How did Wayne show up on day 1 already positioned to make a big impact?
When Wayne gave his three months notice to Google, it gave him a really unique opportunity to explore what it was like to interact with the WalkMe brand. He pretended to be a prospect. He tried to find out how he's going to be nurtured and how he's going to be spoken to by the company.
A Chief Customer Officer's job is to take it from the sales team when it's a new logo and then make it successful but actually, the relationship starts when the prospect first interacts with the brand. Wayne needed to know what experience the customer has had before they get to his organization because that might change the way he behaves with that customer.
Wayne was also able to emulate being a customer. He did all the things a customer would, to try to get a feel for the experience. He also hired a company called Thirdside to go interview everyone that had left in the last 12 months and they were able to identify eight common experiences that all the churned customers went through, and he called it a Churn Journey Map.
When Wayne joined WalkMe three months later, he had a great idea of what the sales experience was like and he knew what it was like to be a customer. This resulted in a thousand different ideas where they can make improvements.
Wayne was armed with all this knowledge when he arrived on day 1 but he didn't know what to do with it yet because the next thing he's asked to do was create his 30-60-90-day plan.
The first thing he did was pull in teams from customer success, professional services, and support. He discovered that these teams have all been in different organizations led by different leaders, had different metrics, and have optimized for their silo. He knew early on that bringing these teams together would be critically important.
Coming on board and experiencing what it's like to come into something new is very different than if you had come in and someone had just left. In Wayne's case, it was a little difficult because it wasn't all together and there were lots of different versions of the same data and all the problems you get with silo doors. He didn't know exactly what to do with it and it took him some time but that was okay with Wayne.
Wayne advises that if it takes 60 days to do the first part, take 60 days. Don't rush it and don't just waste time. Take the appropriate amount of time to understand what's happening before you move on to the next phase.
Wayne went deep to understand what was going on at WalkMe by having 155 one-on-one meetings with people across the organization.
The next step was to hear the people in the company explain their version of what the churn journey was. So Wayne asked people with very open-ended questions and he discovered that everyone identified the Churn Journey Map, but they identified one sliver of their part of the journey. The team was able to articulate the problem. The team actually knows what's wrong, and they actually have an idea of how to fix it.
One of the big learning parts of his first five months at the company was after those initial conversations with everyone in the organization, he figured out that they already had the answers.
In one of his presentations, he was just giving the feedback, not saying anything nor committing to anything. He was very transparent and one of the things he said was "I don't know the answer but the good news is you all know the answer. You told me the answer. I've collected all the answers, so it's not me, it's you".
So they set out on a five-week program with 31 work groups and 177 people globally to work on the strategy to fix the problem. They did it without even having a single meeting and Wayne got so much amazing information from those work groups that he was able to build the whole 2022 plan based on what they learned during this process. When he presented the plan back to the people, they immediately recognized each piece and said "Oh, that was my idea. I worked on that." That's what Wayne wanted to happen.
These people knew what Wayne brought was not an answer to the problems. The team knows the answers but they couldn't affect the change until now. Wayne's job was to remove the obstacles in the way of these people solving the problems.
This was a big learning for Wayne as a leader that at scale he was able to involve most of his organization to set the plan for the year and for the people to have the opportunity to be heard, to contribute, and to actually design some of these great innovations he would never have thought of, then get an opportunity to actually help implement it.
Every time you do this as a leader, you get smarter, you get better, you learn from it. If you get to do this multiple times, you get better and better each time.