Interview with Kevin Allen - the amazing growth of OpenExO

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

Today’s blog is linked to the Podcast “Exponential Organisations” and is a loose transcript of the interview I had with Kevin Allen. It won’t be a word-for-word transcript of the interview but will rather be me highlighting some key things that Kevin said during the interview. I hope you enjoy it.


Introducing Kevin


Kevin is an energetic and creative individual. He displays leadership characteristics, believing in leading by example. He enjoys facing up to challenges, performing new tasks and mastering what he sets out to do. He believes that we live in an abundant world and look for ways to impact those around him with positivity, especially through exponential technologies. He has a passion for Africa and believes that Africa is where the future lies.

His personal MTP is “Unlocking Positive Human Potential”.


Kevin is currently the Chief Community Officer for OpenExO.


Could you tell us about OpenExO and your role as the Chief Community Officer?


Introducing OpenExO

“OpenExO (www.openexo.com) is a community of thought leaders and change makers from around the world. We currently have community members in 104 countries and we are almost at 2,500 people. OpenExO as a community grew out of the book Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail. As a community our core role is to train, teach and certify individuals to use the ExO model, as well as the ExO Sprint methodology in order to transform the world for a better future. This is our Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP). We believe that the way we can transform the world, that we are using technology for the benefit of all, is to give our methodology to the community and to ensure that there are people out there getting people excited about how exponential technologies can actually be used for the benefit of humanity. The ExO model is a model that says how can I take advantage of exponential technologies and how can I take my organisation and grow it at a 10X rate. As we move forward there are many companies that are realising that purpose really drives inspiration and at the end of the day drives profit.”


Role as chief community officer

“My role is to grow that community and bring in more and more people from different countries around the world. I also engage that community in activity whether that is doing a podcast or meetups in different countries. I help people to get certified within the ExO Model and then to go out there and transform the world.”


Why do you think OpenExO is growing so significantly?


OpenExO offers a model for companies to adopt exponential technologies.

“I believe we have rapid growth because it is becoming more and more obvious for companies that digital transformation, or introducing technology into your business, is not something you can not think about. What we are definitely seeing that traditional companies that have been around for a long time, that people thought would stand the test of time, are actually going out of business. There are a number of technologies that are on the exponential curve are coming out of the deceptive phase and are becoming increasingly prominent. People are starting to realise that they really need to do something but they don’t know how to embrace different technologies. They also don’t know what the future holds.”


OpenExO offers a worldwide community.

The ExO Model is actually really simple to understand and people are starting to realise that they can work in a global space and get a lot of insight from people is a massive driver to the growth of OpenExO.”


What lead you to work for OpenExO?


My journey…

“I went to work for a company that provided an online real estate platform and one of the books we had to read was Exponential Organizations by Salim Ismail. After reading that book I realised that there was a huge opportunity to spread the world about this. This was just at the time that the ExO community was starting to take shape in about 2015. I applied to become part of the community and it was quite a close community in those days and used to be called ExO Lever. Once I joined the community I started consulting on exponential organisations and speaking throughout South Africa – where I come from. I got involved in the people that put together Africa Tech week and helped them to get Salim Ismail out to Cape Town, South Africa. At the same time the core team of ExO Lever asked me to join to drive it throughout the world. It has been a crazy journey that since I joined the core team in December 2018 we have quadrupled the size of the community. I firmly believe in having a Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) myself and what OpenExO is looking to do really resonates completely with my MTP”


You have been incredibly successful. Where have you learnt to be such an effective Chief Community Officer?


Experimentation and guidance

“I would say that there is a lot of discovery and as a core team we are running as an exponential organisation ourselves. Experimentation is something that is important and we do a lot of it. I also take a lot of guidance from large communities that are out there. I look to and speak to others who lead digital communities. I am also a member of a Facebook CMX group and there is always interesting insights that people share.”


What has your life been like in the last year?


Global citizen

“I really believe that global travel is something that every single human should experience. This year I have travelled to about 10 different countries and have been to some fantastic event but I have also been to places that are difficult. I spent two months of this year living in Tbilisi Georgia. I have travelled to the USA, spent quite a bit of time in Spain where our back-end team is based and the event in the USA was quite amazing. I ended up in a lift with Val Kilmer and had quite an interesting conversation with him. Being a global citizen has reminded me that around the world we are so similar and we really want to see a better future.”


What are the OpenExO targets for next year?


Significant growth

“Our target for this year 2019 was 2019 members and so we perhaps underestimated a little. For 2020 we hope to grow to 20,200 members. More than this though is what we really want to see is impact. We really want to look at the number of active consultants and coaches. We want to see how people who have been through the certification are using the tools. This is a metric that is so much more important because this is what is going to transform the world.”


How should people get involved in OpenExO


Join www.openexo.com

“The easiest thing is to visit www.openexo.com and join the community. We have a Foundations certification that is an entry level certification to give you a good understanding of the ExO model. There is no fee to register, join the community and become involved.”



Thank you Kevin for being my guest in this blog and podcast. If you would like to contact Kevin then here is his Linkedin profile. To listen to the full interview subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, spotify or listen on www.ideastorm.co.za.


I hope you have enjoyed and found this blog valuable. If you would like to talk about any of these concepts further, then let’s chat. You can book me online using Calendly at https://calendly.com/ideastorm, contact me through my website at www.ideastorm.co.za or email me directly at lancepeppler@gmail.com.



The new Exponential Organisation Handbook is available for download. Click on the picture or this link for more information and to download.

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