At a Glance
Helen Yu, Founder & CEO, Tigon Advisory
Focus Areas: Digital Transformation, Startups, AI, Cloud, Cybersecurity
Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio: Helen Yu
Latest Content: The psychological and cultural impact of artificial intelligence
Overall Thought Leader Ranking on Thinkers360: #28 (as of 10/08/19) | AI Thought Leadership Leaderboard Ranking: #4 (as of 10/08/19) | Check Availability for Speaking
Thought Leader Interview
Thinkers360 interviews profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Helen Yu Founder & CEO of Tigon Advisory. Helen is a global customer success executive and board advisor who delivers value through multi-faceted perspectives for driving growth, solving complex challenges and turning around underperforming organizations. She was featured recently in the Thinkers360 Top 20 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Artificial Intelligence.
Thinkers360: Tell us a bit about your background
HY: I am the founder and CEO of Tigon Advisory, a Chicago-based firm that equips start-ups to tackle go-to-market challenges that must be met before they can scale; among them: capturing the nuances of customer demand, matching products to market segments, engineering “marketability” into every product, and creating processes to systematize success.
As a long-time customer success executive and board advisor with a substantial record of scaling businesses, driving growth, and transforming under-performing companies, I have built a career spanning from early-stage start-ups to pre-IPO to the Fortune 500, including Oracle, Adobe and Marketo. I am currently serving as an advisor to Pypestream, a conversational AI company that provides customer services solution at scale, and as an interim global service leader at a hyper growing sales enablement company.
Thinkers360: What are your current responsibilities and what’s a typical day look like?
HY: As CEO and founder of Tigon Advisory, I help start-up technology founders accelerate growth while creating deeper customer experiences. My company provides CXO as a service to those in need. As a customer success leader, creating an active customer listening path is paramount.
Every day I spend a couple of hours in the field or over the phone with customers to understand what success looks like for them, how their experience is and what’s on their wish list. Then I take the feedback back to my peers on the sales, marketing and product team to reflect and adjust our strategy as needed. I spend the rest of my time aligning vision with a solid execution plan to ensure my team understands why we are driving certain initiatives, what needs to be done to achieve them and how each of them can contribute to the company’s success. Understanding and appreciating the culture difference is the key to success when running a global team. I invest most of my time in getting to know my customers, team and peers. I always carve out 60 minutes each day to “think.” I spend 30 minutes in the morning to think about what the priority is for the week and what needs to be done during the day to achieve the weekly goal — and what kind of support I need from others. I then adjust my weekly calendar accordingly. I wrap up my day with a 30-minute review for a reality check. I have never skipped the 60-minute “thinking” time no matter how long my day goes.
Thinkers360: What’s the favorite part of your current role?
HY: I started my career as an accountant, moved up to financial analyst, transitioned to business and technology consulting and management. I expanded myself from finance to sales to marketing to customer success, social media and artificial intelligence. Recently I became certified in cybersecurity through MIT. Expanding myself constantly has been rewarding.
Thinkers360: How do you utilize Thinkers360?
HY: I utilize Thinkers360 to network with other thought leaders. I leverage the platform to collect all the work I have done. I have never organized my speeches, articles, podcasts, interviews on a single platform until I learned about Thinkers360. (Editors Note: See Helen’s Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio).
Thinkers360: How do you like to work with brands who wish to engage you as a thought leader?
HY: I engage with brands in different ways. For example, attending or speaking at their conferences, writing articles, promoting curated contents via social media, speaking on their podcasts and panels, or being featured on their newsletters.
Thinkers360: What’s your main advice for upcoming thought leaders?
HY: Be a student of life and focus on expanding yourself. All other things will come into play.
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