Martin Bally, VP & CISO, Campbell Soup Company: Fostering Next-Generation Leaders and Paying it Forward

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In today’s highly distributed work environment, one of the top challenges that organizational leaders face is keeping employees engaged and staying connected with them.

In a recent HMG Spotlight interview, HMG Strategy Founder and CEO Hunter Muller spoke with Martin Bally, VP & CISO at Campbell Soup Company. In the interview, Martin touches on topics ranging from his views on visionary leadership to his approach to keeping employees engaged.

Hunter Muller: Martin, welcome to the program. Congratulations on being named as our top pick for CISO of the Year under our 2023 Global Leadership Institute Awards program!

Martin Bally: Thank you so much.

HM: When you think about the challenging times we’re in, the enterprise needs to innovate safely and securely. What are your general thoughts and beliefs on enabling the organization to innovate at business speed while keeping the enterprise safe and secure?

MB: From a security perspective, we have to be so integrated that they don’t even feel us. It goes back to the old analogy of brakes on a car. The purpose of brakes on a car wasn’t to slow the car down, it was to make the car faster.

I see security the same way. We really need to speed things up, to make sure that the business can move at the speed of light.

Today, organizations are looking more closely at threat intelligence and being more proactive with that intel to make sure that we drive the organization into a place where we feel safe, and we can continue to do business.

HM: Martin, more than ever, the CEO is looking for strategic value from technology delivery. What are the top innovative technologies that you’re looking at to help accelerate the company’s Go-to-Market?

MB: I think first and foremost, everyone is talking about AI. This includes how AI is influencing not just what ‘normal operations’ looks like but from a malicious intent standpoint.

That’s a big focus from a security perspective, to understand how malicious actors are using AI not only to formulate attacks but also to make decisions.

For us, it’s also about protecting the integrity of our data. But you know, AI is going to be revolutionary. I think we need to really embrace it and right now we’re going through that whole process of redefining what the next level of work looks like for us.

HM: When you think about self-help versus automation relative to the service desk, what are your thoughts there?

MB: I’ve asked my team to imagine a world where the ticketing system blew up, how would we take all our processes and re-architect and redefine them? Where would automation work best? And when is it best to provide self-help resources. We’re doing that evaluation work now.

We’re looking across the business to make sure we drive value and not just servicing tickets. We need to be seen as a value organization. And the biggest way of doing that is by taking the ticketing system out of the equation.

HM: Martin, we’re studying visionary leadership here at HMG Strategy. How do you characterize your leadership style and what are some lessons learned that you’d like to share with the audience today?

MB: I think what’s most important is that we need to be able to foster new leaders. I’m focused on making sure my team are good decision-makers.

When I joined Campbell, I focused on learning more about my team and understanding their working style. From there, I worked to build trust and set expectations. At the end of the day, I want them to be good decision-makers and to make sure they understand the risks.

I also focus on building a strong, distributed team. We can’t do anything alone – teamwork matters.

HM: Talk to us about the culture at Campbell and your role in helping to shape it along with the organization’s values and purpose.

MB: In today’s world, many people are working remotely and not always in the office. So, it’s really important to keep your team engaged. I try to meet with my team every month to be transparent, take feedback to make sure that they know we’re listening and that we’re following up on things and keeping people top of mind. That’s really important, especially in today’s hyper-connected world and how people are working.

I am proud that since I’ve been at Campbell’s for the last 18 months, we’ve had a 100% retention rate and in today’s age, that’s very difficult – things change so fast. One way of keeping them engaged is by developing the next level of leaders – it should be about 20% of your job. You should be promoting yourself both internally in the company and externally.

I encourage my team to get involved in a lot of different organizations, not just security organizations, but charitable organizations.

I always feel like paying it forward is the best thing you could do. I was given opportunities that led me to where I am today. I feel like everyone should have an opportunity.

Martin Bally will be a featured speaker at HMG Strategy’s 2023 Global CISO Executive Leadership Summit on December 12 in New York. To learn more about the summit and to register, click here.

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