About this episode
Katie Hanson, Director of Product Management at Benefitfocus, shares how her company quickly adapted to help their customers find affordable benefits during this global pandemic and how it led to the creation of a new offering. She also talks about the importance of supporting her team during these stressful times by understanding how they are “really” doing.
About our guest
Katie 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-centric solutions at market-leading companies including Wells Fargo, Renovate America, Intuit, and Global Analytics.
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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 – massive hiring in grocery business and layoffs in other verticals
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 the crisis
30:42 – Teachable leadership moments from this crisis
37:45 – Balancing executing during the 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