We are eager to share the thirteenth episode of The Product Management Leaders Podcast with you! Our aim with this podcast is to connect you with some of the top PM leaders and share their real-world strategies and tactics for building world-class products. In today's episode, Grant Duncan speaks with Nora Iluri, VP of Product Management for a large product line at Athena Health, a 6,000 person healthcare software company. She manages a huge team of PMs there, was previously the SVP of Product at Pieces Technologies, was a PM at Google, founded a company, led teams at McKinsey, has been an advisor to startups, and has multiple degrees from MIT and Cambridge. This is an action packed episode so let’s get into it.
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Grant Duncan (00:05):
This is the Product Management Leaders Podcast in which you hear from some of the top PM leaders about their real world strategies and tactics for building world class products. It's sponsored by Voximplant, the leading serverless communications platform and no code drag and drop contact center solution. Voximplant enables product leaders and developers to integrate communications into their products, such as embedding voice, video, SMS, in app chat and natural language processing. Join over 30,000 businesses trusting Voximplant. Now let's jump into the show.
Grant Duncan (00:41):
Hey, what's up everybody it's Grant Duncan. I just spoke with Nora Iluri, VP of Product Management for a large product line at Athena Health, a 6,000 person healthcare software company. She manages a huge team of PMs there, was previously the SVP of Product at Pieces Technologies, was a PM at Google, founded a company, led teams at McKinsey, has been an advisor to startups, and has multiple degrees from MIT and Cambridge. This is an action packed episode so let’s get into it.
Hey Nora, it's so great to have you on the Product Management Leaders Podcast today. So to start, could you give everyone a brief background about what you do now?
Nora Iluri (01:26):
Sure. And thank you for having me. So I work for Athena Health. Athena Health is both an electronic medical record system, it's a revenue cycle system as well, it is a patient portal system for primarily the ambulatory market, so small practices, as well as we have Epocrates which is a mobile reference app for doctors. And I am the VP of product for the revenue cycle management portion of it, which basically helps the doctors get paid. So we manage everything from the front desk operations, to patient pay collections, to processing all those claims, medical claims. So from the coding of those claims all the way to getting them through the payers and then putting the money in the bank and providing reconciliation.
Grant Duncan (02:16):
I'm sure you've seen healthcare change a lot. How have you and your product management team had to deal with those changes?
Nora Iluri (02:25):
Yeah. So healthcare does change a lot, continuously. I've worked in many, many different parts of healthcare, so I'll just limit my response here for the healthcare software industry.
Grant Duncan (02:41):
Nora Iluri (02:42):
Each and every year, new regulations, new requirements and new expectations come out. So number one, people have to adjust very quickly to meet those new regulations, which has actually been a bit of a barrier for smaller companies to easily come in and provide some of the more broad services. Although niche players can always try to pick off little bits and pieces, but the high burden of regulation is actually driving a lot of consolidation in the space. And also just in general providers, because of the amount of administration that all of this regulation, and the expectations, and the pushed overs shared risk is creating on the industry. It's also pushing a lot of them to consolidate under larger organizations as well.
Nora Iluri (03:37):
So there is a little bit of a shift in the industry that's happening as a result as well. But there is also a lot more innovation that's coming in, especially through the influences of Facebook and others. And even the providers in the space are having much higher expectations of what they want to see from their solutions, from their software. So whether you are a patient scheduling an appointment, or getting those reminders, or seeing your results on your patient portal. All the way to the providers and their expectations of how they want to be able to manage that patient record, or how they want to kind of bill a claim. Those expectations have also been rising very rapidly, thanks to the development in the software industry in general.
Grant Duncan (04:27):
Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Definitely. We have to adjust for changes like that. So Athena Health is, I believe, over 6,000 employees. Is that right?
Nora Iluri (04:40):
Grant Duncan (04:41):
Okay. And can you describe what your team looks like?
Nora Iluri (04:46):
Sure. Collector, which is the revenue cycle part of Athena is roughly about, it's starting to close upon 400 people, including people plus open positions. My team, which is specifically the product organization with some strategy and a few other roles thrown in there, roughly has about 90 heads, although that does include some open positions as well. We've been trying to grow a lot recently.
Grant Duncan (05:13):
Was that 90?
Nora Iluri (05:14):
90, yes. So it's a pretty sizeable organization. And yeah. Do you want to know about how we are structured or any of that or just…?
Grant Duncan (05:25):
Yeah, I think people would love to hear that.
Nora Iluri (05:28):
Sure. So within Collector, the revenue cycle part, we are organized in what are called zones and each zone owns an area of outcomes. So it's very much focused on what we are hoping to deliver. So we have, for example, one zone that's focused on the front desk and patient. So they deal with anything that the front desk needs to do, or that is focused on the patient. We have another one that's called Billing workflow. So that's basically managing your billing workflows. And we have six of these zones created, each zone has its own zone leads, but within those zones we are rather flat.
Nora Iluri (06:08):
Although we have a few pockets where we are trying to grow our new sets of leaders, where we do allow senior managers to start managing some people of their own. But the product management organization in general is meant to be rather flat. Because we want people to be empowered to drive their own decisions to quite a bit of degree. And product management really is leading cross-functionally without necessarily full authority with their influence through all the other functions. So working very closely with engineering, and user experience, analytics, our operations partners, our marketing sales partners, et cetera, et cetera.
Grant Duncan (06:51):
Very cool. And how many zones do you have right now?
Nora Iluri (06:55):
Grant Duncan (06:57):
Six. Okay. Okay. Got it. And for your team, is it just product managers or are you also managing designers or engineering or strategy folks?
Nora Iluri (07:13):
So I do have the strategy folks under my organization, but user experience is a separate branch, analytics is a separate branch, and engineering is a separate branch, and we all work very tightly together in cohesive teams. And then we have all the support functions around that as well.
Grant Duncan (07:32):
Yeah. Interesting. So how in your org are you differentiating between product managers and the strategy people?
Nora Iluri (07:42):
Very good question. So product managers work directly with the scrum teams or the zone leads of product management, manage product owners that work with the scrum teams directly. So they actually drive the backlogs, they do the requirements, they are day to day in with their engineers and their UX partners and analytics partners. Strategy folks do not have a team associated with it. They do a lot more market research. They develop our go to market strategy. They work very, very closely with sales and our customer success teams, especially onboarding, because a lot of their focus is on go-to-market for all of our newer products.
Nora Iluri (08:28):
And they really work on ensuring that we bring a new product to market. They can be successful by setting the right go-to-market strategy for it and hand holding it through the initial sales and everything. Now they don't do that for the incremental features. So this is all the larger new product launches. And of course they also try to figure out where the growth is going to come from, in three and five years from now. So that's where their time is going to, but they are mostly individual contributors or there may be a smaller group that's headed by a leader in there.
Grant Duncan (09:06):
Interesting. And so those people are typically more senior as well?
Nora Iluri (09:10):
They are actually, yes. So most of them are at the manager, senior manager level, while in product management we do have some senior associates. But even in product management, senior associate is kind of the lowest we go. So we do expect fairly experienced people even there.
Grant Duncan (09:29):
Sure. Yeah. Yeah. That's nice though that you have an option for someone to be an individual contributor. Because I think some people, they love what they do and they just don't want to manage people.
Nora Iluri (09:41):
Grant Duncan (09:42):
So that's nice that you have that option for them.
Nora Iluri (09:45):
Grant Duncan (09:47):
So you were talking about product launches being a part of your team's focus. Of course, those can be very complex, especially if it's a completely brand new product. But what are some of the important factors you think about when taking a new product to market?
Nora Iluri (10:07):
Ooh, it really depends on the product we are taking to the market. So I'll start with that. The majority of what we work on are actually not big bang new products that will bring like the new revenue stream. They are going to be, I mean, we are a 20+ year old company. So a lot of it is improving what we got. And the consideration there, is to do it in a way that doesn't disturb the way people do the work today. So we do very careful alpha, beta GA rollouts. We actually have a separate product operations team that helps ensure that we are doing this with the right level of documentation and communication. And that we have some level of consistency and standards as we roll those out.
Nora Iluri (10:59):
So those tend to be a lot more careful, because the damage we can do can sometimes outweigh the value of the new feature, if we don't do it right. Now, however, we do deliver some new major product opportunities as well. And we actually have been driving a lot of new service and product launches recently. And many times those things can actually start out pretty scrapy, especially since in my area, a lot of times what we provide is a combination of services and software. So when you start off, you start off with smaller clients. We are very open that, hey, you're going to be in an alpha, we are going to be testing a new thing with you.
Nora Iluri (11:52):
Do you want to partner? And normally those first few customers won't be paying, or won't be paying a lot, depending on the stage they come on and what they're actually doing. And they kind of build it up from there, listening to the market as we grow, but also setting very aggressive goals and targets in terms of what we want ahead and what we want to achieve.
Grant Duncan (12:16):
And how do you find those alpha or beta customers?
Nora Iluri (12:21):
So for us, it's typically not that hard. One, we have a database of all our customers and they do indicate whether they want to participate in new opportunities or not. So we kind of have the list of folks that would be interested to talk to us. We also have a very robust voice of the customer organization that constantly talks to these customers. And they, in general, have ideas of who may benefit the most from new product offerings or who is most eager to get a certain type of new product offering. So we normally have some warm lead into somebody who is not just okay to try them, but is literally banging on our door to kind of get into that first wave and be able to shape also what we deliver.
Grant Duncan (13:09):
Yeah. That's awesome. How do you balance important requests from, let's say multimillion dollar customers with your existing roadmap, when they aren't necessarily aligned?
Nora Iluri (13:23):
Happens a lot. So we have a couple of mechanisms. One... Several years ago we've actually had a lot of problems at Athena with our roadmaps constantly getting disrupted by the latest flashy thing that either a client asked for, or somebody thought of. And it became the priority that everything pivoted to. and therefore nothing ever got done. You've probably heard this and seen this.
Grant Duncan (13:55):
You're speaking what a lot of product leaders are feeling right now too, probably.
Nora Iluri (14:01):
Probably, yeah. It's more common than you think. It's just so easy to try to please kind of the loudest voices around, or the most important voices around. But what we definitely try to do, is we want to be finishers. So we want to finish what we start. So we have a roadmap that we define, the roadmap is very strict, it cannot be a big bang sort of roadmap. So we don't have a lot of appetite for projects, especially not in the software industry, that are going to deliver value after three years. Three years in software is eternity.
Nora Iluri (14:38):
So we are very clear that the software we build has to deliver value incrementally, every release, to our customers. And if we want to do some major modernization or a major new product, we just need to figure out how to chop up that elephant and eat it in pieces, and not try to go after the whole thing in one big goal. So that's one important part of it. The second, is we actually have a rather large allocation to what we call, kind of, this reactive and maintenance bucket. So about 30% of my organization's capacity is reserved for that. One is, I mean, we are the oldest portion of the software. So we do actually have quite a bit of code to maintain.
Nora Iluri (15:21):
So that 30% is used for a variety of things. It's used for bugs, it's used for smallish tech debt. If we are doing a major organization that goes into our feature work, but not in our tech debt. And then we have what we call the high priority customer issues queue, and what that is, is our voice of the customer organization that I mentioned before, which works together with our customer success managers to determine what the urgent and high priority needs of those customers are. And they act as a filter to actually prioritize those asks for us. And what happens is that filter is very helpful for us, because instead of getting constantly barraged by the customer service organization with a hundred requests that we would have to then research to figure out which one of these we should do and which one we shouldn't do.
Nora Iluri (16:13):
Voice of the customer actually comes to us and says, Nora, here are the things that we think are important to actually get done. And then the team has already the allocated capacity to just start, pick that stuff off from the top of the list and work through it. And we have a target of how many of those we want to do. We are actually over already this year, we've exceeded the annual goal for how many we are planning on doing. But we do believe that actually the voice of the customer team does a good job at selecting what should be on that list. And therefore it's important to meet them.
Grant Duncan (16:48):
Yeah. That's great that you've already done that by October.
Nora Iluri (16:51):
Grant Duncan (16:53):
So as it's October, I imagine you may start to be thinking about next year at this point. How do you think about annual planning?
Nora Iluri (17:06):
So annual planning came a little early this year for us. So we started it in August. My first draft plan for 2022 had to be submitted early August, which was quite a bit of an exercise. I don't think it's going to be finalized until the end of the year, though. There are a lot of discussions and a lot of higher level considerations than even just Collector, that goes into this. We definitely have our list of things that we must do. Many of them are things like maintenance and regulations. We are not going to ever give up on those.
Nora Iluri (17:46):
There are a lot of things that we want to do. Many of those things are the things we started. We want to finish them. We don't want to stop them midway, but always tie a little bow on something before we move on to the next thing. That doesn't necessarily mean something is like perfectly done… Like software, nothing is ever perfectly done. But there has to be a little bow on it. And then we have the new opportunities that we want to pick up that we've submitted. Yeah.
Grant Duncan (18:13):
And so does it then become back and forth reviews with, let's say you and your manager, until this is close to finalized before the end of the year?
Nora Iluri (18:27):
Yeah. So my manager is a CPO and we actually not only talk to him, but we also talk to the full executive leadership team, including the CEO about some of these priorities. Because, as you can imagine, the priority of what my group picks up actually depends on much bigger questions, such as what is our goal in terms of how fast we want to grow, which drives how many new products we actually need to put out into the market. Versus the balance of how much cost savings we want to drive. So there's a little bit of bottoms up, of, hey, if you give me this bucket of money, I can save you this bucket of money in the next two to three years.
Nora Iluri (19:10):
And how do you balance that in terms of how much money you can save, versus how much top line revenue you can grow by entering a new product or a new service. Or expanding on a partnership or things like that. So we've categorized our spending in these big buckets. And then all of the subdivision leads made our pitch along with the CPO across those opportunities. And then the executive leadership team is going to kind of debate on what the profile of Athena is going to look like and how they want that P&L to look. And that will drive our decisions further down.
Grant Duncan (19:51):
And I think it's interesting for you to say that too. Because I mean, my view from the outside is you're in a pretty competitive space with some big, well-known competitors. And so how to position yourself with your products becomes even more important.
Nora Iluri (20:10):
Yes. Although it's kind of interesting because probably you're thinking, oh, you're competing against Epic and Cerner and all those folks. But they primarily serve the hospital market. We are one of the strongest players in the ambulatory space. They are coming down, but I mean, we are still very, very strong in that ambulatory space. So that doesn't mean-
Grant Duncan (20:32):
Nora Iluri (20:33):
Yeah. That doesn't mean we're not looking at them from a competitive perspective. We are definitely keeping our eyes on them as well as some of the other ambulatory players. But we feel, I mean, if you look at the rankings in the markets that we play in, our store has been only getting better and we intend to keep that getting better. And I want to beat how well we did last year as Athena.
Grant Duncan (21:01):
Yeah. That's huge. That's so great. I actually didn't know that. So how do you think about choosing certain markets or niches to stay in and grow further in, beat last year, as you said, versus go into adjacent markets?
Nora Iluri (21:18):
Yeah. So when I say beat last year, I normally say I want to perform better. And that comes in a lot of ways. Revenue is one… Actually, not even the most important thing in my book. It's very important, but it's not. NPS is one, for example, that we are very, very focused on what is the net promoter score. That's very, very important for us. So we definitely have a good base and we know what our growth will look like in the markets we're in. And we know what we need to do for that growth. And that's where we are very much focused on things like NPS and improved quality, which very often comes from automation, which very often also brings cost savings with it.
Nora Iluri (22:08):
That goes into like the baseline financials, but obviously we are a growth company. So then we also try to figure out, okay, we have capacity to do this. How much actually can we do in addition, either with existing resources or through the growth capacity that we have. We've actually, in 2021, grown as fast as we could to try to do a lot of things. I don't know how fast that's going to be in the future, but there is a natural limit to how much you can do. So after you satisfy the current market, which is absolutely core and important, then you look at where the next great opportunities lie.
Nora Iluri (22:46):
And most of those, we will not necessarily go to something like way out there, we'll be looking at those adjacencies that bring value to our current client base primarily. And the goal there is to try to expand the value we bring to the current customer base or to enable more of that greater customer base to come on board, because maybe there was some limitation in our solution that prevented them from being able to come on board.
Grant Duncan (23:17):
Yeah. That's a great way to think about it. Almost like expanding your share of wallet within existing, in addition to completely new markets. Very cool.
Nora Iluri (23:27):
Grant Duncan (23:27):
What has been one of the hardest product decisions you've had to make?
Nora Iluri (23:34):
Hardest. Let me think. So I think there is a difference between hard from what others outside may perceive, versus what I consider hard. For me, making product decisions, that trade off the future for the present, are probably the hardest. But from the outside, perhaps people would consider, we shut down a fairly large long term project one time, where we were trying to build our own browser. Yes. And stopped investing in that, which was like a multiyear debate of why are we doing this. But nobody had the courage to pull the trigger. So many people would consider that to be a very hard decision. But in the end, actually, the entire team came together. We did a two week in-depth analysis with everybody, all hands on deck and it was a unanimous decision. So I don't think that one was as hard, but many people would say stopping that line would be the hard one.
Grant Duncan (24:41):
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. That's pretty cool that it was unanimous in that way. Do you recall what went into that two week analysis? Because I'm sure others are considering, do we keep, or do we end of life one of their own products?
Nora Iluri (25:01):
Yeah. I mean, we started off with, hey, if we wanted to keep this going it would have to deliver this result by this date. And this is the funding limitation you have. Can you get there, or can you even get close to that? Go figure this out in a week or two. And the team came back and said, that is impossible. The economics and financials on this just are totally upside down. And therefore, everybody kind of understood and aligned. It's like, we are all in a constrained business environment.
Nora Iluri (25:46):
If you ask, hey, does this make sense? Oh, a hundred percent of what we do makes sense. It's not like we are dumb people that pick up random stuff to work on. The problem is that there's always too many great ideas to try to work on. And we need to establish that threshold, below which we need to start saying no to really great ideas. And the ones that personally hurt me the most, are when there is short term fire, that I need to invest in and trade off really valuable, much more valuable work, that would benefit us longer term.
Grant Duncan (26:27):
Yeah. That's definitely a tough trade off. What advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Nora Iluri (26:36):
Hmm… Oh, a lot! My younger version of myself wasn't very smart.
Grant Duncan (26:43):
Let's say maybe when you were earlier on in your product management career, what would you have told yourself then?
Nora Iluri (26:51):
One - people are everything. So you really need to focus on people. And I kind of knew this, but I didn't really live it as much. People are looking for a mission to drive. The best way to actually achieve your goals, is to make sure people know what they are fighting for day in and day out. And ensure that they feel passionate about coming to work and focusing on that next thing that they are delivering. And understand the value of who they are is going to help with that. So that's definitely a big one. One thing I'm still working on is patience, not my strong suit, but I'm working on it. And it’s advice, I try to give myself every day.
Grant Duncan (27:45):
Yeah. I think most of us still have work to improve on that.
Nora Iluri (27:50):
Yes. But good work does take time, and I do have to be patient sometimes to see the results.
Grant Duncan (28:03):
Sure. Yeah makes sense. So jumping back to earlier, you talked about in the planning process, presenting your plans for next year to the CPO and-
Nora Iluri (28:16):
Executive leadership team.
Grant Duncan (28:17):
Yeah. The executive leadership team as a whole. Do you have any advice for people presenting to some kind of executive leadership team or board of directors, maybe if they do it regularly or a one-off annual planning kind of thing like this?
Nora Iluri (28:34):
Number one, understand what their goals and motivations are. You may have a message you want to deliver. It doesn't matter. What matters is that if you come in with your own agenda that doesn't match up with what they want to hear, they are going to turn off and not hear a word you say, after you start speaking. So you really need to understand where they are coming from, what their motivations are and what they are trying to achieve. And then you can figure out what you want to achieve, kind of fits into that broader vision and goal and objectives. So many times people forget that.
Nora Iluri (29:17):
Another piece of advice I can give is the more senior these conversations get, the less they are scripted. So it's not about delivering a 50 page detailed analysis with numbers. It's making sure to bring the strongest argument in a nutshell, to be able to talk to it and have the information to back it up very well. And to engage leadership in a conversation to ensure that when they leave the meeting, they have internalized what you were trying to deliver. And if they don't engage with it, if they are just listening to you for half an hour straight, not much is going to register.
Grant Duncan (30:07):
Yeah. Great points. On your first one there, trying to think about what they care about. If you're not regularly interacting with some members there, how do you try to go about figuring out what they care about?
Nora Iluri (30:23):
Seek them out and get information from the people who either interact with those folks or those folks directly. Especially in larger meetings, it is very important that you work on establishing relationships with many of those members upfront, and you even test some of the things you are planning… If it's a really important meeting, test some of the things you want to talk about, see if they agree with you on certain controversial topics. And then, that way, you kind of know how the conversation needs to be positioned or how you can come in with the best arguments you can.
Grant Duncan (31:04):
Yeah. That's a great point. It's almost like pre-meetings for the meeting to make sure you're on the right page.
Nora Iluri (31:10):
Yes. Very important.
Grant Duncan (31:13):
Yeah. So for continuing to improve in product management, are there any sources or communities or books that you use yourself or would recommend to others?
Nora Iluri (31:24):
Sure. So some of the books I absolutely love, I actually am a big audiobook listener...
Grant Duncan (31:30):
Nora Iluri (31:32):
But yeah. But I do buy sometimes physical books as well, if I really like them, but some of my favorites are of course, Lean Startup. I love leadership and self development. It's a great little book. The Happiness Advantage, Sprint, Inspired, Zone to Win, Zag. I think those are all great books to kind of go after. In terms of resources, so I kind of binge in areas that I feel like I want to get more polished in. So periodically, it's like I need to position something a certain way. And therefore I want to kind of see what the latest is.
Nora Iluri (32:16):
And I will binge research on the internet or check with friends. I do this even with like Athena Health. There are so many nooks and crannies of the product. So on occasion, I'm like, I need to learn more about this particular area. So like I binge study that particular area of our own product periodically. So that's not really limited to anything specific. I browse and grab what I can get, wherever I can get.
Grant Duncan (32:49):
Yeah. Very cool. That's a cool idea to be able to go deep on different topics occasionally. How do you think about improving your customer experience and customer engagement in your products?
Nora Iluri (33:05):
So I am a little spoiled because we do have that fantastic voice of the customer organization that-
Grant Duncan (33:12):
Yeah. Who do they sit under by the way?
Nora Iluri (33:16):
They sit under the customer success team.
Grant Duncan (33:19):
Nora Iluri (33:20):
So we actually have a senior VP in that area and they sit under me in that org. So they help engage with customers a lot. So for Collector, given the history, I think the biggest drivers of satisfaction and NPS that we keep an eye on is, one - setting a meaningful roadmap and keeping to it. Delivering on commitments is something that many years ago was a problem, but with the new management, new CPO and everything, we've been very, very focused on doing. And that in itself drives a lot of satisfaction when you actually say what you're going to do, and you actually do it.
Nora Iluri (34:04):
Also making sure that we take seriously burning down the bugs and going after those minor UX debt issues, the high priority customer issues. So really keeping our hygiene good at the same time as delivering those new features. And then the third is, I do spend, actually, an increasing amount of my time talking to customers as well. And part of this is to tell the story of what we are trying to do and see what they think of it. Like, I just get a lot out of them saying, yeah this resonates, no this doesn't resonate. And then being able to figure that out.
Nora Iluri (34:45):
But also just to make sure that we continue to personally be close to them. So not just rely on that corp of the voice of the customer team to deliver the insights to us. So there is a little bit of that. And although I only became the head of this area in October, so I haven't done a lot in the first half year, I'm starting to do a lot more of also joining public events.
Grant Duncan (35:17):
Sure. Yeah. That makes sense. I'm sure you've seen a lot change in the last year through that. You talked about talking to customers as part of that too. I'm curious. Are you just randomly calling up customers or do you work with customer success or sales to set up meetings with you? Or how do you go about that?
Nora Iluri (35:38):
Yeah. I very much rely on the customer success managers to reach out. So just due to size, I tend to speak to a lot of our larger customers. But then there are those very interesting smaller customers as well, that just really know their stuff and are worth listening to, that just filter up and get to me. So there is a sampling of the smaller customers also. Typically, they emerge, because there is an escalation that's really worth listening to. So yeah. So part of it is like strategically organized with our bigger clients. And some of it is through escalations, when there is an issue. And I get to talk to someone and then I'm like, huh, this person really knows what they are doing. And we really need to figure out how to fix this. And this is a really good resource that we should be talking to more often. And then suddenly they become one of those go-to people.
Grant Duncan (36:40):
Yeah. Yeah. Now you got a new friend.
Nora Iluri (36:42):
Grant Duncan (36:42):
Yeah. So if I could give you a magic wand and you could solve any one product management problem, what would that be?
Nora Iluri (36:53):
Communication. Human language is so difficult. So much of it is, especially now in the virtual world... So much of it is body language, and we can not actually use body language like we used to, but there is so much room for interpretation. If communication would be perfect, we would never have another dependency slip. We would never have another product requirement gone wrong. We would never ever have another misunderstanding with a customer on what we are actually delivering, or them not understanding how the product works. But communication is very hard to get right.
Grant Duncan (37:34):
Yeah. Very true. Very true, indeed. So last question here, who's one other person and that you think we should have on the podcast.
Nora Iluri (37:43):
So this may be a surprise to her, but I really learned quite a bit from Bhanu Narasimhan from Google. So she may be someone you may want to reach out to.
Grant Duncan (37:55):
Nora Iluri (37:57):
I have a very high respect for her and really enjoyed... She wasn't my manager. She was a little bit to the side, but maybe I can call her a bit of a mentor.
Grant Duncan (38:08):
That's awesome. I'm sure she'd be great to have on. Well Nora, thanks so much for coming on today. We really appreciate your thoughts and insights. Have a good one.
Nora Iluri (38:18):
Thank you. Take care.
Grant Duncan (38:22):
Thanks for listening to today's podcast, and thanks to our sponsor, Voximplant as well. If you're looking into how to improve your communication and customer engagement, check them out. Lastly, if you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a review and tell your friends, so that others can find it more easily. Have a great day. And feel free to reach out to me, Grant Duncan, if you have any questions you want asked in our next episode.