10L: Cheryl Clemons

10L: A few simple questions about how leading professionals see their work.

About Cheryl:

Cheryl Clemons is CEO of StoryTagger, the guided video storytelling platform transforming how people discover and share their most valuable workplace experiences.

So, what do you do dear?  Describe your work to an elderly relative. 

Well, of course, that’s a secret. Better to be obtuse and impenetrable … we wouldn’t want to give the game away, would we?

But, if you’re going to push me, I help people reflect on and share their own knowledge, experiences and stories on video to inspire others, and help them to do their jobs.

That question is a tad easier now I run a product company. As a consultant in the early 2000s I used to accompany my job description with a mime.

What was your favourite learning experience (Could be work, personal, school…anything is valid)?  What were you trying to do? Why did it work so well for you?

This might be quite telling but I recalled my least favourite faster! What sticks in my mind and probably has had the longest lasting impact on me was my Masters in Cultural Theory I took in my early 20s which coincided with the start and rise of the dotcom era. So many rich pickings that still inform what I do today in terms of how we relate to technology and the interplay of different social, economic and cultural factors.    

Enough already…What one thing do you wish people in your industry or profession would stop doing? (What gets your goat?)

I’m probably not the first to say this but other goats get my goat. For an industry aspiring to peace, love and performance there’s often quite a lot of hate which can get in the way of debate and industry progress. One rift which I’d love to see mend is the one between sales and learning as, diametrical opposition aside, I think there’s a huge amount that can be learned from each base. Let’s face it in sales there is nowhere to hide, it’s all about the numbers. More risk, entrepreneurship and commercial acumen in the learning pot could be a good thing.

Same again please…What has changed for the better in your professional world as a result of COVID working practices? Should it be retained for the future (whenever that might be and whatever it might look like)? 

People are much more willing to share, to be real and be seen. My experience has been one of extended collaboration internally, with partner and customer teams and that has been super rewarding. I’d love to see us all continue to spark this keenness to collaborate around common goals.

From the good old days…What do you miss most about working life from the pre-COVID world? Do you think it will return? 

Real live people. I miss good old fashioned face-to-face banter and snatched conversations over a post-conference or award dinner beer. Yes, they will return. We’re ready.

Theft is the sincerest form of flattery…Which part of which other industry or profession do you think we should learn from and adopt (or just steal)?

We need technologists, scientists, linguists, philosophers, designers and storytellers to name but a few so I suggest we steal from them all!

You know who would be great for this…Which famous person (live or historical) do you want to join your team and why?

Joan Clarke has successfully interviewed as Chief Data Scientist. Leonard Cohen is down for Chief Storyteller but we’re still negotiating over his benefits package. He is also a guest at the dinner party I’m hosting for famous people (live or historical) at the weekend.

If only I had…What did you learn from your most recent mistake?

It was only a dropped bagel but this, my most recent mistake, was caused by getting distracted and not being mindful. Focus Clemons!

There can be only one…Which one tool or piece of kit would you keep if you could only use one from now on?

Analogue – my kettle. Digital – my phone of course.

The picture of success…Which image or picture is a good representation of how you would like to develop your practice over the next five years?

Contact notes

Where can we find you?

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