On my first day at Humana, in early August 2004, I joined a meeting with what must have been 20+ IT leads, a few folks from the HR Business team and my colleague in marketing to discuss the upcoming launch of the new online member benefits enrollment center for our commercial business. In one of the discussions, I asked why the person navigating through the screens kept clicking the link for “Previous” instead of just using the back button. He informed me that the back button was disabled and the user had to use the “Previous” and “Next” text links in order to navigate through the system. My subsequent pushback on how crazy this idea was met with the same enthusiasm as a Derek Jeter jersey at Fenway. This was day one.
Chalk one up to experience. Fast forward six years and I’m using every ounce of energy in my body to not get choked up while addressing my team to let them know I was leaving. While that was met with limited success, I have to say that my experiences and the relationships built at Humana are some of the most important and cherished of my career. My success as a leader is measured by the success of my team. At Humana, I was incredibly successful because of the amazing teams I was able to lead. People that continue to make me proud and grow as great leaders themselves. It’s an awesome legacy.
I have a great deal of respect for so many of my colleagues from Humana. Very smart, talented people. Sadly, several of which are not being tapped for their full potential, leadership nor impact to the organization, present company included. I’m not one for making excuses and feel I was successful in leading “intrapreneurship” whenever possible, looking back it just wasn’t enough.
So why leave? I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazingly talented people in my career as colleagues, vendors, consultants, council members and more. In that time, few people impressed me more than Amy Cueva. As I became more familiar with her and Will Powley from Mad*Pow, it was evident that what they had built in Mad*Pow was something special. Very smart, very talented people who shared a single vision for their organization and dedication to making it happen. It was impressive. When they came to me with an opportunity, especially one in Louisville, it was hard to pass up.
So here I am, changing seats from the procurer of services to the vendor of choice. It’s a big step for sure and a step into the history books with my prior work in the agency world. The difference is that in having worked with 20-30 vendors over my time at Humana alone, from the big guys to the boutiques and all things in-between, Mad*Pow was the one group that “got it” better than others and more importantly was able to deliver and exceed expectations. Put it this way, when even the IT team at Humana was impressed with the delivery of design and code, you’ve nailed it and they did.
And so it begins. The world at Mad*Pow. With this post, a re-dedication to my blog, bringing more of my experiences to the Web and an opportunity to help out many friends with their digital strategy and design which I am super excited about. I look forward to talking with you soon and helping you out in any way I can.