Star Trek or JEDI? Christian Müller becomes Chief Customer Success Officer @Pokeshot

July 11, 2018
An interview by Sandra Brückner, employee at Pokeshot, with Christian Müller
Christian Müller
Christian Müller
Sandra:
Hello Christian. You’ve been in the digital training field for more than 10 years, and before that you were supporting people excel with classroom training. You have successfully established methods such as Adventure Based Learning and Story Based Learning in mid-sized companies as well as enterprises and have also won awards. Why are you joining Pokeshot now?
Christian:
The question is not only: “Why Pokeshot?” but also “Why turn to other forms of workplace learning?” Over the years, customers of my previous company have repeatedly opted for different forms of structured digital learning. The whole thing was, and still is very successful with a playful and interactive approach. However, it only accounts for 10% of what is needed today in workplace learning that leads to success.
Sandra:
OK. How exactly does the 10% relate to my first question?
Christian:
Structured learning covers only 10% of what knowledge workers need to handle information overload and the increase in non-routine work today.
Sandra:
OK. So you’re referring to the gap of the 70% and 20% of Charles Jennings’ method, 70:20:10.
Christian:
Exactly. The experts argue whether Charles invented it, but he is currently the one who, along with the 702010 Institute, constantly reminds companies and the market of the subject and he is a “JEDI” who fights classical training. Most people have not yet understood that training and learning are not the same thing.
Sandra:
That almost sounds like you don’t think the old solutions you once recommended to customers and advised them to use  aren`t useful anymore.
Christian:
I wouldn’t say that  in general terms. Motivating and constructivist structured digital trainings are not only good, they also work. They just often do not work for long and also not in the modern knowledge workers’ digital workplace. In addition, these are usually difficult to get to as they are often hidden in the LMS and are completely de-coupled from the actual work environment.
Sandra:
OK, maybe not for everyone who is not involved in the topic “Learning”, but it seems logical that “Learning by doing” makes sense where it is needed. It is therefore about the “new world of learning” or combatting old top-down structures. Are you now  a member of the Star Trek crew exploring the new world of learning, or rather a JEDI fighting the dark side of the force, represented by old only structured ways of learning?
Christian:
I believe both. I want to discover the new workplace learning world. Exploration appeals to me and I look at developments in the workplace and develop solutions with customers, the market, and colleagues at Pokeshot. We  collaborate to solve the problem of information overload and decreasing routine work.
Sandra:
OK. So far, understood. But once again: Why Pokeshot now?
Christian:
I met Pokeshot as a partner of my previous company over 2 years ago. The social learning product SmarterPath convinced me because of its’ flexibility and simplification of learning in enterprise social networks. In addition to the 10% structured learning, being directly embedded in the Enterprise Social Networks and the daily work of the employees, it also manages and promotes the 20%, or in my opinion even higher percent, of learning from each other, among knowledge workers. Discussion and exchange are encouraged and thus contribute to performance.
Sandra:
OK, I understand. But why join now and what about the 70% of experimental, i.e. work-integrated learning? Is it still missing?
Christian:
First, SmarterPath was only available on JIVE until September 2017 and therefore very limited. Today, it runs fully integrated on Office 365, supporting the transformation of old office environments into the new world and enables more people and companies, especially in medium-sized businesses, to use the system. It now also supports part of the 70% experience learning, as it functions fully process-integrated. It embeds Office 365 features, not just content, to support work-integrated performance learning in Office 365. Integration on other ESN platforms is planned, as are additional workplace performance APPs for even more ad hoc information and performance support.
Sandra:
SmarterPath is already a cool product. But that doesn’t say anything about Pokeshot yet.
Christian:
That’s right. What I really like about Pokeshot that made me want to get involved is the incredible creativity driven by the young employees and those with fresh mindsets. I am on average 20 years older than most people in the company, apart from the management. It is simply refreshing to be able to actively live modern new-work and leadership methods. An open feedback culture and a corresponding dynamic are simply a great basis for the next 10+ years, which I would like to contribute to the success of Pokeshot’s customers. In addition, the commitment fully corresponds to my “Big Five for Life”.
Sandra:
Big Five for Life?
Christian:
Again, it would go beyond the scope of this interview, but I can only advise you to read John Streletzki’s book The Big Five for Life. It’s about learning how to synchronize your own purpose of existence with the company you work for. And it contains many, many more really practical and easy to apply tips, like MMB Meetings, with the focus “make me better.” It is a method used in meeting not to question each other, but to help each other to make ideas and suggestions better. I have changed my attitude from work-life balance to the more integrated “Work is part of my life and life is part of my work.” Not because I have to, but because I enjoy it.
Sandra:
Okay. Last question. What does a “Chief Customer Success Officer” do? The title is not necessarily familiar in Germany.
Christian:
Stephan Müller-Ziebur, founder and CEO of Pokeshot, suggested that I take over this position and the title, as they can ensure that customers are successful, i.e. “Customer Success”.  It combines both the team management of our solution development, i.e. APPs and services, with the GoToMarket people in marketing and sales.
Sandra:
Does this mean that you have nothing more to do with the previous company, the customers and also your consulting engagement?
Christian:
Not at all. Firstly, it is still my passion to work directly with the customer as much as possible to work out solutions that master the challenges already mentioned. The bottom line is that I only recommend solutions and methods that fit the individuals and solve their challenges.  We’re discovering many methods and solutions of modern workplace learning as time goes on.
Sandra:
Thank you for the interview.
Christian:
Thank you.

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