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Here at Jive our software isn't the only thing that keeps our company running. We would like to introduce to you the lovely Sarah Marx, who goes out of her way to do wonderful things for our office every day. At Jive we strive to maintain a family-like community between Jivers, however, we often times get lost in our work. Sarah ensures that we remain a tight knit community, keeping our employees happy and our company united. What would the Palo Alto office do without her?






Carmel Schetrit: What is your official title? What do you actually do?

Sarah Marx: I am Jive South's Office Manager. I have a wide range of responsibilities including but not limited to, receptionist duties, facilities management, and administrative support to the EA team if and when they need help with anything. I joke that I'm Wendy to Jive's Lost Boys and often lead with that when people ask me what it is that I do. On a daily basis I do a lot of calendaring, work with vendors and try to think of creative ways to keep our environment movin' and groovin', whether it's new snack offerings or planning a fun happy hour.



CS: Where do you work?

Sarah: I work out of the Palo Alto office (you can't miss me!) This position requires that I be present to greet people when they come in and make sure they get to the right place.


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Sarah With her Dogs in their favorite place on Earth

CS: How do you use Jive at Jive?

Sarah: I use Brewspace (Jive's internal community) all day long! I use docs in order to keep catering orders, office supplies orders, and etc, tracked. I also use it for small to large office communication, working with international Jivers, status updates, blogposts, and friendly reminders to Jivers. The calendaring system is especially useful to me when planning social events (like happy hours and the holiday party). I try to keep office communication to Brewspace and Chime (gotta use our product!)  I'm also on Jive Chime all day, everyday (even on weekends) to communicate with Jivers. Last year I was at JiveWorld14, right around the time Jivers were just starting to adopt Chime (beta). A customer came up to the Social Command Center (where I was stationed) in an absolute fury; he was extremely upset with his JiveWorld app and while one of us could have easily fiddled around with it to determine the problem and then fix it, someone mentioned that Iain Goodridge had handled the same problem with another customer but...we didn't have Iain's phone number. Luckily, I was able to Chime him and within two minutes, he came to the rescue to professionally and successfully fix the issue and sent a now-very-happy customer back on his way. Chime has continued to be a serious life saver when I need to get things done right away!



CS: What's your WorkType

Sarah: I am a Coach. I think this WorkType suits me because I love interacting with people and making them feel wonderful; if, at the very least, the most I do for someone's day is brighten it ever so slightly with a simple smile, I'll take that as a win. A huge part of my job involves people--customers, partner, Jivers, vendors, and everyone in between--which I can wholeheartedly say is my favorite part of this position. Being a coach is also evident in my Brewspace interactions, as I not only enjoy communicating and collaborating face-to-face but, also on a broader, more widespread level.



CS: What is your desk setup like?

Sarah: I sit at the Front Desk behind a barricade of monitors and a sign-in iPad. I have a JamBox on my desk that, more often than not, is quietly serenading me (and anyone in the lobby) with music. You'll hear anything from Stan Getz, Nancy Wilson, and Chet Baker, to PJ Harvey, The Beach Boys, and the Pitch Perfect Soundtrack.



CS: What's the one thing you've done that no one would ever guess about you?

Sarah: I'm a cliff jumper. Once, I was on a blind date on Valentine's Day, let's just say that things were not going well for him.  During post-dinner dancing and drinks, he leaned in... and asked, "What do YOU do to feel ALIVE?" Without skipping a beat, I said, "Cliff jump." Straight-faced, too (you know the look). The conflicting expressions of equal parts shock and awe on his face still makes me laugh to this day.



CS: If you had a spirit animal what would it be?

Sarah: Amy Schumer. But, if it absolutely had to be an animal, I would have to say a Chesapeake Bay Retriever; they're the sassiest canines out there.






Thank you for sharing with us, Sarah! We are so fortunate to have you with us in Palo Alto

I just posted a tweet @bonniecheuk sharing my reflection on the change journey my company and my team have been through as we recently launched Jive as a new connected ecosystem that focuses on getting work done. I borrow the tweet to make it the title of my blog here.


Whether you call it Social Business, Enterprise 2.0 or use of social media in the extended enterprise, it is now seeded in most enterprises and is considered becoming mainstream. We are finally scratching beyond the surface, and get ready for deeper transformation. (more on my blog).


What do I mean? Here is how I experience it and where I am playing my humble part to shape:

1. Enterprise 2.0 is no longer about introducing new digital social tools to employees

2. Enterprise 2.0 is about embracing a new way of working to create value in a much more networked world, and it means rethinking what "management" means and what management processes and practices are relevant in this new world. It also means employees need to relearn how to behave when they are not being "managed" (or perhaps for some being "control") in a traditional way.

3. Enterprise 2.0 is about empowering employees to change old habits and build new reflexes on an individual level in the context of doing their day-to-day work. The change is on a micro-moment level and so it is hard because it is so personal, so real and so intense.

4. Enterprise 2.0 requires Leadership 2.0 (which I advocated in 2009) and it means making a conscious effort to be mindful and cultivate good practices around communication, conversation, listening and dialogue, and feeling comfortable navigating in an uncertain environment. In an open and network enterprise, this is required at all levels, not just a requirement for leaders.

5. As all of the above happen, it means that we (leaders, managers, employees) will build new reflexes, redefining the norm, working together, communicating, collaborating in a different way, And the business workflow and day-to-day process as a result will be transformed.


Now that the real hard work begins, as we pay attention to people, and how they communicate and how they work together. How can we create an ecology that create value, unleash employees' potential, help our employees and even our clients to grow and learn? I expect a lot more experiment and innovation in this space.


For me, thanks to the The specified item was not found. and the insights shared by Jive team ( Bertrand Quesada and Clara Liang thanks!), a new ways of working has just been introduced to my company in June 2015. I remember John Toker  and Bertrand Quesada commented that we are very ambitious right from the beginning, we did not want to start with 1 or 2 use cases. We want to cover 1 or 2 use cases for all major divisions.


Since launch, all employees (3500+) join in within 4 weeks, it is not about the adoption figures, I am excited by what they come to Pulse+ (enabled by Jive, MS office, Jabber etc.) to do. They are exploring a new way  to get their real work done. As part of the adoption strategy, my team have been partnering with multiple (almost all) business area (HR, communications, marketing, operation, IT, risk management, legal, leadership development, sales, senior executive) to seed 1 or 2 early examples showing how work can be done differently when Pulse+ becomes available. They help to give a clear purpose as to why we move to a new platform, and make the new platform purposeful from day 1.


And our change journey continues....

We're so happy to introduce you to Deborah de Freitas, Spredfast's internal community manager (among many other things). Within the last year Spredfast rolled out both an internal and external community. And even though these tasks have kept Deborah very busy, she graciously shared her workstyle with us below. I must say, I absolutely LOVE the how Deborah supplemented her comments with visuals - I wish I could take a peak into her personal gif library!

Leigh: Where do you work?

Deb: I work at Spredfast. We build a smart social platform and offer services that help our customers be more successful with every social network on any digital screen.


Here's a photo of me at work:

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Deb at her Spredfast desk

Leigh: How would you describe your current job?

Deb: I think of myself as a concierge. I share information, tools, and help employees do what they need more efficiently. My title is Employee Programs Manager and under that umbrella I manage our internal community, intranet and internal communications, oversee our travel program, and support internal events.  I jump into a lot of projects, but at the heart of all of them is helping our employees be successful.


Concierge slash elevator operator, sometimes it just feels that way


Leigh: Are you familiar with the Jive WorkTypes? If so, what was your WorkType?

Deb:  Yes.  I went through the navigator just before JiveWorld14.  In the big picture, I'm an Explorer.  When it gets down to details, I'm an Optimizer. (WorkTypes Descriptions)

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Leigh: How do you think your WorkType plays into how you get work done in Jive?

Deb: As an explorer, I look for new ideas, new use cases, new ways to use Jive to communicate.  As an optimizer, I find ways to use Jive to improve existing processes and to ensure key content is updated and accurate.

Leigh: What was your favorite part of attending JiveWorld last year?

Deb: We were brand new to Jive, so for me it was just like drinking from the fire-hose.


professional answer: I loved learning about the platform, how others use it, getting ideas for our launch and for new use cases.

personal answer: I loved meeting all the people.


The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, site of JiveWorld14


Leigh: So how do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.)?

Deb: We have both an internal community that runs on Cloud and an externally hosted closed customer community.

I manage the internal community which we call Sharefast. Shout out to my co-worker Samantha Lopez, who manages the Spredfast Customer Community.

In the internal community we have several use cases - some of the primary ones we focused on at launch this year were:

  • Replacing our intranet (which was on Google sites)
  • Replacing a WordPress internal product blog
  • Creating a central repository of updated responses for RFP questions
  • Centralizing communication of sales wins and customer launches
  • Circulating HR & Facilities announcements - seriously our Lunch Menu is the most read piece of content as it changes weekly and people check it daily.

whats for lunch.jpeg


Leigh: What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?

Deb: We use Mac primarily. Every employee gets a brand new MacBook on day one (Shiny!) and I will defend my 27" Thunderbolt display with whatever is at hand - so watch out because I'm sure scissors can be stabby and I'll definitely launch a binder clip in your general direction. I think there are a few PCs in QA or dev, but even our IT guy used to work for Apple so it's mostly Mac all the time around here. (Fun fact, I used to work for Dell, but I feel no guilt for my unabashed Apple love)

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Leigh: Tell us what you use for your mobile device?

Deb: You'll be shocked when I say Apple iPhone right?  I have the 6. 

Leigh: Pick one word that best describes how you work.

Deb: Flexibility.

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Leigh: Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?

Deb: I'm an app junkie, so there are a lot of things I use, but a few of my favorites are:

  • Evernote - I put all kinds of things there for reference - recipes, articles I might want to share, brainstorming notes and more.
  • Facebook messenger - I like being able to send a message to someone without the intrusion of a text - they can reply when they want.  I have this looooong running message thread between two mutual friends who live in a different city.  We named the thread "Tea for 3" and we check-in during the day when we have time.  You have no idea (well maybe some idea after reading this) how excited I was when they added gifs to messenger!
  • CARROT - they have several apps and I love them all.  Their weather app is hilarious and really accurate too.  The alarm is one of the few that gets me up and makes me laugh. I've just never been a morning person.  (Night Owls Unite!)  and their ToDo app rewards you for getting things done (although I sometimes use other apps or old fashioned lists to plan things out.)
  • Google Maps - I create custom maps when I travel and share them with anyone I'm traveling with.  (Fun fact, I've been on every continent except Antarctica)  I love traveling and have taken at least a year sabbatical between every major job change - basically I work to save up money and then quit when I am ready for a change and travel for a while and then come home and decide what to do next.  In between those big travel years - which is usually solo travel - I'm the planner for group travel with my friends and try to go somewhere - even if it's a road trip every few months. 

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Speaking of travel, here's Deb on a glacier

Leigh: Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?

Deb: Hmm... this is tough - all my favorite things like my kindle or my fitbit are technically computers. My husband would probably name something fancy in the kitchen, but honestly he's the chef not me.  I'm gonna say my Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean black toothbrush. I really love it and it makes my smile brighter.


Leigh: How do you stay organized? What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Deb: I write a lot of lists. I learn and remember best when I write things down so I always have some sort of notebook with me. I usually write notes and ideas in meetings and I write out lists of action items daily and revise my master list at least weekly and then add the most important or timed things to my google/work calendar or to my to do app (see above). I can be kind of a productivity geek so I've tried just about every to-do app out there, but none of them are perfect for me so I keep going back to paper. I keep folders for projects and using the GTD style try to keep the next action on my list.  Honestly this makes me sound super organized, but my priorities change constantly so I usually feel a bit chaotic. 

I find that what works best for me is that every night before I leave work, I just figure out what the most important thing to do the next day is and limit myself to three things max on the plan for the day. (read about the 1-3-5 rule)  Less if I have more than 4 hours of meetings. In the morning I make sure nothing has happened to change that plan and then start working on those items first. I get a lot more done than just those things throughout the day usually and do try to follow the rule of if it takes less than 2 minutes just do it instead of adding it to a list or calendar. (That's where Carrot can get fun - getting credit for all those little things you do.) If I don't start like that my whole day becomes responding to emails and drop-bys.


Deb's favorite notebook, the Moleskine Cahier

Leigh: What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?

Deb: Within arms reach is always water, some sort of toy, a plant, my phone, a notebook, and folders for active projects. I try to keep my desk fairly clean so I can spread out projects and not lose my keyboard. I keep my computer on a stand and use the notebook screen for Slack and email and then use the large display for whatever I'm working on. I use Chrome and have multiple profiles set up for my different roles so I can change between "People" and it keeps all the logins for that profile in one place.

Leigh: What do you listen to while you work?

Deb: Usually I just listen to the hum of my co-workers and music from our kitchen/lounge. Sometimes I'll put the headphones on and start a Pandora station. I've tested out Focus at Will and found it helpful as there are a lot of distractions in our open plan office, but usually the general hum is energizing. I love music so it can be more distracting for me than office noise.  Plus, I'll spend way too much time trying for the perfect playlist.


Leigh: What's your best time-saving trick?

Deb: Reminding myself that perfect is the enemy of good. Just get it done, get it out there and improve upon it. Spending time in startups has taught me that quick iterations trump long planning and execution in dynamic environments.


Leigh: How do you balance work and life?

Deb: We have a cultural value at Spredfast called "Freesponsibility" - basically the marriage of freedom and responsibility. There is a high level of trust given that you will get your work done and be responsible for your commitments to the company and in return we are given the freedom to do it our way. So I may spend the morning working from home but getting up early to be on UK time for travel planning, and then have a lunch appointment out, then work in the office or from a coffee shop for a few hours before heading home.  I may come in at  7 (not typical - see the morning person note) and work until 3:30 and head out early.  I may come in at 10am and work until 7pm (more typical for me). But I know as long as I make critical meetings and meet the goals I've been given I can work around what I need to do personally. 

I also balance at a high level by setting goals for myself each year for the people I want to spend more time with, the things I want to have accomplished when the year is done, and the places I want to go. I keep those goals in mind each week and if I haven't seen someone on my list in a few weeks, I make it a priority to spend time with them. If I haven't had a trip in a few months, I start planning my next one. And if I haven't made progress on one of my goals, I block out some time to get some next steps done.

Leigh: What's your sleep routine like?

Deb: Well, left to my own devices I would stay up into the wee hours and sleep until noon - that's what I do on vacation. But during an average work week, I try to get off the computer (and phone) by around 10/11 to start settling down. I try to be in bed by 11 and reading so ideally will be asleep by midnight, but it doesn't always work like that - live music shows, watching that next episode on Netflix, or really engaging books often keep me up past my bedtime. I wake up between 6am-8am most mornings during the week. (Sleeping later if I'm working from home or don't need to be in the office until 10 I sleep as late as possible on the weekends.)

Leigh: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Deb: I'm a social introvert, an expressive introvert. I'm not shy and have no fear of public speaking or crowds, but they do drain me so I need time to recharge. If I get overwhelmed I find a corner and stare at my phone until I can leave. I have found that I must have at least 1 day a week where I don't have to leave the house or deal with people much to function at my peak. That down day, which usually involves a lot of reading, swimming, Netflix, and cats, gives me enough of a recharge to last the week.


Leigh: What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?

Deb:  I love quotes and have a few that have become mantras to live by - here are 3 of my favorites.


anais nin quote.jpg

Thanks so much Deborah de Freitas for taking time out of your very busy schedule to share your workstyle! We look forward to hearing about the continued success of Spredfast's internal and external communities.

Please take a moment to say "hi" to Deb and thank her for such a great interview!

Give a chicken a kernel of corn and it will play the piano. That was the premise of an old carnival game - where a trained chicken pecks on toy piano keys after a coin is dropped in the slot. The trick works pretty well but you can’t say that the chicken is engaged in the performance. The bird will not continue practicing its scales once the anticipated reward has been delivered.

People can also be trained to respond to a system of rewards. Bonuses, cash prizes, extra vacation days can all be used to get employees to grind out a few extra hours each week. But like the chicken, as soon as the prize has been delivered people will stop performing.

Non monetary recognition, on the other hand, does not affect employee behavior the same way that monetary rewards do. Here are five reasons why:


1. Recognition Brings Status

Recognition, when it’s done well, is public. You can praise an employee on the front page of the corporate intranet. This can help elevate an employee’s status among her peers. Cash rewards, on the other hand, need to be kept private. There’s a strong taboo about discussing pay scales in the workplace, meaning that you can’t post an employee’s bonus payments in public. Yes an employee with a fat bonus can put a payment down on a new Lexus, but that brings us to point #2.





2. Recognition is Guilt-Free

Monetary rewards feel good for a moment. But once the money is in the bank many employees become conflicted. Is the money still a reward for good work? Or does it really need to go to roof repairs, paying down a credit card or get tucked away for the kids’ college funds?

Recognition, on the other hand, can be enjoyed by employees with no strings attached. It goes straight into their emotional expense accounts and doesn’t have to be used to repay past debts.


3. Recognition Goes Above and Beyond


Cash is expected. It is part of the contract you make when you hire an employee. If you offer bonuses for performance, those also become expected. It’s just part of the salary package. Something that you owe your employees.

Recognition, on the other hand, can be perceived as a gift, something that you give an employee for significant reasons beyond just showing up and clocking in.





Recognition Creates Meaning




Doing meaningful work is deeply important to most people. Cash payouts don’t create meaning. In fact if an employee gets a bonus when he knows he only contributed 50% of his best effort it can make the workplace feel capricious. “They don’t know what they’re doing here - and look how much they pay me to do it!”

Recognition, on the other hand, is all about meaning. It says “I saw how much work you put into the Jones account, and that means a lot to me.”



5. Recognition is Human



People don’t want to spend their whole lives cranking widgets, even if that’s their job. They want to be part of a bigger social enterprise. When you recognize their contributions, when you thank Sally for her 99.9% widget success rate, you are building a personal connection with an employee. She is now a vital part of your team and your tribe.

Cash, on the other hand, can be dehumanizing. Just like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry gave Elaine a stack of bills for her birthday, cash can leave employees feeling used. It can leave a lingering sense of “sure, they pay me. But they don’t really know me.”




When it’s working as it should, recognition transforms your company’s culture. People bond to each other, and watch each other’s backs. They get engaged and look for new ways to contribute.

For the second interview in our series we had the good fortune of interviewing Ryan King, he is the Senior Manager of PS Engineering and told us a little bit about himself in and outside of work.


Carmel Schetrit: What is your official title? What does it mean?

Ryan King: I'm the Senior Manager of PS Engineering in Professional Services. As part of the professional services team we deal with customers to make sure they're using our products successfully. There are many different aspects of ensuring the customer is successful, my team does the customization work. This means that they write the code to make things happen.




Ryan's selfie taken from his home office.


CS: Where do you work?

Ryan: I mostly work from home but I make sure to come into the Portland office a few times a week.


CS: How do you use Jive at Jive?

Ryan: I try to never not use Jive, whether it means using it to schedule real time meetings with my colleagues or using it as a substitution for email. The specified item was not found. and Brewspace are always open on my screen (unless I really need to concentrate). I push people who communicate with me via email to use Jive channels. The various Jive platforms help me do every part of my job on a daily basis. I use them to plan out my resources, including locating which engineers are working on which projects, scoping out estimates for customers, collaborating with my team when I work from home and making sure the project management teams are on the same page as far as how each project is resourced. As someone who partially works from home these channels are extremely valuable to my team's productivity and success.


CS: What's your WorkType?

Ryan: I am an Optimizer. I'm always trying to find a better, easier, faster way to get things done. My team has managed to automate a good portion of processes in PS. My team has managed to take our customization release process, which used to be a 30-60 minute, manual and error-prone set of steps, and reduce the time required to less than five minutes, with a simple push-button mechanism. In addition, the nature of our work is such that we work with hundreds of customers everyday and we have to do many of the same tasks for each one, the less time it takes us the more profitable we are, while still maintaining high quality of work.


CS: What is your desk setup like?

Ryan: My home setup is minimalistic and has a window with an outside view of my backyard (trees, bushes, etc.).  During the winter, it can be quite gloomy and dark, so I took a picture of my backyard, and created a Hue light bulb scene, so I can turn on my office lights and have the same colors in my room to brighten the day.


CS: What's the one thing you've done that no one would ever guess about you?

Ryan: My wife and I used to be total soccer haters, we even vowed that our kids would never play. Somehow this vow didn't stick and my kids began to play the hated sport. My wife and I grew to love it because of our kids and now we play and coach all year round. You could even call me a soccer fanatic.


CS: If you had a spirit animal what would it be?

Ryan: Platypus because it's a little bit of everything.




Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us a bit about yourself. It was great getting to know you!

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