Mindset Shifts for Upskilling, Hiring, Partnerships and More with Diana Haussling of Colgate-Palmolive

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“A lot of the work that my team does is to demystify digital commerce. It’s not complicated. It’s not hard. It’s not complex. And if you’re curious and engaged, you can learn. And it changes so rapidly that you’re never behind. Whenever you start, that’s a great place to start.”


How you go about doing something is the greatest indicator of success. For Diana Haussling of Colgate-Palmolive, instituting the right mindset for all of her employees, partners, and vendors is step one in the recipe for success. Whether it’s upskilling your employees, hiring new talent, or partnering with agencies or vendors, Diana believes how you think about the situation and your approach to it will make all the difference.

Key Insights


Guiding principles on creating a good group/network.

It’s so much easier to achieve big things when you have a group of people all working toward the same mission. Whether you are trying to accomplish a project at work with your team of forming a networking group to advance your career or change something in your industry, the key to success is about jumping in with a group of like-minded people and being open to more ideas and diverse viewpoints. 

“I’ve learned throughout my career that networking is not a dirty word. And when you’re intentional about networking and you create these mutually beneficial relationships with people who look like you and then those people who don’t look like you and who have different skill sets, then your impact and your superpowers become that much more amplified.”

How do you go about upskilling your workforce?

Change is scary for a lot of people, so you have to make it easy for your employees to keep leveling up. It’s all about mindset, so if you present your team with the opportunity to simply think differently, to consider their work with the same mind they use as a shopper in their daily life, you will see them unlock new ideas quicker than if you put pressure on them to think with an organizational or business mindset.

“What I really think about when it comes to upskilling is really about a mindset shift. It’s really less about picking up and knowing the right buzzword and terminology, but it’s really thinking like a human. We’re all dynamic shoppers. We all shop digitally. We have little computers in our pockets. So it’s really taking that CPG mindset, putting it aside and thinking like a consumer.”

How do you pick a good agency, partner, or vendor to work with?

There is a lot of competition and innovation in the agency world — this means that whoever you work with, you will likely find a useful partner. But the relationship with your agency partner actually all comes down to what you bring to the table as the client. Success can only happen when you bring clear needs, ideas, and expectations to your partners to execute on. 

“How do you brief the agency of the job to be done and don’t shackle them and prevent them from pushing the envelope? How do you create an environment where the agencies pitch you ideas that make you a little uncomfortable? Because those are usually the best ideas. I think getting to that right mix where it’s not command and control, where you’re really enabling the agency to do what they do best and valuing that subject matter expert is important.”

How can you reach the retail media utopia?

“Retail media is the hot topic right now and all of our retail friends have really seen the model that Amazon has developed and see it as an opportunity to not only gain more income, but actually to monetize all of the rich data that they have. So I think when done well, and when you have the right subject matter experts involved in the process, you can really leverage retail media to create that utopia full-funnel experience that we all talk about, read about and make beautiful PowerPoint slides about. B the way in and how you do that is really to understand the nuts and bolts of the platforms. It’s not the sexy stuff. It’s really understanding how the algorithms work. What are the sophistication levels of the platforms and how they work within your overall planning process… I think the biggest unlock that we’re seeing is this connection back to the trade desk, which really allows you to pull it all the way through. I think the biggest challenge most manufacturers face is how to create that integrated planning process internally so you’re really taking advantage of it and making sure that you have subject matter expertise that understand what retail media is. It’s not like traditional media, there is very much a commerce component to it. And so you have to align the KPIs and the jobs to be done to make sure that you’re successful in that space. ”

About the Guest:

Diana Haussling is the VP and General Manager of Digital Commerce at Colgate-Palmolive where she leads North America eCommerce and Direct To Consumer strategies, overseeing and providing direction for digital commerce initiatives, DTC execution and dedicated cross-functional efforts. Previously, Diana held roles at Campbell Soup Company, General Mills, and The Hershey Company.

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Episode 210