Business Drivers by Fahren

Stories and insights from innovative leaders who are driving digital transformation.

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Latest Episodes

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March 24, 2022

Jen Swanson - Product Leadership tips from a Guide to CTOs - Ep 008

Our guest for this episode is Jen Swanson. I think Jen might be one of best networked tech leader in the Twin Cities. We're very fortunate that we get to work closely with her on some of our best engagements at Fahren. Jen’s got a great track record as a product leader at organizations like Optum, Childrens Hospital, Capella and others. As you’ll hear, she started as an educator, and as it turns out, she’s still an educator, just in a different forum.  I really appreciated all the practical useful wisdom here about the transition to digital product teams and how to make that transformation happen. She shares some great insights intoo  the role emotional intelligence plays, and how it’s required to stay resilient in the face of continuous change. And, i’m stealing her phrase “the frozen Middle”.   You can find Jen at and on twitter @jgswanson ...



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January 27, 2022

Jason Scherschligt - Product Leadership in Times of Change - Ep 007

Our guest for this episode is Jason Scherschligt.  Jason is a consultant with Solution Design Group in Minneapolis. Before SDG, Jason did some great product strategy work at Edmentum, GoKart Labs, Capella, Jostens and Star Tribune.  At Fahren, we spend a lot of time talking with product leaders about how to get things moving in orgs, so Jason’s insights into the methods and approaches he uses were really helpful to me as we work to support product leaders and marketing teams. As a fellow liberal arts major, I appreciate his ability to make connections that others might not see and his thoughtful assessment of what’s going on in our space.  He also shared some good perspective on how managers can evolve their leadership styles for new and smarter ways of working.  Apologies in advance for the side-track into the world of Mellville, whaling and unreadable novels. But, that’s what happens when you get two english majors in a zoom.  You can follow Jason on Twitter at @Searchlight5. Hope you enjoy this talk with Jason Scherschligt! ...



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January 20, 2022

Sue Serna - The Importance of Governance in Social Media - Episode 006

Our guest on this episode is Sue Serna founder and owner of Serna Social. Sue is kind of a stealthy wizard in the world of social media and she’s got a cool specialty: How to run governance efforts in multi-brand or muti-business orgs, Like Cargill, where she spent 9 years guiding their social media safety efforts. She’s a nationally recognized expert on the non-sexy, behind the scenes work that prevents large orgs from doing dumb stuff on social media while they try to do great things.  A lot of execs think it’s just sort of magic how the messages get created and run, but you just need one rogue post to see the importances of coordinated Governance. Sue’s the expert on that.  You can find Sue at and on twitter @sernasocial   This talk was another in my efforts to get smarter about social media - what’s happening, what’s new, what’s old, ahead of 2022. We talked a lot about governance, but also how to keep execs up to date on the landscape and to help them learn how to evaluate the work their team is doing. Sue made a point similar to Arik Hanson, that the social media team doesn’t get the support and recognition they deserve. So, send some appreciation to your social team.  And, just to prove some topics never get old, we talked about which budgets social media should come from.   You’ll hear that Sue’s got a ton of energy and passion for this stuff. Learned a ton from her and I hope we get to do part 2, soon! ...



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January 13, 2022

Arik Hanson - Improving Your Social Media Strategies for 2022 - #005

You probably know Arik from his thoughtful posts on Linked or his blog at Arik Hanson. Or, you might know him from his long running, well respected podcast with Kevin Hunt, the Hunt and Hanson Podcast. Arik is a social media pro that has a strong focus on corporate messaging and communications. But, he’s a font of knowledge for all sorts of topics related to social media. He’s been a successful independent social media consultant for the last 12 years, but has been driving brands and businesses forward as a marketer for 25 years. He’s a pro’s pro.  This talk was part of our efforts to get smarter about social media - what’s happening, what’s new, what’s old, ahead of 2022. Arik got me to re-think the role of a private community for brands, and he made some really good points about the way social drives your brand forward beyond acquisition. And, i love LOVE his reminder of how hard the role of a social media leader is. I’ve been harping on that since this talk. You can find Arik at or on twitter at And, you can find Arik's podcast at ...



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December 07, 2021

Ponara Eng - Content Marketing in 2022

Ponara Eng is an exemplar of the modern marketer: At home talking about brand fundamentals - Consumers, insights, need states, beliefs, positioning - but also, all the modern, digital elements of brand building, from ecommerce to content strategy. He’s recently joined Realty Group in Minneapolis as theVP of Marketing. Prior to Realty Group, he was leading digital marketing at Cambria and if you’ve seen any of their digital work, you know he and the team there have good taste and make highly effective content.  I love how he thinks: He’s disciplined, but curious and flexible. ...



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November 15, 2021

Kristen Findley - Google and the Cookie issue

Our guest for this episode is Kristen Findley.Kristen and I are longtime colleagues, going all the way back to my first real digital job when we were literally teaching people about the web and how it works. Kristen’s come a long way and now she’s a trusted, super thoughtful insights and strategy leader! Most recently, she has been working with clients on their marketing data strategy as head of Media Optimization & Performance at Ciceron. She’s also led digital analytics and insights at Ameriprise, and leading strategy engagements at agencies like Aimea and Bolin.   I wanted to talk with Kristen specifically because I wanted to get her take on the Google cookie depreciation situation. And, what it might mean for marketers and their budgets in 2022. Obviously, things have changed a bit since Google pushed their deadlines back a bit. But, still lots to learn from this conversation.   You can follow Kristen on twitter at @kdfindley ...