Dignity at Scale:
How to Lead in the Age of Personalization
Humanity has been innovative enough to create economies of scale around just about everything: information, transportation, exploration. It’s time to apply that ingenuity to our highest and most important pursuit yet: creating economies of scale around embracing human dignity. Our age of personalization demands it.Download for Free
Read our recent Position Papers and learn what CEOs and other Senior Executives are thinking and where they are in the journey to activate individual capacity at scale.
This paper is a compilation of 5 case studies of how Fortune 500 companies are approaching the necessary shifts to lead in the age of personalization. It covers how Intel is reclaiming the organization’s culture amid marketplace uncertainty, how Chico's FAS is allowing their people to own the organization's strategy, how Farmers Insurance is reinventing a legacy brand entrenched in outdated standards to better serve millennials, how H&R Block is embracing personalization to sustain operational excellence and how Bank of America is removing the artificial boundaries that have been placed in front of people in the past, for both their employees and clients. This document features exclusive bonus content that is not available on Forbes.
"People and culture become your sustainable competitive advantage, and I think we have recognized, embraced and internalized that. We’re on a journey to deconstruct that into initiatives, efforts, metrics and goals that tell us that we are moving in the right direction. Teamwork across our company is the foundation of our success. We are One Intel, working together to bridge gaps, break down silos, collaborate across the aisle and around the world to understand key challenges, solve customers’ problems, and succeed in new markets."
“One of the things that we always talk about is that you have to listen with your eyes. You see more about what people are going through when you watch their body language, or when you're having a team meeting. Who's the person that came in that sat in the very last row in the very corner when all the other seats were open? They're telling you something. What is that? Do you take a moment afterward just to go say, "Hello," and find out maybe what's going on with that individual? It's creating that inclusion from a human standpoint just because you do care about everybody. You want everybody to be working hard but you want them, also, to want to be here.”
“From day one, I told the team, you guys own your space,” said Lloyd. “Every day we sit together and talk about what we're trying to accomplish that day or that week. That means my actuary is hearing from my technologist who's hearing from my marketing person who's hearing from my product development person, from my service person, my claims guys. Everybody's at the table hearing it so that they're thinking about their world with a bigger picture of everything else that the team is working on and what's important.”
“It’s more about a connected culture, connected leadership in the sense that every person brings something to the table that no one else has. Each person is an expert in their area. But together, you create these bigger aspirations and these bigger achievements. For us, it really is not about fitting people into a box, it really is about understanding what's uniquely you, what talent do you uniquely have, and how can we maximize that for the whole?”
“Our job is to remove the artificial boundaries that we have placed in front of people in the past, for both employees and clients. There are boundaries and measures of success that we've had to tear down and say that does not apply anymore. For example, for our client professionals, I'd rather measure client satisfaction [than sales], because if the clients are satisfied, they bring us assets and that’s much better than calling our employee a salesperson and measuring how many units they sell.”
This paper is a compilation of in-depth series of interviews with Fortune-500 high level executives asserting that inclusion should be embraced as a growth strategy for enterprises across all industries. Llopis argues that Inclusion is a skill, one that needs to be learned, practiced and mastered by every leader starting with the CEO on down. Inclusion is the most essential leadership skill today. Why? Because we have shifted from an age of standardization to an age of personalization. Those who master the skill of inclusion will be able to shift their engrained methods of standardization – many of which no longer apply and slow progress down – to methods of leadership in line with our new reality.
“Businesses thrive over time through innovation. Innovation by definition is thinking outside the box. Thinking outside the box is diversity of thinking. You are far more likely to develop sustainable diversity of thinking if you have a sustainably diverse group of people organized around a common objective with work processes to work together because they're different from each other.”
“We want everyone everywhere in the company to have the same chance of success irrespective of their nationality or location. To deliver on this ambition, we created a multi-hub model and systematically relocated global jobs to these hubs across the world to have a truly international leadership. So, instead of having one global headquarters, we now have three hubs located in Paris, Boston and Hong Kong. As expected, not only has this model been helpful in attracting local talent, it has been instrumental in ensuring that we are close to our customers and key markets and can make speedy business decisions with empowered local leadership. A few years ago, most of our global jobs were concentrated in one region, but the picture looks much more balanced now, especially in terms of decision making.”
“The challenge of getting to know customers as individuals can be difficult for a company like Target, considering that nearly every doorstep in America is within 10 miles of a Target store. Given our reach, almost anybody can walk into one of our stores and that’s why it’s important that the products we sell and the people we employ reflect the individuality of our guests.”
“For us, inclusivity is all about celebrating and encouraging diversity of thought in 106 countries. And it’s not just the right thing to do – there’s a business case for it as well. We’ve found that constantly tapping our team members for their perspectives, ideas and expertise makes them feel included and valued, which leads to a better guest experience – and ultimately, greater returns on our owners’ investments with us.”
“If we do not continue to invest in the development needs of our workforce – and change the way we work – we will quickly find ourselves behind the pace of innovation. Biases and barriers – conscious or unconscious – get in the way of true innovation and agility.”
“Human resources cannot play in a silo, they have got to be the glue that holds the organization together about information around associates and the thinking around inclusion and what inclusion truly means to the organization. Not just around hiring or employment practices. It's about how work gets done. It's about being that cultural champion on how collaboration occurs. How can you help facilitate the necessary conversations? Our chief human resources officer plays an important role in our growth strategy, not just creating a strategy for her team or her department or our business, but more of a strategic role of how the work gets done and how the team operates.”
“We deliberately try to create what we call “moments that matter,” for customers and employees. In fact, creating them for employees is one way to also train our employees on how to create them for our customers. Moments that matter are times when a person can maximize an individual’s experience from ordinary to extraordinary. The magic comes when you tailor it to what the associate or customer wants, and it is unexpected. The interesting part is that those that provide most amazing personal service are as excited to share as those that have received it.”
“Inclusive companies make successful companies. Research has shown time and time again that companies with more diverse workforces and leadership consistently outperform the competition. For companies to succeed, they must anticipate evolving needs of diverse business stakeholders and connect even more customers, suppliers, employees and communities for success.”
“Silos exist in part because of leadership's fear of giving up good people when they want to achieve their own individual goals. As a result, they tend to hold on to people. I look at it as an opportunity to have influence across other parts of the organization by virtue of connecting people who understand what our portion does, and then marrying that up with the importance of understanding what those other areas do. You can't do it without being a part of it. I can lean on those people.”
"Inclusion of new people, ideas and perspectives is the only way we can tackle the exciting opportunity in front of us. We need to find new and better ways to serve our customers, new and better ways to provide them with clean, affordable and reliable energy.”
“We must move beyond the common approach to diversity that focuses mostly on compliance – getting those numbers up. If you’re focused on compliance, you’re not going to embrace the value that diversity creates. The value is the diverse thinking, the innovation that enables that to occur, the deep understanding of these different segments that you have to serve and need to serve and how they’re changing. You don’t get that if you’re just trying to be compliant.”
“There’s a danger when diversity is mismanaged. You can have a very diverse team, but we all look differently, we come from different places, we think differently. But if the leader can't manage you to the maximum of the diversity, it's actually worse. You have a diverse team that's not being managed to their strength. If you're managing for inclusion that is where you get the best ideas, where you get the most innovation, where you can get growth. Our leaders are feeling the pressure to be able to do that really well, and that's a lot of what I feel like my job is, is giving them the opportunities to equip them so that they can learn to be better at that. We're working on it. I wish I had all the answers, but I’m glad we’re talking about this."
In this paper, Mr. Llopis introduces the age of personalization, how it’s connected to inclusion, why it is significant for healthcare, and why healthcare in particular can help point the way for all industries to lead in the age of personalization. This piece is the second half of the introduction to the series. In this paper, Llopis shares excerpts from interviews with CEOs and other C-level executives at some of the most prestigious healthcare institutions in this country. They get it. They have big ideas about how to take on this wide-ranging challenge of meeting the needs of so many individuals. They also readily acknowledge the difficulties.
“The concept of personalization and standardization is a good one. Every individual is different. And what we're looking at is, how do you care for each of those individuals based on who they are? This is an age of consumerism where individuals have a lot of information at their own hands and we absolutely support that. And we're in a process of digitizing a lot of what we do in healthcare so that individuals can get their care where they want it, when they want it, and how they want it, whether it's on their iPhone, their iPad, sitting in a traditional office or getting care at home.”
“Puget Sound and in the state of Washington we serve a diverse population that includes people who are Hispanic, Alaska natives, American Indian, African-American, Asian and Caucasian. We're focused on what it takes to provide the appropriate care for those individuals, both from a cultural perspective and also because cancers vary between those populations. We want to make sure that we understand the individuals we're working with, the illnesses that might affect them, and the way that we can try to affect the best possible care for them.”
“There’s a need to balance individualized, personalized medicine to make sure we're getting the right patient the right test or procedure (method) at the right time. Then, also, the need to reduce variability where appropriate according to evidence-based guidelines to achieve the best outcomes for patients, and to demonstrate value-added care that is affordable as well. As health system leaders, we have to be exploring both.”
“New challenges are going to be arising constantly in real time. Is your organization making use of the people in it? Is your network making use of the people in it and allowing them to actually cluster around those challenges as they arise, and bring their expertise to those challenges?”
“It is important that we have employees and teams operating in the community, and even more important that we have the right mechanisms and processes to incorporate their learnings and insights into the broader organization. One way we do this is through the Anthem Whole Health Connection tool. It allows different teams inside the organization to work together to better understand the unique and personalized needs of our population. Leveraging this tool allows us to bring together the medical, dental, vision, and pharmacy interactions of our patients to organize their care and ensure that they receive targeted solutions for their specific needs.”
“When you talk about personalization versus standardization, this is a tension that we have all the time, because we're under constant pressure to improve the value proposition and particularly reduce costs. There's always this pressure for more standardization, which has the potential to reduce the personalization or the individual contribution. So what we end up trying to do is have individuals contribute creatively to how they can improve our value proposition. It is a tension inside the organization at all times.”
“Patient-specific clinical, multiomic and patient generated data is crucial to a personalized approach to medicine. Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a medical research institute focused on unraveling the genetic components of cancer and complex diseases, joined the City of Hope family several years ago. This was a crucial last step in creating an oncology continuous learning platform that allows us to derive patient-specific insights and inform evidence-based decision making. As the industry shifts to a value-based care approach, we really cannot achieve true value without meeting the patients’ needs, and TGen allows us to get their faster.”