Agile Transformation for the CMO

Virtual Events
Tue, Apr 27, 2021, 8:30 AM (PDT)

About this event

Watch the full recording here! 

Michael Lacorazza, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at Wells Fargo, joined The CMO Club and our members to discuss his perspective and lessons learned along his journey to operate a marketing team in agile.

In this roundtable, Michael led the discussion around operating an agile team, including how to create value, increase operational productivity by operating in the moment, and how to embrace change.

Check out the highlights! 

  • Choose a pilot program when looking to go agile. 
    • Don't try to shift everything at once or else it will fail 
    • Pick something that is low risk and high reward - you don't want it to fail and ruin everything, but if it does work, it will create a huge impact. 
  • When launching the pilot program, Michael's agile team worked with a coach that Wells Fargo hired, and then were sent on their way to begin the project. 
  • Key learnings from this pilot program: 
    • It is amazing how engaged the teams were that were part of the agile team
    • When you push down the decision-making to where the work is being done rather than go up through the management layers, people were excited and felt more empowered in their roles
    • It created a remarkable bond between the team members 
    • There is a tendency for whoever the core business person is to have every resource on the team be dedicated. The reality is you can't scale or operate that way. 
    • What you really need is a subject matter expert who can be there when needed, but that are not expected to be on every meeting or call. 
    • Start small, and then grow your team as needed. You'll be surprised how much a small team can really do in the agile model. 
    • You need to have the cooperation and participation of your non-marketing partners, and help them understand and operate in agile as well. If they aren't in it with you, you're really working in a different process and this slows everything down.
    • When you are getting pushback, bring everything back to the customer. That is the great equalizer. 
  • Ask yourself "why" agile
    • You want to be better and be better faster.
    • Agility is measured by the pace in which you are improving your goals and reinventing legacy processes.
    • Agile is NOT about cost savings in most cases. 
    • If the problem is too small, it is really inefficient.
    • It is most effective when you are trying to solve a problem you haven't had to solve before in order to get everyone on board. 
  • Remember that not everything or every team needs to operate in an agile environment. Sometimes it can slow everything down! 
  • When implementing agile, remember that everything, good or bad, is a win in the long run
    • You need to shift your entire teams mindset from needing it to be right to having a hunger to learn. 
    • Celebrate getting the insight if something goes wrong! 
    • Get rid of the "what" and concentrate on the how.
  • Finally, if you are looking to create an agile team, remember, this is your time to be exclusive. Not everyone can operate efficiently in an agile environment, so choose your casting wisely. 



  • Jon Suarez-Davis

    Jon Suarez-Davis


    SVP, Marketing Strategy & Innovation