2009 Women to Watch: Ingrid C. LindbergPosted On: Dec. 6, 2009 12:00 AM CST
Customer Experience Officer
When CIGNA Corp. decided in 2007 to establish an office dedicated to being the voice of the customer, the insurer turned to Ingrid C. Lindberg. Ms. Lindberg has been the company's customer experience officer since January 2008. Her role combines applying business acumen and spreading empathy for individual customers across every level of CIGNA, from the service center floor to the executive suite. One of her first measures to improve customer interaction called for banishing CIGNA employees from using insurance jargon such as provider, adjudicate and formulary. They have been replaced by doctor, process and drug list.
Your professional role model: There are two who have been role models and mentors throughout the last decade. They are the type of leader I aspire to be throughout my career. They are as polar opposites. One is supercreative, fantastic speaker, fantastic leader, fantastic motivator. That pure extrovert who can stand up in front of a room of 100 people and make 100 people run in front of machine-gun fire. (The other) is truly the grinder operator. He is pretty shy and doesn't like to speak publicly, but one of the most brilliant people I have ever met. What they both taught me in different ways is you really have to figure out where you can play your best part for that moment. They both encouraged me from Day One to jump out so far in front and ahead of what I traditionally thought my role could have been, simply because they empowered me.
Advice for women entering the field: Don't ever underestimate the value of hard work. (Being) willing to put your time and energy and effort into doing and learning is always noticed. What I am seeing with some of the next generation coming into the workforce is we are seeing this entitlement mentality. The workforce may change dramatically in the next 20 years, but right now you still have a lot of people who really value hard work and putting the time in.
Best professional advice you've received: It is from a vice president at American Express when I was toiling…at 11 at night on a Friday. She was leaving her office and we were doing a very large-scale transformation. Big project, lots of money, lots of hours. She was walking out and she looked at me and said, "Never forget, I can replace you in 24 hours. No matter how good you are, I can replace you in 24 hours." (Later) I said, "What on earth does that mean?" and she said, "If you are not achieving a good work/life balance, you are not worth anything to me here." It has always resonated with me. You work hard, but you have to find that balance, whatever that balance is for you.
What you wanted to be professionally while growing up: I wanted to be an attorney, like my father. I definitely thought that was going to be my path.
Best book you've read recently: My favorite as of late is "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" by Malcolm Gladwell. It's not even that new anymore, but I definitely have enjoyed reading it.
Phone or e-mail and why: E-mail. I am often a crazy multitasker and on the telephone. It's pretty tough to miss phone calls. I hate to do that. If you send me an e-mail, I am the queen of responding to you within a couple of minutes.