working with are doing. Nobody works in a silo, so even if you're the only admin in your organization, you guarantee have partners. Maybe you got a super user who's just fantastic at helping you QA stuff. Maybe you've got an IT partner who is just always helping you figure out new ways to take advantage of different technologies or whatever. I mean, you've got partners that you work with, and so when you capture the story of a success, clearly it's work you did, but it's work that you did as a team.
LeeAnne Rimel: I want everyone to brag online about what they're doing. No, I think that's such an important part is it's not just about you and it's about amplifying others too. I'll say as someone who wasn't initially comfortable and had to learn to do this, definitely one of the on ramps. And one of, to this day, my very favorite Slack posts are the ones where I get to go through and itemize all the great contributions that happened on a project and all of the people who were involved with it and what their contributions were. And so I think definitely building that bragging habit, it's not just about you, it's also being able to, like you said, shine a light on others and also be good to work with. I think there's a piece too. A lot of people aren't amplified enough at work and maybe don't get as much visibility for projects that they're working on.
Gillian Bruce: 100%, that's the other piece of this, is what are the results of building the brag book and sharing it is that people are going to want to work with you. People are going to trust you, people are going to want to be associated with stuff that you're working on because you are projecting that you are successful and that you are collaborative. And I think that's a really, really important element as well. So all in all, create a brag book.
LeeAnne Rimel: And I know we're coming off on time, but I want to share one last piece because you mentioned something really important about that confidence and that mindset. And I think it's about how building a brag book and building this habit and this muscle of how do I amplify my work and how do I document and then amplify my work? is so important for our career growth. It's important for how our peers work with us and view us and view working with us, but it's also really important for how we view ourselves. So I'm a big proponent, I very much believe in some of these science based tools for how you can influence your mindset. And one of the ways positive thinking truly does make a difference, I think it does impact how you show up every day. And there's many, many blogs and many, many podcasts and books on this topic.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah, you got to be your own hype person sometimes, right? It's a good natural way to get that little boost of confidence and that yes, you can do this, you can do this. And I know we have talked on the podcast and in the admin community for many years about the idea of imposter syndrome and really owning your skills and your abilities and going for things that you typically wouldn't. Building a brag book, to your point, LeeAnne is a great way, it's an asset in that it helps you overcome some of that and deal with those feelings a little bit better.
LeeAnne Rimel: It is evidence that you're good at your job. It is documentation and evidence and quantitative and qualitative real feedback that you did a thing that was... Many of us are often doing new things at work. So maybe it was a new thing, maybe it was a thing you've been working on for a while. You did a thing and there was positive outcomes from it and you did a good job.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. I love that. Well, I'm sure we could actually probably keep talking about this for hours, I think we have actually talked about this for hours in the past, you and I LeeAnne, but I think we shared some really good stuff today. The idea's a brag book and then what were your three elements that help you overcome, get used to building the brag book muscle? It was what? Pop quiz, end of the podcast.
LeeAnne Rimel: I came up with it in the moment. I think one is, it's not about you. So de-center yourself from thinking about what it means to document accomplishments of the work you've been doing, which sounds weird, but it works.
Gillian Bruce: Yeah. Focus on the impact.
LeeAnne Rimel: Focus on the impact, yeah. And then the second is it's very helpful to your leadership team. It's something that your leadership probably needs you to do and wants you to do, whether or not they know to have asked you. Oh, and if there's any people leaders listening, tell your people to make a brag book. And then three is it's a chance to help your peers, your colleagues, because you're sharing things that worked and you're sharing maybe things that you all figured out on a project or things that had a significant positive impact. So it can maybe help people that you work without if they're trying to make a decision.
Gillian Bruce: And then people are going to want to play with you. They're going to want to work on stuff with you, so it's all good. Awesome. Well, leeAnne, thank you so much for joining us today on the podcast. I really appreciate you sharing, you bragging about your brag book skills.
LeeAnne Rimel: [inaudible].
Gillian Bruce: Awesome. Well, thank you so much.
LeeAnne Rimel: Thanks for having me.
Gillian Bruce: All thanks as always to LeeAnne for joining us on the podcast. I could talk to her forever. In fact, I do on a daily basis, if you couldn't tell. Really great discussion about how to create your own brag book. Hopefully you heard some things that help inspire you to capture your successes and the impact that you're having in the work that you do. And if you need any help with that, feel free to reach out to myself or LeeAnne, we will gladly help coach you on how to do that better. But I wanted to take a moment and make a shout out. Thank you to Mark Jones on Twitter who actually commented on LeeAnne's original thread about this saying, "Hey, this sounds like it'd make a good podcast. What do you think?" Well, thank you, Mark. We just made a podcast. I hope you like it.
Thu, 3 November 2022
Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast, we talk to Kathy Baxter, Principal Architect, and Rob Katz, VP of Product Management, both in the Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology at Salesforce.
Join us as we talk about data ethics, AI ethics, what it all means for admins, and why responsible AI and data management protect the bottom line.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Rob Katz and Kathy Baxter.
With great power comes great responsibility
We brought Rob and Kathy on the pod because they work in the Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology at Salesforce. They’re there to work on questions around data ethics and AI ethics. In practice, they set up systems and processes that make it as easy as possible to do the right thing and as difficult as possible to do the wrong thing.
While these issues are important to us here at Salesforce in terms of thinking about the platform we create, they’re also fundamental to everything you do as an admin. We become capable of more and more with each new release, but we have to make sure we use that power responsibly in a way that builds trust with customers.
Thinking through data ethics
So, what are data ethics? “They’re guideposts about the gathering, protection, and use of personally identifiable information,” Rob says. Many services these days use your data to deliver personalized experiences. It makes sense, however, that users should have some measure of control over how much information they’re sharing and transparency on how it’s being used. Data ethics is putting those principals into action. As Rob explains, it’s “applied privacy by design.”
This is important because, over the past few years, we’ve moved from a world of data scarcity to a world of data surplus. It’s become less about how we can get more data, and more about how we can get the right data. It’s all about decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio.
For example, if someone signs up for your birthday promotion, you may also end up with their birth year when all you needed was the month and day to send them a “happy birthday” email. And while that might not seem like such a big deal, it could inadvertently lead to some creepy behavior from your organization when you start segmenting your list by age, target them based on that information, and the customer doesn’t know how you know that about them. An understanding of data ethics helps you focus on only collecting the information you need, and make a decision about keeping it, restricting it, or discarding it when you’re finished.
How AI ethics enters the picture
You also have to think through how your automations and algorithms work within that framework, which is where AI ethics comes in. This comes down to asking questions to determine if you’re using data responsibly: Are you collecting data that is representative of everyone your AI system is going to impact? Did you get consent for collecting this information in the first place? If your AI makes money off of other people’s data, how do you pay them back fairly? “All of those things are necessary to create responsible AI that works for everyone,” Kathy says.
Even if regulations like the EU AI Act don’t apply to your industry, there is a good chance that you could lose revenue, customers, and employees if you aren’t thinking about data ethics and how to create AI responsibly. A recent DataRobot survey, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, found that 36% of companies had suffered losses due to AI bias in one or several algorithms. “Good, responsible AI is good business,” Kathy says.
Our guests also pointed us to some great resources you can go through right after listening to the podcast, including a Trailmix. This episode is absolutely jam-packed with smart people talking about important topics, so make sure to listen to the full episode.
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Full show transcript
Mike Gerholdt: Welcome to the Salesforce Admins Podcast, where we talk about product, community, and career to help you become an awesome admin. And this week we are taking the awesome level up a few notches, let me tell you. So we are at two guests on the pod and I'm excited for both of these. These people are so incredibly intelligent and thoughtful and I'm so glad they're in the world. Kathy Baxter, you may remember, she's a returning guest. She is the principal architect in the office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology here at Salesforce. And also joining us is Rob Katz, who is the VP of Product Management of the Office of Ethical and Humane Use of Technology.
Kathy Baxter: Thank you for having me.
Rob Katz: Thanks for having us.
Mike Gerholdt: It's great. Kathy, we've had you back. Rob, first time guest, longtime listener. I'll just say because that's like always the first thing people want to get out of the way when they're on a podcast. But that being said, I'm actually going to start off with you, Rob, because we're talking a whole lot about data ethics and data and ethical AI. But let's lay that first foundation and talk about data ethics. So can you start by telling us what you mean by that term data ethics?
Rob Katz: Sure. Thanks Mike, and thanks for having me. So I get this question a lot. What is data ethics? They're guideposts about the gathering, protection and use of personally identifiable information. So that's practically speaking about transparency and control over data that consumers that we share with companies and organizations about ourselves in return for personalized experiences. And when it comes to data ethics, more and more the onus is on an organization to handle data that they have about their stakeholders, whether those are consumers or other folks that they need to handle that data ethically, because we as users are overwhelmed with all these opt outs and privacy and preference centers and cookie consents. So data ethics in a nutshell is applied privacy by design.
Mike Gerholdt: Got you. Okay. Now before we jump into how that applies to Salesforce, Kathy, can you help us understand this in the context of AI?
Kathy Baxter: Absolutely. You can't have AI ethics without data ethics. Data ethics is the foundation. And in terms of AI, that includes making sure that you are collecting data that are representative of everyone that your AI system is going to impact. It also means getting consent. We've seen too many different AI models that are built on data that was simply scraped off the web. And whether it's an artist or a writer, that their content that may be protected under copyright or simply wasn't intended to be scraped and fueling an AI is indeed doing just that. And by scraping the data off the web, you're probably also capturing a whole lot of toxicity and bias.
Mike Gerholdt: So I started there because I think this is so fundamental. So for even people like me that have been in the ecosystem, we think of all of those different bots and ways that we used to, as you said, Kathy. I remember thinking and being in sales meetings with the sales managers like, "Well, how do we just scrape LinkedIn for a whole bunch of lead information?" So that leads me a little bit to talking in the context of Salesforce, but before we talk of the context of Salesforce, help me and everyone understand the office of ethical and humane use of technology, because that's where both of you sit. And to me it feels, wow, this is such an important part of what Salesforce is devoting it's time to. So help me understand that office's purpose. And that'll set the tone maybe for where we're headed today.
Rob Katz: Kathy, do you want to take that one? It's your Salesforce anniversary after all today.
Mike Gerholdt: Oh, it is. Congrats on your Salesforce anniversary or Salesforce anniversary as we call it.
Kathy Baxter: Yeah. Today is seven years. It's fantastic. One of the things that really attracted me to Salesforce in the first place was the company's stance on issues of social justice and pay equity and a recognition that we are part of the broader community and society. And what we create in the world isn't just about giving value back to shareholders, but it's what are we putting out in the world and our values of trust and customer success and equality and now sustainability. All of that has created a culture that when Marc announced that we would be an AI first company in 2016, and I started asking questions about ethics and how do we make sure that we are building our chat bots responsibly, that we don't create a chat bot that spews hate and disinformation. How do we make sure that we are giving our customers the tools they need to use our AI responsibly.
Mike Gerholdt: That's really good. So Rob, can you help us put that a little bit more into context? I think Kathy set you up there, but Salesforce as a company, we need to pay attention to this. There's also Salesforce as a platform.
Rob Katz: Absolutely. So as a platform, how are we building the platform and shipping it? And then how are we helping our ecosystem configure it in a way that it's easy to do the right thing and hard to do the wrong thing? And that is what Kathy and I do on a day-to-day basis with our technical teams and our product teams, our design teams, and increasingly with our systems integrators and ISV partners and folks on the app exchange and yes admins and data specialists and users. Because how the product and how the Salesforce platform is used as you know, is highly configurable. So let's work together to ensure that we're using it in line with these best practices and principles.
Mike Gerholdt: Totally makes sense. And I think for a lot of us, it's a big platform. Well, it's easy to think marketing and I think you actually use that. These opt out forms gathers a lot of data. So as we continue the fall from 30,000 feet, we know that data ethics is a good foundation. Let's set that tone for, I'm an admin sitting here listening to this, and I want to start good data ethics in my organization. Kathy, I'm going to get to you because then this is going to help me lead to building AI that's being ethical. What are some of the questions or some of the areas that the admin should start thinking about in terms of asking questions or red flags they should as they're building apps?
Rob Katz: So when it comes to data ethics, it's important to remember that Salesforce will build a single source of truth to help you connect with your customers. And you were talking about how the world has evolved and now the current state of the world in terms of data, I would argue has shifted. And we see that in statistics as we heard from Bret on the Dreamforce main stage in the keynote, Bret Taylor, the average company has 976 IT systems and their data are going to double again by 2026. So we have moved from a world of data scarcity where every single data point to go and scrape LinkedIn to get sales leads was a good idea in the past, because we were in a data scarcity world. We're now in a data surplus world and in a data surplus world, we as admins need to think a little differently.
Mike Gerholdt: I mean, free coffee, can't turn that down.
Rob Katz: Never. So I'm opting in, I'm saying, "Yeah. Love my free coffee, here's my email address, here's my birthday." Now the form, admin, we're setting up the form. What do you need there? You need month, you might need day if you want to do it specifically on that person's birthday. And the way you set it up typically would be.
Mike Gerholdt: Wait, hang on.
Rob Katz: Go ahead.
Mike Gerholdt: I'm an aggressive admin, why don't I put month a year?
Rob Katz: Well, so there you go. Well, now you know exactly how old I am and I'm not too particular about that. But when you bring in year, you don't need it for that birthday promotion. You just need month and day. When you bring year in, you've now captured data about somebody that can indicate how old they are. And as a result, when those data are later used for other things like segmentation of an ad audience or in a machine learning model, it can lead to potential age discrimination creeping in to the predictions that are made or to the segmentation that's created. And that is an application of data ethics. Take what you need, not what you can. Take what you need and you get a better signal to noise ratio and you can still deliver a great birthday promotion without needing to get their year.
Mike Gerholdt: It's just so ingrained that when you say, "Give me a date," it's month, day, year, or was it day, month, year in Europe because it's has how we're trained. Even the little calendar field, when you create a date field in Salesforce, it includes year, I think. So wow. Things to think about.
Kathy Baxter: And now the challenge with this, the corollary on AI ethics, if we want to do an analysis to see is there the potential of bias in my model on a protected group. Am I making bias decisions based on age? Because you might not have collected year, but maybe there's another proxy in there. For example, maybe the year you graduated college or the year you first started working, or how many years of industry experience you have. It's difficult to do fairness assessments if you don't have that data.
Mike Gerholdt: It's like we were meant to podcast together, Kathy, because I was literally turning to you to think of, so we're collecting this data and we're trying to do right, but now I want to turn some of our AI onto it. Marketing's asking me, "Well, help me understand if targeting these promotions on to maybe to Rob's point the day of their birthday versus just any day in that month is helping me. But one thing maybe I didn't pick up was that I'm picking up on year." So when we're building our ai, what are some things that we need to think about if maybe we're walking in and this data is already being collected?
Kathy Baxter: I think there are so many customers or companies that they really don't know, again, going back to Rob's point, there's so much data that they have. They don't even necessarily know all of the data that they have going back years, decades. And if they just are turning the bucket upside down and dumping all of this data into a model and telling AI, "Hey, find something for me." AI will find something for you. It could be spur correlations, it could be very biased patterns in your data. You don't know what you might get from it. So being exceedingly mindful about what are those variables that you are using.
Mike Gerholdt: So far, you've done a really good job of giving me examples that I feel aren't inside of a heavily regulated industry because I do feel like the awareness in regulated industries is there for things. But not every executive that an admin works for or takes requirements from is in a regulated industry. So how do we help them understand red flags, especially around building an ethical AI, Kathy?
Kathy Baxter: Yeah. I have heard unfortunately more than once from executives or admins at other companies say, "I'm not in a regulated industry or I'm not creating high risk AI that would fall under the definition that the proposed EU AI ACT has said will be regulated or has these additional requirements. So why should I care?" No one wants to make bias decisions but if an exec isn't convinced that they need to invest in responsible AI, especially in these difficult financial times where cutting costs and making sure that you make as much money as possible becomes really, really critical. It's going to be difficult for an admin to try to convince them that they should invest in this.
Mike Gerholdt: Well, my ears perked up and I think we've done... I feel bad because sometimes the podcast train runs over marketers a lot because we love to point fingers at the cookies, which by the way, kudos, whoever came up with that idea of calling it a cookie. But Rob, I would love because when we were talking about this podcast, you mentioned something that made me abrupt face and it's around some of our other industries like sales and service. Can you help me understand data ethics that maybe haven't peaked our interest? Because we're not thinking, well, marketers are collecting all this stuff with their forms and AI, but you brought up a few use cases around sales and service that I hadn't thought of.
Rob Katz: Well, thanks. So let's talk about field service technicians as an example. So someone's using Salesforce field service to manage their fleet of folks who are out there in the flesh doing field service appointments for customers, maybe servicing cable boxes, HVAC units, handling updates on security systems, installing new dishwashers, you name it. Well, what do you know about how those folks use data in order to do their jobs? Well, one thing they might have in the system is their next appointments gate code or key code for the building or something like that so that they can get in and do the work.
Mike Gerholdt: Wow. You're right. I hadn't actually thought of that. That does make me think about all those companies now that... I mean, my garage door has a code to it and there's been a few times I've had service people come by, "Well, just give me your code. Yeah, no, not going to do that because I mostly forget how to change the code and then you forget the code. But also I don't need it lingering around in your system."
Rob Katz: Exactly.
Mike Gerholdt: Exactly. Good point. Rob and Kathy, as we wrap up, we've literally scratched the surface on this. I think I've talked to both of you for a long time and I find all of this so compelling to understand because it's something that admins work with every single day and it's also expands the level of responsibility that we have. It's one more question to ask, but it's one more question in the right direction. And Kathy, as you pointed out of keeping customers and keeping employees, the one thing that I would ask for each of you, and I always bring this up to a lot of the people that I coach for presentations. So you're done listening to this podcast. Kathy, what is the next thing you would love for a Salesforce admin to do?
Kathy Baxter: I think there are a couple of really easy things that they can do. We have a white paper on ethical AI maturity model. This walks through how we actually stood up our ethical AI practice at Salesforce and I validated it with my peers at a number of other companies who have had similar ethical AI, responsible AI responsible innovation, insert your favorite name here practice. And they validated, yes. This also looks similar to how we stood up our practice. So that's something that a Salesforce admin or others at the company could take a look at and see how might we apply this to our company? We have a number of Trailheads and Trailmixes that we can put onto the episode description for them to check out.
Mike Gerholdt: Yeah. Rob, same question. So I'm an admin, I just finished this. I'm excited, I want to go dive in. What would be the first thing you would want me to do tomorrow?
Rob Katz: Ask yourself whether you can but whether you should when it comes to that field, when it comes to that new object, when it comes to how you're configuring those requirements that you got. And if you want to learn a little bit more practically and tactically about it from an ethical personalization and trusted marketing perspective, we will link to a Trailmix in the show notes that can give you some very specific do's and don'ts and suggestions. But for anyone, regardless of whether you're working on marketing or not, it's just because you can, doesn't mean you should. And in a world of data surplus, actually now less is more. And that is a new way to think about it that I hope is helpful.
Mike Gerholdt: Very helpful and I appreciate that. Kathy, it was great to have you back again as a guest. I hope we make this a little more frequent than every few years.
Kathy Baxter: Yes, I would like that very much.
Mike Gerholdt: And Rob, it was great to have you on. The virtual podcast door is always open, if you'd like to come back and help admins become better at data ethics, we would appreciate that.
Rob Katz: It was great to be here. And as a preview, we have a new feature coming out in the February release and I would love to talk about it with you on the podcast as we're getting closer.
Mike Gerholdt: I love that. When a guest puts you on the spot, that I got to book. So I guess we're going to book you now. Look for that episode coming out in February. It's going to be awesome. Don't know what it's going to be called but Rob will be the guest.
Rob Katz: Awesome. Thanks Mike.
Mike Gerholdt: Thank you both.
Direct download: Data_Ethics_and_AI_for_Admins_with_Rob_Katz_and_Kathy_Baxter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am PST