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92: Working in tandem: Jim Lyski and Shamim Mohammad of CarMax

This week on “Marketing Today,” Alan talks with two leaders from CarMax: CMO Jim Lyski and CIO Shamim Mohammad. During the course of their discussion, Lyski and Mohammad touch upon the similarities of their backgrounds and the way they utilize their differences to fuel the way they work together. The relationship between the two is well documented, and in the course of their discussion they talk about how CarMax utilizes Agile methodologies, their belief in the importance of cultural fit when recruiting and developing talent, and how their familiarity with each other’s role helps drive results for CarMax.

At the heart of their approach, and what they believe is a key factor in their success at CarMax, is the importance they place upon the customer experience: “When we are sitting around the table and discussing any initiative,” says Mohammad, “we always make a decision that’s going to favor the customer.”

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today” podcast include:

  • Lyski and Mohammad talk about the quantum leaps from where they grew up to their C-Suite presence today. (2:10)
  • Lyski and Mohammad on how they resolve conflict. (6:30)
  • How Agile methodologies work at CarMax — the organization and operation of their teams resemble the structure of an atom. (7:18)
  • Customer experience needs to be deeply integrated into a company’s culture. (15:46)
  • Advice for CMOs or CIOs faced with a turnaround situation. (18:51)
  • Communication and trust are key in establishing a collaborative culture. (26:10)
  • “The harder the problem, the more creative you have to be.” (32:33)
  • The future of marketing is now. (36:49)