October 10, 2017

Digital Transformation: How the CEO Thinks


With a supercomputer in every pocket and IoT data exploding, the shift from product-centricity to customer-centricity is now tablestakes.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels

This year’s InsureTech Connect blew me away. More than 100 senior leaders attended our Salesforce Exec Summit and shared their firms’ transformation stories. I especially enjoyed hosting a discussion, “A View from the C-Suite,” with Paula Downey (CEO, CSAA) and Naveen Agarwal (Chief Customer Officer, Prudential).

I got a lens into what makes other leaders tick: their habits, their values and their sources of inspiration in the face of difficult and risky change. For example, one CEO intimated how she keeps herself out of her comfort zone.

“I read everything. Just to get diverse perspectives. I try to read for 2 hours in the morning, and then finish my day with more reading whenever I can.”

That really struck me. Every morning, the day-to-day minutiae of email, texts and news sound bites all conspire to rip our attention apart. Yet here’s this very busy leader of a $3 billion company who still manages to schedule time for quiet, concentrated, contemplative reading. Every morning. Every night.

I have no more excuses.

See also: Future of Digital Transformation  

And there were more equally moving insights about leading change. I put six of them into this infographic:

Why the urgency?

Financial services and insurance — industries that are built not on tangible products, but on customer trust — are among the industries that are bracing for the most significant change.

The shift from product-centricity to customer-centricity is now tablestakes. With a supercomputer in every pocket, and the impending explosion of IoT data, digital upstarts are vying to become the next Amazon Prime of insurance that’s personalized, on-demand and mobile-first.

How are you driving change? What are your secrets of success? Please share.

See also: 4 Rules for Digital Transformation  

Thanks so much to everyone who attended the Exec Summit!


About the Author

Jeff To is the insurance leader for Salesforce. He has led strategic innovation projects in insurance as part of Salesforce’s Ignite program. Before that, To was a Lean Six Sigma black belt leading process transformation and software projects for IBM and PwC’s financial services vertical.

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