“I have this history in my career of pitching the role before it’s there,” Kennedy told Hypepotams. “I write it out and say ‘this is what you need to hire me for.’ And that’s really what happened [with Intellum] too because there’s so much opportunity to take strategy both externally and internally.”
As she steps into the newly-created CSO role, Kennedy spoke with Hypepotamus to discuss what building strategy looks like in the evolving organizational education space.
While Intellum might not be a household name, their work has certainly popped up on one of your screens. Some of Intellum’s clients include Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Stripe, Mailchimp, Habitat for Humanity, and The Home Depot.
The 20-year old customer education platform helps brands align their audiences with their products and services. Organizational education also includes ensuring that partners, vendors, and employees are aligned on what a company offers. Intellum’s Chief Experience Officer Greg Rose told Hypepotamus that the company doubled headcount to 150 during 2020 and is growing “minute by minute.”
Kennedy has been in and around the education space for 20 years, including building out the curriculum for bachelor programs, Facebook, and Amazon.
While at Amazon she built out the company’s advertising certification program. This is where she was initially introduced to Intellum. “We had a mutual passion about doing education the right way.”
She joined initially as Intellum’s VP of Education Strategy before creating the role of CSO.
Teaching Customers in 2021
Kennedy said that the remote-first nature of 2020 put the focus on customer education, which has often been dispersed across multiple teams that might be running webinars, onboardings, and other training series.
“We want to help companies take a step back to understand strategy. Let’s understand what problems you’re solving. What can we do with education? And how can we help you build a strategic framework to bring all these initiatives together and something that makes it a cohesive, end-to-end experience?”
Kennedy will be charged with growing the Office of Strategy Management. The team was remote even before the pandemic and has several open positions. For Kennedy, the Intellum team is helping define what organizational education really looks like. “The customer education industry has been changing and getting its own footing, and people are trying to figure out what it is and who it belongs to. There’s an opportunity to really look at that and look even broader, holistically at organizational education.”