1. Collaborate across the silos – it’s more essential than ever
Most importantly, Carla shared key insights about how the C-suite is “by design integrally linked” even more intensely than before and that the crisis forced the team to “think, connect, and behave differently.” There was a sense of comradery and collaboration that simply became more pronounced in service of caring for both colleagues and for customers during the crisis.
2. Make the most of marketing’s bigger role across the leadership team
Carla notes that the role of marketing, which has been the historic advocate for “voice of the customer,” has now become more of a focal point for other people across the leadership team who are keen to understand the zeitgeist as they respond to the changing dynamics of the crisis. Her hope is that these new leadership bonds and behaviors last.
3. Use data to anticipate your customers’ growing human expectations
A fascinating implication of the digital acceleration is the change it will precipitate in human expectations, in both B2B and B2C contexts. As more processes become digital, customers understand that they have provided their data as part of the value exchange and experience. As a result, Carla offered the critical implication that people will look to companies to know more about them based on the cohort in which they sit. Anticipating needs, personalizing experiences, and removing friction now become key expectations through the overall journey.
Carla Hassan and the team at Citi offer key lessons for this COVID-19 moment and beyond, as so many of the customer behaviors shaping strategy and action are not going away. And, the new leadership patterns being forged within the C-suite afford critical new lessons to lead differently in times of both threat and opportunity. This moment of crisis offers an opportunity not only to learn but also to retain the new patterns that create new value.