About this episode

Katie shares how her company quickly adapted to help their customers find affordable benefits during a global pandemic. This led to the creation of a new offering. She also talks about the importance of supporting her team during stressful times. She does this by understanding how people are “really” doing.


About our guest

Katie Hanson, Director of Product Management at Benefitfocus, is a consumer experience thought leader and trained innovation catalyst. For almost two decades, she has helped consumers navigate big financial decisions using technology. Her passion for using data to uncover insights and foster innovation has contributed to the advancement of consumer centered solutions at market leading companies. These companies include Wells Fargo, Renovate America, Intuit, and Global Analytics.


Prefer audio only? We have that too!


Highlights from Katie’s Session

1:00 – Brief summary of Katie’s career and work

2:45 – How Benefitfocus’ values drove the all-hands on deck approach to help customers during the pandemic

4:50 – Transitioning the organization to Work from Home (living in a place with hurricanes helped as they had practice with implementing business continuity plans)

10:15 – QuaranTEAMING – balancing leading your team at work with a new second job, “teaching”

15:15 – The clipboard from “Katie’s School”

16:40 – Managing stress and learning new things about your family

19:15 – Tatchos Recipe

20:52 – Solving customer problems that have never come up before

24:15 – Listening to your customers and using data to gain deep understanding of their changing needs

25:50 – Executing quickly and continuously iterating/pivoting

29:05 – Using evidence to launch a product that will continue to serve a new target segment past a crisis

30:42 – Teachable leadership moments from this crisis

37:45 – Balancing executing during a pandemic (survival mode) with building for the future by capitalizing on opportunities as we emerge from this crisis

43:27 – Lessons from football that can be applied to leadership (Katie loves the USC Trojans)

44:58 – Having dinner with Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey

46:39 – Unusual thing you will find on Katie’s desk