Engaged employees ensure personalized customer experience.

For Donna Morris, “Moving forward and not being stuck in the past is an imperative.”

As Adobe’s executive vice president of customer and employee experience, her mission is to challenge the status quo, to innovate, and to transform. In this interview with MIT Sloan Management Review guest editor Gerald C. Kane, she describes how leveraging Adobe's move to the Cloud has given both customers and employees a richer, more positive experience.

You’re executive vice president of customer and employee experience at Adobe. I’m intrigued by your title. I haven’t seen that combination before. Why did you choose to combine those areas and what do you in this role?

Adobe’s entire business is based on people. We’ve always considered people our most important asset, and our people include both our employees and our customers.

We’ve been in business for 33 years and, historically, we’ve invested a lot of energy in our employees’ experience. But we felt we needed to shift our thinking and put the same kind of emphasis on our customers’ experience, which is why we combined the customer experience team, which focuses on customer support and technical support, with our employee experience team, which focuses on creating great experiences for our employees.

You talk about creating great experiences for your employees. What does that look like at Adobe?

A great experience is something that’s meaningful. It’s impactful. It’s personalized. It could be ensuring that employees have a really good onboarding experience, or that they have the opportunity to grow and develop their careers here, or have the opportunity to build strong relationships with their manager.

But we also want our customers to have a personalized experience with Adobe. If I have to contact support, our support team is going to know who I am, what products I have, how I use them, and what issues I might have with them. As a customer, I’ll know that there’s a community at Adobe.com where I will have a personalized experience based on the products I use.

How long have these two functions been combined, and what’s the biggest impact you’ve seen as a result of combining them?

We brought the teams together officially in November 2015, so we have just over one quarter under our belts. But it wasn’t only bringing these functions together.