Episode 50: Tech Maven Sasja Beerendonk

Heather Newman:  Hello everyone. Here we are again for another episode of the Mavens Do It Better podcast where we interview extraordinary experts who bring a light to our world. I could not be more excited to have a colleague and friend on today, all the way from Amsterdam, not Amsterdam, Rotterdam. I almost messed that, up from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Sasja Beerendonk, and maybe you should say your gorgeous name for everybody.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Hello everybody. I think you, you did it really well, but yeah, Sasja Beerendonk. Maybe a bit, a bit of slightly different accent.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Awesome. Are you actually in, in Rotterdam today?

Sasja Beerendonk:  I am, yeah. I actually live in Rotterdam. Yeah.

Heather Newman:  Yep, that's right. Yes. So, so Sasja and I, funnily enough, did not meet there. Uh, we met in South Africa, so

Sasja Beerendonk:  We did. Yeah. We did. Where they, where they also speak sort of Dutch.

Heather Newman:  Yes, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, Sasja is, um, she's a digital innovation evangelist. Uh, she's an expert in user adoption and change management. So we know each other through the tech community and I got to see her speak in South Africa and I was blown away. Um, you are an amazing speaker. Truly. I was so,.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Thank you.

Heather Newman:  You're welcome. I was, I was so impressed. Yeah. Um, tell everybody a little bit about that session will ya? Um, that you gave in South Africa, cause it was super cool.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Sure. Um, yeah, I did, I did a session, um, in South Africa and uh, and folks were just sort of, uh, blown away that I would just come over for that. But, uh, it was, uh, it was a great, great SharePoint Saturday, I have to really say. One of the better ones I've been to so far. Um, yeah, but my session was, well of course everything is always around the topic of Office 365 having people use it more effectively. But this particular one was around, uh, co-authoring documents, um, using modern technology like Teams, OneDrive and also Office, um, features that a lot of people are just usually not aware of. So, um, what I tried to do there is showing people how you can, um, you know, get, get better at doing something, a process rather than, than doing a tool. So that's why it was a combination of tools and, and particularly changing behavior.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I think that's what I liked most about it is that, you know, we often get into these technology discussions and it's about, you know, features and it's, um, about, you know, the technology. And what I loved about it, and I try to do this in my presentations as well, is really showing that human side, the behavioral side of looking into people how, how they actually use software with use cases. And I loved how you did that. Yeah. Um, and let's see. So, we, uh, so after we met, uh, and had that great experience in South Africa, thank you all to everyone who put on that SharePoint Saturday, um, we, uh, Sasja said, hey, you want to come to Rotterdam? And I was like, well, yes, I love the Netherlands so I would love to do that. And, and you work for a company called Silverside and so she invited me to come to an end user adoption workshop, um, where they went over their pace, uh, methodology. And I, I was blown away by that too. I mean, you just have such a neat way of sort of thinking through things. Will you tell everybody about Pace a little bit and what that's about. The workshop was amazing.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Sure. Well, thanks again and I was really so, so thrilled that you said yes I'll come and joined us and provided us with, you know, lots of, um, interaction and, and fun and, and feedback. Pace is the methodology we developed at Silverside for doing user adoption. And it's, it's, it's particularly linked to technology and aimed mostly at Office 365, but it's, it's really not so much about a specific technology that, you know, that's, that's all the, the, that the end results of things of course will show up things using things in Office 365, but it's a, it's basically a methodology. The acronyms, p a c e stands for prepare, activate, capitalize, and enhance, which is just four stages across time, that combines a combination of eight different streams, um, around particular, um, expertise that you need to combine together across those four stages to really, um, have people, uh, in, in an organization adopt new technology.

Sasja Beerendonk:  So, it's got, it's got all kinds of streams basically in entwined. None more important than the other. Um, but all equally important. Um, and, and the, and the, and also interdependent to each other. So for example, there's of course the technology to consider. There's communications to consider. Um, there's a, the, the project guidance to consider, but we also combine a lot of stuff around culture and behavior, in those, uh, in, in the model as a stream that all interacts together to, um, yeah, for that one result. Help people embrace new technology in an effective way.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And you all, you've been at Silverside a long time now, so like about seven or eight years, maybe?

Sasja Beerendonk:  A little less. Five and a half. Yeah. But yeah, but good, but still quite a while. Yeah. We've, we've been doing this, this methodology for a while, um, mostly at our own clients and, um, and we felt it was time to make it more broadly available and also, uh, expand to, to train others in, um, in embracing that same methodology to be applied to their customers or, or even and customers that have their own change practitioners in house.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. And it, and it marries so nicely with what Microsoft is putting out, you know, around user adoption. You know, I think, you know, the pillars or the, I guess acronyms may be just slightly different, but I think like as far as just sort of the phases, I definitely think that the, it marries and maps so nicely, you know, so that folks can, you know, continue to leverage what Microsoft is putting out, but also just what you have. It's just so, it seems so comprehensive to me, which is what I loved about it. We did this great game where we, um, took a little kind of poker chips or, you know, play money and we put it on this large grid to see where we would spend in the different sections. And it was so interactive, you know, everybody was out of their chairs and you know, discussing, you know, where you would spend on the different areas. I loved that piece of it. I love the interactivity of what you all bring to the table. Yeah.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah. I love to do it. I really wanted to not just, just, you know, give people lots of information but really make it, make it as interactive and fun as possible. Cause it's a long day to be otherwise just learning new stuff. And I still, I think, it was still maybe pretty, pretty tough for some, maybe more than for others. Um, but yeah, you have to keep it fun and interactive.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. That, and there were cards, like little flash cards for it, so yeah. It's really, yeah. So for those of you in the, in the technology space, um, the methodology is super cool and it'd be something to check out on their website and we'll make sure and put that in the show notes. But, uh, it's silverside.nl, is that right? Or is it.com?

Sasja Beerendonk:  It's both.

Heather Newman:  It's both. Okay. Yeah, I figured. Right on, that's great. Well, I'm gonna pitch around a bit. Um, so I know from your background, um, you know, I was a theater major turned, you know, into technology and, uh, you started out, uh, in history.

Sasja Beerendonk:  That's correct. Yeah.

Heather Newman:  Talk about that. Talk about your humble beginnings. How did history merge into technology for you?

Sasja Beerendonk:  It may not sound very logical at first, although I do see a lot of trainers and people in the more, in the, what they tend to call the softer sciences. They tend to come from, from all kinds of backgrounds, uh, and, and, and hardly ever from, from, uh, from computer technology, kind of, um, studies. Um, yeah, so I, I studied, um, to become a history teacher. I thought that's what I wanted. Um, and I finished it. Um, but there were really no jobs at the time when I finished studying for that field. I mean there was some jobs and it was like, you know, replacing somebody who was on pregnancy leave and then there would be 500 applicants and at the same time I'd already started during my studies and this was like, I can't even remember when it was like in the 90s. And, you know, computers, for young people listening, they may not understand this, but the Internet was new. We just had www, you know, I mean, we don't have that even anymore now, but that it became visual. That was a new thing.

Heather Newman:  Right, right. I, you and I are around the same age ish. So like I like I was looking at your history of your college. I was like, yeah, I remember doing about the same time. So yeah.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah, I think so. Yes. So, it was all very new with, with IT and basically I saw great things happening with IT in the field of history as well. Like museums were trying to open up virtually and libraries were becoming available online, um, you know, all that sort of stuff. Archives. So, so I sort of enroll into, into that a little bit, trying to do my thesis around how to use IT for education. And I also did something with, with some schools in a, in a city called Delft, which is a rich historical city. With the, you know, with, uh, lots of places to visit. So we, we did things interactively building things online with the children around history. So I'm basically rolling to IT a little bit. And then when there were no jobs for history teaching, there were loads of job for training in IT. So that's how I sort of stumbled into it. But mind you, not the kind of training that I'm doing today. I mean, this was like teaching people Windows and PowerPoint and Word. They still probably should be teaching folks those things. But we're not.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yeah, I know. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean kind of the, it leads to sort of the, you know, you and, um, myself and Tracy van der Schyff, uh, talk a lot about digital literacy and PC literacy and your presentation I think really sort of touches on that of like, you know, she always, she always says, uh, about the Windows logo on the keyboard, that that's not just like a pretty button. You know, that, that actually does things, you know, and I do think that we, we make assumptions about, you know, people's just computer skills, you know, and most of the time we, we, we barely scratch the surface of sort of all the power that's there for us because we're so busy just trying to get the job done. That Like trying to take a moment to like get there is really tough. Yeah. And Yeah.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah, absolutely. That's what I tend to choose to also joke about to people who come to my sessions that IT people think that other people love their computers and IT, but, but they don't. They, you know, they're not, they may not even hate it. It doesn't have to be like that, but they're not like, oh, wow, a computer and let's, let's try and find out things. It's a means to an end and they've got other things to do.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. I mean, all the time. Yeah. So when, so, you were looking for work, what was your first job in IT?

Sasja Beerendonk:  Um, well if you consider that training then that, that was my first job. Doing training in IT. Um, but then after that, doing that for a while, and then you had the whole, um, Internet bubble. So then the jobs became less in the, in the IT world actually. But, so, I didn't make the best bet, I guess. Um, no, but then, then I moved into, into a company, which was great, and I've been there for 10 years, E Office. Um, and, and there we really started working on user adoption. Um, so that, I would consider that to have been my really first job in IT was an IT company. Um, but I, I was specializing in user adoption and that was in the days that hardly any other organization was doing, it was a very new, new, new field. The only work person I knew who was doing something around user adoption was Michael Sampson who wrote about it.

Heather Newman:  Right. Yes. And you gave us copies of his books and I, I had heard that name before, but that's, yeah, I mean, he's kind of the Grandfather of that, not that he's a grandfather, but maybe he is.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yes. I think he is. Sorry, Michael, if you're not.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Right. But the grandfather of end user adoption for sure. You know, I mean, yeah, he was definitely the first person that was, that was, uh, doing all of that stuff. And, yeah. And, and, and uh, yeah, it's interesting that, you know, after so many years of just sort of like, let's renew licenses that we've sort of gotten to a place where it's like, no, actually let's not just renew licenses or add seats, but let's actually really make sure that we're productive and that you're, you're not wasting money by bringing in a piece of software and then not teaching people how to use it. That's I, I find that so exciting as well. You know, I think it's a really good thing.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Absolutely. And I think, I think, um, you know, the last year or two we've really seen an uptake in that where, where Microsoft is really understanding it, that that's what it's all about and it's, it's a very mature world in, in the meantime, in the field of user adoption. Yeah, that's right.

Heather Newman:  So, I know you're a busy person in, you know, running around speaking and you know, dealing with clients and you know, you have a life and all of that. How do you, you live in such a beautiful place and thank you again for the invitation. It was so nice to be there. Rotterdam, if you haven't been, it's just, it's, you know, it's surrounded by water and it's just boats and great places to eat and all that. How, how do you, you know, unplug and, uh, find some balance? What's, what's your, what's your ways of that?

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah, I'm kind of a, a run or stop kind of girl. So there's sort of no, no in between, for me. And so I either run or I'm completely still and flat, but uh, yeah. So, so what, what I do like a lot is, uh, is, is, is going outside with my dog. So that's the best unwinding that, that you can have because, um, you know, you just, you're just not dealing with anything else when you're just walking outside and, and making a connection. So for me, that definitely, yeah. Going out with (dog's name) in the outdoors.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. And where did you grow up?

Sasja Beerendonk:  I grew up literally under this smoke of Schiphol airport, in a place. I grew up in Hoofddorp. So whenever you, whenever you've landed in Schiphol anybody, basically they say Amsterdam Airport, but it really is Hoofddorp airport, when it's geographically located. So yeah, that's, that's a tiny place, um, where my mom also grew up and my dad grew up in a village next door. Um, so yeah, small village. Um, but, but still, you know, it's not, not far away in it was a densely populated area. Close to, to Amsterdam. Yeah.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. I think Schiphol is a small, a small town. Yeah. I think Schiphol is probably one of the cleanest airports I've ever been to in my life. Like it's so well signed and it's such a nice place. And I, uh, for a while when I was living in Seattle, Continental Airlines, uh, that does not exist anymore, had this great flight from Seattle to Amsterdam. And so I, uh, seemed to, whenever I was coming over to Europe for Microsoft events, I was, uh, it was just easier for me to always stop in Amsterdam and, and then go on. And so I think out of all the cities in Europe, I think I have been to Amsterdam the most because I always did at least like a day or two in out to get sort of like acclimated on the end of every trip.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Okay. So then you actually also go into Amsterdam.

Heather Newman:  Yes. Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So I spoke.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Not just the airport.

Heather Newman:  Correct. Yeah. I would go in and either stay with friends or whatever. It's just such a rich, beautiful place. I think I saw the Banksy exhibit the last time I was there. Which was super cool. Um, yeah. Do you, are you, are you a, an art person or, or theater and music and all of that stuff? Is that something that's in your wheel house in Rotterdam?

Sasja Beerendonk:  I wouldn't say I'm a big art person. Um, um, I do like, uh, I do like music, I mean who doesn't like music. Um, and I, I used to play guitar and I play a little bit of drums. I don't do that too much, but, uh, but I, I do like making music for sure. Yeah.

Heather Newman:  That's awesome. Yeah. And you know, I, we, uh, we've sort of talked a bit about, you know, I, as you know, I speak and talk a lot about the diversity and inclusion and, uh, I know that, uh, you've been, we've had conversations about that and I was curious how you feel about sort of in Europe, the state of diversity and inclusion today, you know, of what you're seeing and any trends that are coming out or, um, anything that you feel is like, kind of top of mind in that area.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah. I'm not sure if I can speak for the whole of Europe. Let's try the Netherlands.

Heather Newman:  Fine, fine, fine, the Netherlands. Okay, I was reaching a little far, but you're an authority.

Sasja Beerendonk:  It's funny because, um, if you look at any American based company for any, um, um, job ad or, um, events, this is a topic, you know, um, even in job ads, it says that they're, they're, they're inclusive. Um, and it, I don't think, I mean, I don't think most Dutch people actually even know the term very well unless they maybe deal with, with America. Um, it, it's not a, it's not a thing that is so, um, as a, as a concept is on top of mind. Um, I mean it may be that the more of the what it actually is about of course is happening, but it's not so much of a topic as it is, I think in America. We're probably going to be, you know, we're probably just lagging behind, which, which often is the case with these things. These, these trends tend to come and then, and we'll probably catch on in a few years where it's becoming more, but you definitely would not see a Dutch company, uh, jobs, ad post, anything like that. That's not to say we are completely not digitally, not inclusive, but it's not on, you know, there's not screaming about it. And I also think that American women are more into careers than it is the case in the Netherlands. I think we're also lagging behind there.

Heather Newman:  Hmm. Okay. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. It's, it depends. It's, it's all very, I mean, I asked you about Europe, which I think is silly, so sorry, but like, but, but it is, you know, it's like, it's like your own neighborhood or your own businesses or your own friends. Is where you kind of see all of those things happen. So thanks that view into that. Um, I know you're also, you're, you are a writer and author as well. What, what, what, where can people find you? Do you have a blog and, or are you, do you have other books in there? I know that you produce content as well.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah, I do. Well, you can find things of course, through my social media channels on Twitter or LinkedIn. Yeah. Um, um, and, and I've got a blog, um, on, on, on the silverside.com website that you can find lots of eBooks and blogs. Um, I don't actually have a personal one. I tried it for a while and then, and then I stopped because it was just, you know, posting double things. So yeah, most of them are probably just on the, on the Silverside website. Yeah. And I do love, um, I'm creating content in that way as well and trying to engage people and trying to, to find a different angle, maybe to things then what others may be doing.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. And where, um, where are you speaking? Coming up or, or you, are you hosting more workshops or what, what's sort of the future look like for you in the next bit?

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah, so the, the future is I'm going to make some trips. I'm going to be in Germany in October, November. I've got, um, what Paris coming up in December. One Workplace. Uh, I think I'll be in Barcelona in September. So there is a few things that, um, they are coming up.

Heather Newman:  How about vacation? Are we taking any vacation?

Sasja Beerendonk:  Ha! I just had a week and a half off. But I have actually been painting my house so I had to, so I didn't go away.

Heather Newman:  Right. You did a staycation or a work staycation. Huh?

Sasja Beerendonk:  I did. Yeah, I did. So, but I had some help and it was, it was, it was fun, but it was very, it was very due, so yeah. So it had to be renewed and, I don't mind it. I mean, so yeah. So I had a week and a half off and I think I spent four days painting.

Heather Newman:  The rest with the dog outside. Yeah.

Sasja Beerendonk:  The rest with the dog outside. Correct. Yes.

Heather Newman:  That is awesome. Yeah. And I'm excited, so Sasja and I were talking and uh, so she, uh, very generously invited me to co-speak with her at, uh, the, the Paris event, the Modern Workplace event in Paris in December.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yup.

Heather Newman:  We're going to work on that. What's the name of our session? How about that?

Sasja Beerendonk:  So maybe when I get, now they think that I'm all in charge of something, people are going to get wrong idea. Um, so what happened here was I had a session accepted and you were like, yeah, and I was supposed to submit something, but I wasn't in time. So that's why I said, just join my session. And we'll just change it and make it to uh, yeah, it is both of ours.

Heather Newman:  Yes. Okay. Fair enough.

Sasja Beerendonk:  But it's called Facebook Never Needed Adoption - Why Does Office 365? So, yeah, so we need to, um, we need to see, um, you know what you have to say about that.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Well, well, you know, I love, yeah, I know. And I, I had seen, I had looked up the topics so I didn't not know exactly, but I wanted you to say it cause I don't, I didn't have it in front of me, but, um, but yeah, I love that. I mean it's kind of, um, Facebook didn't need adoption. You know, Google has no, you know, instructions on how to use it as a search engine. And I, I do love that. I think, um, it'll be fun to talk about sort of, you know, how it's kind of like how people put things out into the world, you know?

Sasja Beerendonk:  And what I find interesting is, um, because the title is the way I normally do the session. I mean, we can do, of course whatever we want it to be, but the way I normally do the session, it's also a bit of a double title because does Facebook really not need adoption is also, you know, you can also question that. People may not always be using it wisely, but also I think these, these public consumer based tools, they do adoption, but they call it marketing.

Heather Newman:  Yes, we do. I'm speaking with my, my, my CMO hat on. Yeah, no, that's absolutely true. I mean, I feel like, you know, it's, it's, uh, it's cloaked, right? Instead of calling it end user adoption, you, um, you know, put together a content marketing plan and ads and all of that stuff and get people, I think it's more, it's about excitement of what you can do with something. Right?

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah. That's a big part of it. And then, and that marketing part, which we tend to then call the communication part in adoption, but that's really also partly, it's also marketing to the employees, um, you know, setting certain, certain stage and certain mindset and certain need. Yeah. So it's definitely, there's definitely, um, you know, similar aspects to it. And I also think in marketing, especially in online tools, a lot of them are of course brilliant, especially when you, when you look at mobile apps. They're actually brilliant at behavioral science, which is also a big aspect of user adoption. You know, there's many things that I see the same there because Facebook is making me addicted, um, by having these badges that I see others, that's again something new. And I'm, I'm wanting to scroll down the newsfeed and see if there's anything more new. So it's, it's, that's all based on behavioral science. And I try to do that also in the user adoption to try and see how can you make people want to use it.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I, you know, uh, I had, uh, a customer recently, um, because when we deploy Content Panda out to customers, we will, you know, we obviously train them, but you know, it's, it's pretty much you click the panda, you know, it's really, it's kind of one or two clicks, right? To get that in context help and training and, um, but you know, some people are like, why is there a panda on my screen? You know what I mean? Like, like a panda all of a sudden it shows up and they're like, what the heck is that right? So, you know, there is a bit of, you know, rollout that needs to happen with anything, right. A bit. I mean, you could also just roll it out and have somebody click it and be like, oh, that's super cool, but that doesn't necessarily drive that usage and adoption that you want. I do find that some of the most innovative ideas around that often come from our clients. You know, where they'll all of a sudden be like, hey, we, we just, you know, we did a campaign and I'll often, um, work with folks in or if, if they want to, you know, we have all those templates and stuff up on our site, but like, people will create their own videos, you know, and share them with us and be like, hey, we created this, you know, around the panda and it's this or that. And like some of that, it's the, it's like the fun stuff, it seems to me. Or the gamification or the, that group think of like, I want to be included in this, that's some of that behavioral stuff. I mean, do you find that, you know, when you're going through the Pace methodology and stuff that like that people will sort of take it and then run with it and, and do they, do they then share with you like some of those fun ideas that they, that they come up with?

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah, they do. Yeah. Through the workshop, the Pace workshop, but also through sometimes through presentations. People tend to sometimes really get completely blown away with certain concepts on a slide and then there'll be saying like, oh yeah, I've been using it at my client, or clients saying that , yeah, no, I'm using, I'm using it, but I'm mentioning you, that it's yours. So yeah, people tend to run away with things and then, and then, you know, I get, get excited about it and, and start using it and that's fun.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I love that and I really love that you all as a company decided to share, you know what I mean? Like I think that there's all kinds of, I guess what I would say coopetition you know, where we're all, you know, working in a similar space, but I love that about you all inviting people who do this do similar things or, or who have products that are in the similar ilk so that we can all share and help each other and use best practices. I really, kudos to you all for doing that.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Thank you.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, you're welcome. It's, it's sort of, I, I feel that way, you know, about like adopt and embrace with Daryl Webster and other folks, you know, um, in the, in the space who are just so willing, like we all talk to each other, you know, that's what I like about it. And it's like, oh, well that's super cool. I'm going to bring that in. And, and often, you know, like we give shout outs to each other too, which I think is super cool too. It's like we're all in this together, you know?

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah, it is. Yeah. Yes, that's what I meant with it's so mature, this field, um, within the technology sectors and that's, so there's so many great people now, you know, wanting to talk about this and share and that's just making it, it's just making it go to a higher level. So that's cool.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Absolutely. No, I really like that too. So, yeah, again, big thank you. It was, I really enjoyed my time there and I got to stay in that beautiful hotel that, uh, the, the old Canard building. That was amazing too. I was like, this is one of the coolest hotels I've ever stayed in.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah. It is a cool hotel. Hotel New York, which is a very old building where the ships used to go sail to America for all the people who are seeking new dreams. So that's quite panicle.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, it was a, it had a really good energy. I really liked that place, so that was cool. Um, so you know, for you, uh, there's always I think a spark or something that led you to where you are, be it a person or a situation or something. And I always love to know kind of what, what maybe one, I know it's hard to pinpoint one, but one maybe spark that kind of led you to where you are today, that something you would share with our audience.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Wow. Yeah. That's, that's, I was dreading this question. One spark that where you are today. There's, of course, many, many, many of these moments in your life. Like turning moments.

Heather Newman:  Yes. You can share more than one, it's all good.

Sasja Beerendonk:  We mentioned it before, but I think when I read the user adoption strategies by Michael Samson was definitely a defining moment in my life. So, when it comes to my work field, having read that book that was, it was just sort of finally someone is putting some thought in this and, you know, it's, it's, it's based on research and um, it seems to make sense. It really was very new at the time. Yeah. And that was a turning moment for me, reading that and then starting to apply whatever he wrote into, uh, into my work and it's definitely, it's definitely helped me to get where I am today.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. How about another moment, like a non-work one? Anything come to mind?

Sasja Beerendonk:  A non-work one. Well, you know, it may sound silly to folks who are not into dogs, but, but definitely Logic coming into my life has been a defining, uh, point. So, my dog. Um, because, um, she, she's taught me so much about being patient and about being sensitive and cause it's, it's a very particular dog. She's got lots of fears and since she, you know, she's, she's, uh, she's, she's, she hasn't had a, a steady start. Um, so, you know, we adopted her. Um, but um, yeah, so, so she taught me, she's basically everything that I am not so, um, except for slim and beautiful of course.

Heather Newman:  You are, all of those.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Definitely know what I am. She, she, she really taught me a lot and it's ended up, and the nice thing is, of course, she didn't want to teach me. Um, you know, it wasn't a conscious thing, but it's, it's how you have to really go down. So just to give you an example, she's, she's very much afraid of things and her trust can be very easily broken. So there were times where it was difficult and getting her back on the leash again. She listens perfectly, but when there's like a little tension or she's not sure what is the meaning of something, then you may not be able to get her back on the leash. And I remember this one moment, so when we're talking about defining moments where I was remembered there's one moment she, and again, she didn't want to, and I remember thinking to myself, okay, Sasja, just let it go. Right. She's not coming now. Just let it go. And the moment I decided that for myself and I took a load off, she came down next to me, sat down and I could put her on the leash. It's, you know, the moment that you don't want it, that's when it happens. When you can let go and just be with the moment.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. That is sage advice. And it applies to so many things. And I think, I know I have a dog as well who's, um, who was not living with me right now, but, um, and I've had two, well actually I've had three dogs in my life and yeah, they're huge teachers, you know, and, and they're, so like I, I would, I would put a pivotal moment for me of, of different moments with the dogs I've had too, you know, for sure. And I love that letting go, cause man, we hold on to things, you know, we just, you know, sometimes we have a stranglehold, so much on so many different aspects of our life. And sometimes when you do let go it, it's like, oh, wait a minute, there's the answer or there's the thing. That is awesome. Oh my goodness. Those are, those are awesome. Wow, very cool. Um, Gosh, well, so you and I are gonna see each other definitely in December in Paris, which I'm super excited about. And, uh, yeah, so folks we'll have a session there. So, uh, come see us. Uh, pretty please. Um, well, uh, do you, do you speak French? I don't speak French.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Not, no, not much. I mean I can probably get by ordering something in a restaurant and that's about it.

Heather Newman:  Me as well. Okay. All right. Fair enough. You know what's so funny, I've been playing with a pen and it, it is the, it is actually the new, the Hotel New York pen and I didn't even realize that. That's so funny.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Oh really?

Heather Newman:  Yeah, totally. I was writing and I was like, oh wait a minute. Look at that. That's hilarious. That's awesome. Well, cool. Well I just appreciate your time and your friendship and your colleague-ship and um, it's, it's such a delight to talk to you and share some of who you are with our listeners. I appreciate you coming on today.

Sasja Beerendonk:  And I want to thank you for having me and I think it's a, it's a great job that you're doing with the podcast. I've listened to several and it's always a lot of fun and uh, it, it's awesome.

Heather Newman:  Thank you.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Yeah, thanks.

Heather Newman:  I appreciate that. Okay, well Sasja Beerendonk. Yay.

Sasja Beerendonk:  There you go. Yay!

Heather Newman:  I had to say it with a little oomph, so there we go. So thanks again so much for being on.

Sasja Beerendonk:  Thank you, Heather.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. Everyone that has been another episode of the Mavens Do It Better podcast. You can find us on iTunes, on Stitcher, on Spotify, and on the Mavens Do It Better website. And uh, here is to another beautiful day on this big blue spinning sphere. Thanks everyone.


Heather Newman

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.