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Moving the needle in technology leadership: Focusing on customer success

15 February, 2021 | 35 min 41 sec
Podcast Host Anita Sands | Podcast Guest Lara Caimi
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Brief Summary

The post-Covid digital era brings to the forefront increasing expectations for company productivity, employee experiences and customer interactions. In this third episode of a four-part series takeover, Anita Sands speaks to Lara Caimi with ServiceNow, about how leadership can drive customer-oriented ecosystems through digital transformation.


Highlights

  • Entering a C-suite role: One of the important things is to be an equal peer at the table and have a seat at driving the company in partnership with the other executives. There is value in investing in peer relationships that can pay dividends for the organization as a whole. 
  • The four phases of growth for software companies. Phase one is looking for product market fit; phase two is about scale; phase three is building an enduring company by thinking about brand, talent, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Phase four: Industrializing the company by building processes, and tools, and systems and leveraging the ecosystem. 
  • Digital transformation post-COVID is a business imperative and a competitive differentiator. Whether you're supporting customers or driving new sales or business models, this era includes re-engineering, speed at scale and agility for productivity, employee experience, and customer interaction. 
  • ServiceNow helped digitize work to make work better for people during COVID, including the NBA and WNBA. 
  • Reacting to COVID and reframing the conversation around work-life balance: Research has shown how different cohorts of the workforce are disproportionately impacted by the burdens of what's happening with work from home and school from home, or teach from home during this time. 
  • When relying on virtual relationships, leadership should rely on empathy, communication, and flexibility with their teammates. 
  • When there is clarity on a business mandate, the technology transformation can be very focused on business outcomes and aligning the troops around building a scalable, repeatable set of processes and tools, leveraging the ecosystem.

Podcast Transcript


Anita Sands:

So Lara, thank you so much for joining me today on the ThoughtWorks podcast. I'm very excited to have this conversation with you because every time we talk, Lara, I learn something new.


Lara Caimi:

Oh, well, awesome. Thank you so much for having me, Anita. I love our conversations and I'm so happy to be part of it. So thank you.


Anita:

Great. So let's start about your own journey, Lara, which as an executive has been a really phenomenal one. You came into the tech industry, I guess the little bit from an adjacent career. So can you tell us about your decision to join ServiceNow and why you made that career pivot?


Lara:

Yeah, for sure. And maybe I'll tell a few of the aha moments I had along the way as I've done that because I know changing careers, from experience, is a scary thing to do sometimes. So I spent most of my career at Bain & Company and professional services doing consulting, and mainly for tech companies. So the big projects were always with the biggest companies. And it was a transformation of a business model, or M&A of strategy, performance improvement, across the board. And mostly it was for very big established tech companies.


But every once in a while I would work on a billion dollar private equity backed software company. It was this amazing moment where you realize how nimble smaller companies can be. And it was always very exciting to work for those companies. And so I was very happily entrenched in this career. I had really grown up in that company and loved it, loved the culture. In fact, my husband is a partner at Bain. All of our good friends are partners. We all had kids at the same time. So it really felt like a family to me.


And so I really wasn't intending to leave, but as you do, you get headhunter calls that come across your desk. And this one was really... I was like, oh man, this one's too good not to... It was John Donahoe and ServiceNow, two things that were really too good to pass up because for those of you who don't know, John Donahoe was our previous CEO before Bill McDermott.


And he grew up, similarly to me, at Bain & Company, was the CEO of Bain before he went off to eBay. And of course now he's at- Nike now. Yeah. So he's had a pretty awesome career. But anyway, because I had been in tech, I knew that ServiceNow was a great story and an exciting place to be. And so out of respect to John and just interests, I took an interview and of course spent all weekend prepping because I didn't want to embarrass Bain. I needed to show up and make him proud. Anyway, one interview turned into eight interviews and a job offer. And so I made the decision to leave, which at the time was very, very scary because I was so comfortable, right?


Anita:

Right, right.


Lara:

So comfortable. Anita, you know this. You've made a lot of big career changes yourself, and it's very scary to re-pot and think about doing something new. And for me, going into ServiceNow, it was in a role that no one understood, they'd never had given the stage of the company. 


Anita:

We hadn't gotten to that point where we'd needed a head of strategy. The strategy was always fairly obvious what we needed to do at that point in our trajectory, right?


Lara:

Yeah. And so I came in, built the function, built relationships with my peers. One of the important things for me was, I didn't want to be just a staff role to the CEO where I was doing John's bidding. I really wanted to be an equal peer at the table and have a seat at really driving the company in partnership with the other executives. And so that was super important to me. And so one of the things that I did early on, which I would recommend to anybody that's moving into a similar new role...


I asked for a peer mentor, and John was wise enough to make that be CJ who runs our products. Building that relationship, John knew and I knew, was incredibly important because CJ runs such an important part of our business. And so CJ and I really built a very close relationship. And that partnership with product, and of course with Dave Schneider who runs go to market, were my most important peer relationships that really cemented that partnership in driving and establishing our strategy.


Anita:

Lara, I think your lesson there, and the value of investing in your peer relationships, and doing things in partnership can sometimes pay a lot of really good dividends for the organization as a whole in terms of moving things forward.


Lara:

Absolutely. And of course it just made my job so much more fun because I wasn't inserting myself into other people's worlds. They were pulling me in as an equal partner to help them solve problems which is obviously what I wanted to do in that role. That was what my mission was.


I spent some time really building early wins, getting alignment, getting that, what we call, their path to 10 billion strategy aligned with the executives, and with John, and with the board, ultimately with you and the team, Anita. And so that first year I was just heads down focused on that. And then John would give me more organizations to either build or fix. And so I had this portfolio of stuff that I was managing.


And at some point I got some really good advice which was... And I think this is typical. Anita, you've probably heard this a lot of women, which is to not be bold enough in stating your ambition. Or being a little timid. And so I took that to heart and really thought about it. And when John and I were having my review probably after I'd been in the seat a year and gotten comfortable, et cetera, it was, what do you want to be? What's your five or 10 year goal? And for me, it was also, I think, building my own confidence in realizing that I had a lot to say, trusting my own instincts, et cetera, and saying I actually think I could be a CEO one day.


I would like to do that down the road. I think I would be good at that. I think I would add value to the world doing that. And so John was great in that he was really supportive of that. And then when Bill McDermott came on, which was I think probably faster than any of us really expected John to leave. I thought I had five years to work and grow and learn from him, and I ended up having two. But Bill came in and was just incredible. One of the things that, for those many executives and folks go through CEO changes or your boss will change. And one of the things that was an important mindset shift in that moment for me, was not to feel proprietary about the strategy that I had built. And to be defensive, like, oh my gosh, a new CEO is coming in and I've done all this work and now he's going to come and change it.


I felt that stress at first, and I had to step back and say, you know what? That is stupid. It's actually his job to come in and put his fingerprints on this and make it better. And so I should be all about helping him, enabling him as much as I can for him to do that for us to then emerge with something stronger and better on the other side. And not feel like I had to defend some idea that I had or whatever.


Anita:

I'd never thought about that from your perspective because of course from a board perspective, you bring in a new CEO and yeah, unfortunately none of us wanted to have to bring in a new CEO. But you couldn't deny John's once in a lifetime opportunity to go run a company like Nike. But then when we landed Bill McDermott, we just felt like, oh, this could have been a really bad moment for us and it turned out to be a really good moment for us. And of course the two of them being so world-class made the transition so seamless. But you're dead right, Lara, from a board perspective, we were thinking, yeah, this guy is going to come in and he's going to help evolve our strategy. And I think where I would have been thinking from a board standpoint is, how lucky he is to have somebody like Lara and her skillset to one, bring him up the curve really fast on our journey thus far and where we are and what our strategic optionality looks like.


But then secondly, how he can lean on her skillset to move into the company's next chapter. But I never actually thought about, yeah. You had put a ton of work into developing a strategy under John, and this new guy might've just kiboshed it. But in fact, Lara didn't turn out that way at all. He had bigger plans for you. And I love the fact that you said you put your hand up. You said, "I would like to be a CEO someday," by the way, you will be a CEO someday. And you'll be a phenomenal CEO. And I hope you call me up to serve on your board because I would work for you any day, Lara. But I think part of what they advised you, if I recall correctly from some of our conversations, go run a P&L, right? Have that piece of the puzzle under your belt. So can you describe your new role now because it is a little bit different in terms of what these typical customer success roles look like for most software companies. Yours is a bit more expensive, I think, to start with.


Lara:

Yeah, well, so I'm the Chief Customer and Partner Officer, and it is a little bit different in that way. And it's all about what phase you are as a software company because where we are, software companies have different phases. And phase one is zero to a hundred million in revenue where you're just looking for product market fit. And if you're lucky enough to do that, you're in phase two and that's a hundred to a billion where Frank Slootman is well suited, right? You scale the hell out of that thing. And then phase three, which is when John came in, it's like, oh, actually we need to build an enduring company.


And so we're going to think about brand, and we're going to think about talent, and diversity, inclusion, belonging. We're going to actually think about customer success because amazingly the foundations of just a customer centric culture and a great product for what we had, but we hadn't ever formalized the notion of thinking about our balance sheet as a company. And so that's when we built that. And now of course, we're in phase four and that's where Bill obviously has amazing pattern recognition and experience, and is taking us from a multi-billion to a $10 billion company. And we have a lot of the foundational stuff in place, but we really need to industrialize it, right? And we industrialize it by building processes, and tools, and systems around how we do think about customer success end to end across the company. And how it really is everybody's job.


But it's not enough that we in ServiceNow think about that alone. Partners drive 90% of our implementations and scaling with an ecosystem is so critical. And of course they have to be part of that journey to get our customers to success. So the idea of bringing all that together, I think is really important because where we are is about scale, and it's about systematizing, and it's about leveraging the ecosystem. And so for me, it's the perfect opportunity to really think about that. And there's natural friction.


Anita:

From the ServiceNow standpoint, you might say there's friction. But as somebody that sat, I think, in a seat similar to a lot of our listeners today as a CIO or a CTO or a CDO or whatever, you always want your vendors and your partners to get along. You'd like that to happen. So the fact that you might now be coming to market and going, I just care about this customer and I care about making their ServiceNow experience terrific from end to end, and I care about them having a successful implementation and rollout, and getting the value that they hope to get in their investment. And having somebody that looks at all of that. I could see that being a real breath of fresh air, quite frankly, for an awful lot of ServiceNow's customers.


Lara:

Yeah, I think that's right. And that's consistently what I've heard from customers. And I think too part of my history, I haven't grown up in this particular function. I came in thinking about the whole company, thinking about our customers and thinking about our shareholders ultimately. And that's what this is in service of, right? And so the customer should feel great about this because it's ensuring that they stay at the center of everything that we do. And yeah, there are trade offs and there is friction, but ultimately if we keep that higher order priority in mind, I think we'll end up in the right place. And it should be a win-win-win really for us, for the customer, and for the partner if we get that right.


Anita:

Yeah. Love it. Love it, Lara. So look, given that a lot of our listeners here are probably driving digital transformations of one form or another... 2020 is or was a big year for all things digital. I've said COVID wasn't hitting the pause button, it's hitting the reset button. And a lot of people are now coming out of this, going, we really need to be a digital company and we need to accelerate that.


Lara:

For me, digital transformation it's the only conversation to have post COVID. For me, it's absolutely a business imperative at this point, right? And I think it's become so obvious to folks as we went through this incredible change management moment where literally overnight, Just everybody had to work differently. And all of these third wheels, or third rails, or expectations of how we do things fundamentally have been thrown out the window. We used to think there was only a certain way we could market to customers, or sell to customers, or build a relationship, or build the relationship with your team.


All of that has been challenged. And I think we've learned new ways of doing work. And frankly, I think that what I've seen is the companies who are further along in their digital transformation journey are accelerating and thriving through this. And those who hadn't invested in those foundations are finding it harder. And so to me it's the competitive differentiator that's explaining the gap that we're seeing between companies. And so going forward, I think it's just been a huge lesson. And that's why I think companies like ServiceNow that do enable digital transformation have been doing so well, is that folks are realizing we have to invest in this because not only do we need the productivity, because oftentimes we've missed our top line in some degrees, we have to think about productivity, but also our employees now are demanding a different kind of experience.


They want a digital consumer grade experience and now we realize that that's super important. And then also there's lots of different ways that we're now realizing how to deal with our customers, right? Whether we're supporting them or driving new sales or new business models even, all of that is enabled with digital transformation. And so for me, it's exactly like you said. It is the conversation. And it's like, if you haven't gotten the memo, it's going to be trouble.


Anita:

I'm thinking about my next Forbes article. And this idea noodling in my head where a couple of things CEOs need to get straight in their minds. First of all, it's not the future of work. This is now just work. It's no longer digital business. We have to stop putting the digital moniker in front of everything because this is just now business, right? And at some point we stopped saying color TV, and it just became TV. So I feel like we're at that moment now for digital business as well, which is quite incredible.


And so, Lara, obviously change is hard for a lot of these organizations and process re-engineering is hard. And I think maybe not made easier by the circumstances of the current conditions, or if your team's remote, or whatever it might be. So as you think about enabling customers along that journey and their success, what do you see as some of the challenges that they might encounter in this post COVID type era that maybe are a little different than before? Or are you just seeing the same challenges just manifesting when it comes to the change management piece and that transformation part of digital?


Lara:

Yeah. I think the lesson, probably in my decades as a consultant, it's still consistent. It's like changing human behavior is always the hard thing to do. And so communicating, communicating, communicating, creating the burning platform, showing empathy. Create the milestones, create the progress, all of that stuff I think was consistent before and is consistent now. It's just that I think the expectation of the pace of change is different. And so, because we've now seen change happen so, so quickly, and frankly, digital makes everything move a little bit faster. I do think there's a little bit of impatience from certainly from investors probably in board rooms, et cetera, where it's like, we've seen a lot of companies that can do this quickly, so why can't we do this in half the time?


Anita:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think you're right in terms of you look at the future of the landscape for tech, speed is one thing, and then speed at scale is another thing, along with that agility. But I also think then, Lara, this interesting idea of the degree to which employee expectations have changed. And that also will match one day with the customer expectations that have changed as well. So I feel like a great employee experience is, in many respects, a prerequisite for a great customer experience for all of these businesses.


Lara: Absolutely. I think that's completely right.


Anita:

For those who aren't ServiceNow customers, hard to believe there's any out there, but why don't we just talk a little bit about what ServiceNow does. And I think particularly, Lara, this year from a board standpoint, some of the stuff that you guys did this year in response to the needs of the environment in a COVID world, whether that was some of the apps you deployed, or some of the ways in which you've been helping the likes of the NBA as they went into their bubble. ServiceNow were behind that which you would never think of. So can you describe a little bit of how your company responded with agility to the changing conditions?


Lara:

Yeah. Well, let me start with the one-on-one of what ServiceNow is, and then I can give you a couple examples that I'm super proud of this year. So ServiceNow was started by Fred Luddy, our founder, chairman of our board, who started with this notion that I want to be able to let everyday people automate work to make their lives better, right? And over time we realized that that's actually a hard thing to sell. It feels nebulous to people. So we started building applications and I think are most well-known for IT service management. But effectively, ServiceNow's a platform. It's a born in the cloud platform that allows work across departments, across systems, across silos to be routed and automated. And digitizing work that makes the world of work work better for people, which is our tagline.


And so let me just give you a very simple example. So if you think about new employee onboarding. An employee, when they start at a company, they're not just dealing with a single department. You're not just dealing with HR. You have to get IT set up. You need all those HR forms to be set up. You have to figure out payroll, you have to figure out where you're going to sit. You have to do a bunch of legal documentation. 


Anita:

So you're just wandering around a little bit lost trying to get this whole onboarding thing done. And you've relied on maybe somebody helping you out. But it was incredibly inefficient, let alone not your best opening experience with a new company, right?


Lara:

Exactly. Exactly. So what ServiceNow does, this is an example. We have a great mobile experience consumer grade in one single place. You can actually do all of the stuff that you need to do to access all of those departments. You only have to fill out that form one time. And now that information gets repeated across the right places. And it creates this beautiful, efficient experience. Because not one system of record can solve that. Workday just works in its own silo, or finance works in its own silo. You need something that crosses across all of those different systems to make that happen. And that's ultimately what ServiceNow does.


And so the notion of, we call ourselves the platform of the platforms, and so working across distributed systems, distributed departments, et cetera, and driving an automated workflow on top of that is what ServiceNow does. And so a great example, I love some of the things that have happened this year, as you've said, I've been so proud of how nimble and agile the company has been. So 2020 example, USDA Forest Service is a customer. The wildfires were incredibly devastating this year. And so they coordinated this year more than 10,000 personnel across a dozen agencies to respond to more than 50,000 fires. Global warming is a real thing, right?


Anita:

Complexity to deploying those resources where they're needed in real time. Everything's changing rapidly. This is where you need efficient workflow and transparency, right?


Lara:

Absolutely. And you can imagine, getting one of those things wrong in a manual process, we can lose lives in that process, and homes, and lots of valuable things. And so, in fact, before they implemented ServiceNow, the responders had to enter location information manually into 26 different systems. And obviously there's a huge potential for error in that. And so now with ServiceNow, there's one central platform connects all of those agencies, all those dispatchers. And so they can mobilize not just people, but aircraft, equipment, crews, supplies, everything. Reduce response time. That's a perfect example of ServiceNow in action that had real meaningful, tangible impact in 2020.


Anita: Fabulous. Fantastic. 


Lara:

The other example that you mentioned, Anita, was the NBA and WNBA. So we helped get seasons going and allowed them to safely get playing in the bubble in Florida. So in June of 2020, we helped onboard 2,600 staff, players, vendors, into the bubble. And that would have required manually dealing with 13,000 different offline documents. And so I'm really proud that we were able to digitize that process for them and really get basketball going again which, of course, we're really, really proud of. And we love our partnership.


Anita:

What I love about this, Lara, though, the moral of the story here I think for our listeners is that for those who don't know ServiceNow, great to know the broad applicability that it can have in the enterprise. And really the role it can play to accelerate digital transformation and genuinely make work, work better for people. But then also this power of the platform, right? That organizations will have their own processes. They will have their own needs depending on their particular circumstances. And the ability to be able to build applications to solve a particular need for how things are done in your company and have the latitude to do that. That's a really empowering piece of digital transformation, I think. 


Lara: Yeah.


Anita:

So, Lara, I got to switch gears because I am one of the many, many people that stands in infinite admiration of you because you are an amazing executive, but you are a mom of three. Your husband is a partner at Bain. And for the love of God, how do you do it all, right? I have a sliver of that in terms of having one kid, but how do you do it all?


Lara:

Well, that's very generous of you to describe all that. But I think as anybody knows, this year has been a doozy for everybody, myself included. And taking on a new job and meeting a team virtually, all of that is hard enough. And then we have kids at home virtually learning. I have a four year old that used to be in preschool and now is just running like a wildling. And but for us, it's about A, not traveling actually does help a lot. But it takes a village. So my sister-in-law is a... We live in San Francisco. My sister-in-law is a public school teacher.


And living in San Francisco, as you know, is an expensive thing. So we provide housing for her so she can do that. But then she helps us maintain man-to-man defense, going back to the basketball analogy, with my three kids. And obviously having that kind of support is huge. And then my husband and I, our assistants are actually quite close.


They help manage and make sure it all works out and that somebody is always available for whatever's needed.


Anita:

Yeah. So I think, Lara, there's an important message in there though that number one, there's no striving for perfection on this. You do the best you can every day, every week. And then, you just do the best you can to prioritize in any given week or any given month so that when you do need to be there, you're there. And when you do need to be here, you're here, because I think, I used to get so frustrated over the years being asked that work-life balance question when I would do all of these panels. First of all, they never asked the guys that. And second of all, it's a nonstarter. There's no such thing.


Anita:

We need to reframe the conversation. But I know Lara, you've written a little bit about maybe on two fronts in terms of leadership this year, what you felt was required of you as a leader, more in this COVID conditions and what you felt you needed to do. But also then I think you've commented a little bit on your observations about the disproportionate impact of COVID on different cohorts of the workforce. Can you share some of your thinking on that?


Lara:

Yeah. And Anita, I know this is an area that you and I share a lot of passion for, and you've done a lot of thinking your writing on this too. And so it's a fun topic for us to dig into together. I think one of my observations was that reacting to COVID as a leadership team was... Nobody knew how to do it. And I was really proud of what ServiceNow and the leadership team did. And I think it all comes down to just natural human behaviors. It's like, okay, we need to over-communicate. We went from having quarterly, all hands to having bi-weekly all hands, and now I think we have them monthly. But we needed to communicate a lot more. We needed to offer flexibility because everybody's unique situation in what they're dealing with is unique.


And it's unprecedented. And certainly there's been a ton of tragedy in individual's lives and in families, and it has been a hard year. So it's allowing flexibility, expressing incredible empathy, and just modeling humanity. my four year old ran into this podcast, it is not uncommon for me to have kids popping in now and then. And most of the time, I actually don't use a virtual background at all. I just let that happen because we're all dealing with the same thing. And in some ways those are those beautiful moments of humanity that actually create connection in a virtual world that I think we all benefit from.


Anita:

And I think as well, that little bit of intimacy in terms of getting a glimpse into someone's life, sharing a glimpse of your own. That is a bit of the bedrock of trust, right? And trust is always important, but I think even so much more important when you are relying on virtual relationships, and distributed teams, and so forth.


Lara:

Yeah. 100%. I think that's right. So it's been a really interesting year and a big learning year I think for me in terms of reacting to that and trying to lead through it. But I've always been passionate about diversity, inclusion and belonging, about moving the representation needle. Not just for women at work, but frankly for underrepresented minorities and others where I think at ServiceNow, we needed to move the needle. And frankly, I think the tech industry broadly needs to move the needle here. And so one of the things that I've been concerned with, is the research that's come out and shown how women are disproportionately impacted by the burdens of what's happening with work from home and school from home, or teach from home during this time.


And I do get concerned that all of the gains and the progress that we've made over the past many years now, but certainly at ServiceNow, could be reversed during this time in COVID. You see the statistics about how women more so than men, and particularly women of color even more so, are thinking about dropping out of the workforce because of the demands at home. And that's something that I think we all need to be really aware of and empathetic around. It comes back to empathy, communication. But I think increasingly it's about flexibility and being able to provide that. And just making sure all of our leaders are aware of that so they can have those empathetic, understanding conversations with their teammates, right? And create situations that work for them.


Anita:

Oh, Lara, I couldn't agree more with you. And in one of my earlier podcasts, I interviewed my good friend Alia Bojilova in New Zealand who's an industrial psychologist. And we touched on this a little bit. And one of the points she was making was that crises are notorious for surfacing inequalities because if you had whatever little fault line you had in your life, you put that under duress for long enough, and it cracks wide open. And then the other point she made is that in a crisis, a crisis is great for surfacing all this other stuff that is highly important in your life. And putting that to the forefront of people's minds. And she went on to talk then connecting it to belonging to say that even the most loyal of employees after a long time will go, what's holding me here?


So feeling way more than I'm just included on this team, but that I actually belong in this place. I belong on this team and that's a source of support and strength for me. That is what's tested in a crisis and that's where belonging matters. I know that you've been such a strong proponent for diversity, inclusion and belonging, not as just a nice thing to do, but something that really is important to the success of the business. And I think we've seen yet another lens into that this year during the crisis, how belonging really matters.


Lara:

Yeah. I think that's absolutely right. If there's anything that I think humanity has taken away from this, it's refocusing on what really matters. And if you don't have that connection of belonging and feeling like you're making a difference in what you do really matters, I think it's going to be hard to stand up to the things that are present in your face every day living with your family and helping everybody move forward. 


Anita:

That's exactly right. You hit on the other point she made which was the importance of purpose and doubling down on purpose. And that knowing that your purpose is aligned with the purpose of the company and actually just, she noted, that can be a source of incredible replenishment for people. And incredible energy because like you say, you feel like what you're doing is worthwhile and it is more, or as worthwhile, as anything else that might be pulling you in a different direction in your life. So Lara, as you look to the future, what are you most optimistic or excited about? Whether it's as a leader or as a part of the team at ServiceNow, what do you think are some of the good things maybe that's come out of this challenging year?


Lara:

Yeah. I think what we just talked about was one of those, is people really focusing on what matters and being very clear on wanting to spend their time in the way that yields the most benefit to society, to themselves, et cetera. So I think that's a broader societal positive, silver lining maybe, of this moment. But I also think from a tech transformation perspective, the fact that I think there's been a lot of clarity on that mandate and that we want to move quickly. We want to be very focused on business outcomes. All of that I think ultimately, is as I think about my role here, is it aligns us on that purpose, right? That we want to be focused at ServiceNow in my organization, but more broadly on how do we get customers to that place of enduring value?


How do we make sure that everybody in the company feels like that's their job? And aligning the troops around that, building that scalable, repeatable set of processes and tools, leveraging the ecosystem. All of that to me feels super exciting. That's my moment of purpose here. And also, frankly, I think that for enterprise software, no one's cracked the code. It's not like there's a playbook that you just run. If you think about the disciplines in software, customer success is a newer discipline, right? There's not an easy playbook to know what excellence looks like there. And so getting a chance to craft that and to create that, and create a new standard of excellence, that's super motivating and exciting for me.


Anita:

Yeah. I think it would be very rude of me to say this about SAP, given that your CEO comes from there, but as a former customer of some of those big legacy tech companies, you never really felt that customer success was at the heart of what was in that relationship. And it always felt rather pull and push and a bit acrimonious even at times. So I love the fact that not only is this going to be core part of the value proposition, but Lara, you are by just no question, no hesitation in my mind, the right woman for this job.


Lara: Thank you.


Anita:

Given your broad background and how strategically you think about things. And I'm sure there are a lot of ServiceNow customers listening today that will be excited to see all of this roll out. So Lara, listen, I'll leave it at that. And thank you so much for your time


And more importantly, thank you, Lara, so much for sharing your perspectives on leadership, on female leadership, on post COVID worlds, on digital transformation. And of course on ServiceNow and your new role there. We wish you the very best of luck, Lara. Hope you'll come back and talk to us some other time in the future. 


Lara:

Well, thank you so much, Anita. I always love my conversations with you. They get me thinking about new things and expand my horizon. So this has been no different, and I really appreciate the opportunity and the time.


Anita:

Thanks again, Lara, take care.



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