Amy Radin, Author at Insurance Thought Leadership



Amy Radin

Amy Radin

Amy Radin is the author of The Change Maker’s Playbook: How to Seek, Seed and Scale Innovation in Any Company. Amy has been at the forefront of rewiring businesses for the future, moving ideas to performance and insights to impact at companies including American Express, Citi, E*TRADE, and AXA.

Recent Articles by Amy Radin

3 Steps That Make Partnerships Work

Imagine you are an enterprise CEO in a business under increasing pressure to address the demands of continued growth, a meaningful ESG strategy, a fickle and more diverse customer base, a changing regulatory environment and fallout from the pandemic. Just for starters. While the organization is full of talent who are expert at running the […]

Why Weak Signals of Disruption Are Key

Do you have time to observe and process what’s happening beyond your “must do” list? How often do you stop to look twice at details that just don’t seem “normal” — that may even seem outlandish or inappropriate? Do you dismiss these as trivial, or as mistakes, or do you ever consider whether they foreshadow […]

A Conversation on Corporate Strategy, with Amy Radin

With the pace of digitization increasing, people talk a lot about new business models, new products and new technologies that can transform sales and customer service, claims, underwriting and more — but seldom about how the approach to formulating strategy must evolve. In this webinar, Amy Radin makes a strong case for starting by reassessing what […]

7 Ways to Innovate With Purpose

President Kennedy is quoted as having said, “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger, the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but recognize the opportunity.” As I write this, the news coming out of Texas regarding the week’s extreme […]

How CFOs Can Enable Innovation

Organizations in every corner of the economy are focusing with renewed intensity on innovating to anticipate and meet new customer expectations accelerated by and arising from the pandemic. We are not going back to the way things were pre-2020. The pressure is on to transform business models from top to bottom and acknowledge that innovation, […]

Don’t Go Into Recovery Mode in 2021; Reset

The new year has finally arrived. The holiday greetings that landed in my inbox last month all celebrated turning the page on 2020. The reality is we will continue to live with the effects of last year’s disruptions. Approaching 2021 as a “recovery” year implies to some degree going back to where we were — and if […]

How to Outperform on Innovation

Innovations will not be discovered, developed and scaled by groups of like-minded people of similar background. Solutions will demand diversity and inclusion leapfrogs. Leaders will have to take a fresh look at how they: Define what diversity means for their organization, redesigning processes and metrics to manage progress, Act and engage personally to create a […]

How to Pursue Innovation in a Crisis

No business has escaped the impacts of COVID-19. Whether a company is managing demand that is skyrocketing or plummeting, finding workarounds for a fractured supply chain or enabling employees to work safely or from remote locations, leaders have been forced to take on priorities that few could have imagined. They are reshaping priorities, reassigning resources, […]

Are Bad Metrics Killing Innovation?

Are you a founder or corporate innovator who is seeking to demonstrate the potential of your concept by constructing a detailed five- or even 10-year profit and loss (P&L) statement with associated outlooks for key business drivers? Are you developing exhaustive business cases for your nascent concept, using models borrowed from mature business lines? Too many potentially worthy innovation […]

Step 1 to Your After-COVID Future

None of us knows what the future holds. But at least prior to March, we had logical bases from which to de-risk decisions. In the space of a few months, the logic behind our assumptions no longer feels solid. We’ve ripped up our plans. What will happen, when things will happen and how long things […]

Are You Ready to Fail in 2020?

As you begin the new year, my wish is that you will be ready to fail in pursuit of your innovation vision. That’s right: Be ready to fail. And then accept and learn from your failures. The last few weeks of 2019 were a time to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments, disappointments, and discoveries. […]

How Incumbents Can Smother Startups

One of the most fun and inspiring endeavors I’ve undertaken in my post-corporate life has been to advise select early-stage companies, portfolio managers and accelerators. Startups need lots of marketing advice, especially early on when there may not be a CMO on board. As a result, my work often involves defining audience targeting strategy and […]

Reframing Metrics to Enable Innovation

According to the Gartner 2018 CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, respondents who believe their company is an “innovation pioneer” reached a high last year of 41%, up from 27% in 2013. Responders are taking some measure of credit for moving their organizations ahead of competitors in the race for growth and relevance. The Gartner […]

CMOs Behind the Eight Ball

Recently, I was a panelist at How Marketers Drive Growth – sponsored by Forbes, along with TD Ameritrade CMO Denise Karkos, Tableau CMO Elissa Fink, Sprinklr President and COO Carlos Dominguez and Head of Forbes CMO Practice Bruce Rogers. We talked strategies to solve CMOs’ quest: proving marketing ROI. This precious goal is proving to […]

How to Make Sense of Marketing Tech

Thanks to Scott Brinker at for sharing the 2017 Marketing Technology Supergraphic above. I appreciate every year seeing the updated technology landscapes along with the insights and commentary provided by Luma Partners. If you are having trouble making out any of the details, it’s not your eyesight. More than 5,000 companies are included on the […]

Future of Insurance: Risk Pools of One

In a recent New York Times story, New Gene Test Poses Threat to Insurers, reporter Gina Kolata describes how data transparency and availability are disrupting underwriting for long-term-care insurance. Kolata discusses how this product, challenged for years by inaccurate claims forecasting and sky-high pricing, faces further threat of adverse selection — as a consequence of […]

Why Your Innovation Lab Is D.O.A.

According to a recent Innovation Management post, Are Corporate Innovation Centers Too Big To Fail?, the number of such centers or labs across the globe jumped from 301 to 456 over the course of the 15 months ended in October 2016. This 60%-plus increase reflects legacy enterprise efforts to deal with inescapable disruption. Boards and […]

10 Reasons Why Founders Fail

A seed stage investor with a 20-year track record of success recently told me, “There are 100 things a founder must get right for his company to succeed, and if he only gets 99 of them right he is likely to fail.” I have heard the pitches of several hundred founders seeking seed funding over […]

Getting Back in Step With People’s Needs

The origins of life insurance show up at least as long ago as the Middle Ages, when the notion of providing mutual aid emerged in organized structures. People came together via benefit societies for those in need and for the good of all. Similarly, modern-day carriers originated with mutual ownership – a construct that prioritized […]

It’s Time for Some Lemonade

Irrespective of your sector of interest or whether you are in the market for insurance, take a few minutes to watch this video, Science Behind Lemonade, and the App demo. There has been so much hype about the Lemonade launch over the past months, but this is the real deal in insurance disruption. It offers lessons for any innovator, […]

Health Startups Go After 3 Pain Points

In my last post, I outlined the four dimensions that are defining the opportunities for health insurtech innovation: the health of the American people, marketplace trends, the role of regulation and the players. Incumbent health insurers are pursuing legacy tactics to compete in the ACA world. There are big M&A approved (Centene/Healthnet) and facing regulatory […]

Can InsurTech Make Miracles in Health?

As an American and the de facto administrator of my family’s health insurance, I am reminded routinely of some of the complexities of the methods we employ to maximize health and pay for care in this country. Forces are driving individuals, providers, insurers and employers to change their approaches or suffer the consequences. InsurTech companies […]

The Start-Ups That Are Innovating in Life

In my last post, I provided categories within which to organize the innovation players within life insurance. Both start-ups and legacy businesses are pursuing solutions to industry pain points. Attention is being paid to distribution, product, client experience, speed, productivity, big data, compliance and other areas within the life category where inefficiency exists or where […]

Insurance Innovation: No Longer Oxymoron

While most insurance technology start-up activity in the U.S. is concentrated in health and auto, there are signs of life (pun intended) in the life insurance sector. Given the business model challenges reported in my last post, optimists will see upside and big commercial white space throughout the ecosystem. People with the skills, smarts and […]

8 Start-ups Aiming to Revive Life Insurance

In my last post, I described the state of the life insurance industry, including the pain points where InsurTech entrants are poised for impact. The life insurance industry is suffering from a dying (literally) distribution model, complex products and a flawed purchase funnel. New entrants can transform the industry by bringing a clean-sheet approach to: […]

InsurTech Can Help Fix Drop in Life Insurance

No one disputes that life insurance ownership in the U.S. has been on the decline for decades. The question up for debate is what to do about it. The emergence of an insurtech sector is an indicator of entrepreneur and investor confidence in upside potential. The hundreds of millions of dollars being poured into technology […]

A Practical Tool to Connect to Customers

I recently led a workshop at the BRITE Conference at Columbia University on how to connect to customers and was honored to be among speakers including Shelly Lazarus, Ogilvy’s chairman emeritus; Vikram Somaya, ESPN’s global CDO; Linda Boff, CMO of GE; and Columbia Professor and innovation thought leader Rita McGrath. Organized by faculty members David Rogers, Matt Quint and Bernd […]

A Wake-Up Call for B2B Brands

Gallup has just released the Guide to Customer Centricity: Analytics and Advice for B2B Leaders. The study reports that 71% of B2B clients are ready and willing to take their business elsewhere – not even one-third are fully engaged in their relationships with suppliers. If you are operating in the B2B world – and you […]

Wanted by the CEO: A Superhero CMO

The IDC “2016 Global Chief Marketing Officer FutureScape” predicts CMO turnover continuing at 25% per year or higher through 2018. This is not surprising, as marketing continues to be disrupted and reinvented. The CMO must anticipate the expectations of the connected consumer, master an accelerating digital learning curve and negotiate a new role and relationship to […]

What Is Your 2016 Playbook for Growth?

CEOs entering 2016 convinced they can succeed by doubling down on what worked in the past may be reading from the wrong playbook. According to a recently released Forrester/Odgers Berndtson study, “The State of Digital Business 2015,” most companies remain unprepared for digital transformation” — an absolute must for growth. Yet executives representing the diverse […]

What Silicon Valley Says on Insurance

Overheard at “Insurance Disrupted 2015,” held Nov. 18 and 19 in Palo Alto, CA, cosponsored by Silicon Valley Innovation Center and Insurance Thought Leadership: From The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway: “How did you go bankrupt?”… ‘Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.’ Paul Carroll, CEO of ITL: “Insurance has been in the ‘gradually’ phase of […]

Can Insurers Move at the Speed of Change?

Chances are you are currently or soon to be engaged in the annual planning cycle, taking stock of the year and anticipating your goals and targets for 2016. Annual planning feels anachronistic in a world where businesses survive only by operating at least at the speed of change, and where constant iteration is the order […]

Strategy: Now Is Not a Good Time…

The founder and CEO of an early-stage company that has just closed a solid seed round tells me that what has benefited his business most in the past year, and allowed him to pivot toward a promising future, can be expressed in one word: focus. The CEO of a late-stage startup who spent more than […]

The Formula for Getting Growth Results

Real growth — not incremental improvements to last year’s numbers, but big results coming from new opportunities you manage to seize and commercialize — is hard to come by. There are so many distractions, so many rabbit holes you can fall into — the lure of a cool technology, a move by a competitor that […]

Who Is Your Chief Customer Officer?

In my role as market connector, I constantly meet people with all kinds of job titles, many of which did not exist even a few years ago. Some reflect a “cool” factor more than substance. Others signal strategic intent translated into an organizational decision. Recently, there’s been a burst of senior-level titles speaking to a […]

From Marketing Myths to Truths

No insurance executive in touch with the marketplace would deny that traditional distribution is no longer a reliable way to deliver dependable sales and enduring customer relationships. The adviser-based model is under threat in most sector categories. Why? There are many reasons, but two at the top of the list are: Customers are changing – […]

A CMO’s IT Dream Team

Dear CIO and my partner-in-creating-the-future: I came across this great quote from Rita McGrath that makes me laugh but also wince because it’s such a painfully accurate observation, especially as I think about how many of these barriers we could overcome by transforming the way marketing and IT work together: “All of our innovation barriers […]

6 Trends Signaling Major Opportunity

Last year, I decided to pursue a career transition as a full-time occupation. I’ve been out in the market for the past six months, assessing business opportunities as I network with executives in financial services, healthcare, media and retail, as well as with VCs, private equity investors and advisers. What’s been great is that invariably […]

A 2015 To-Do List for Digital Transformation

The new year already feels well under way. The pressure is on to accelerate progress and increase business impact on all things digital. You’ve locked down the budget, and goals are in place. Now it’s time to reset the results meter and build momentum. If one of your goals is to make digital matter more […]

I’m Spending a Fortune on Digital…So Where Are the Profits?

I doubt any readers of this post work with a CFO who is measuring Return on Empathy. Empathy? How can something as soft, as emotional, as seemingly non-quantifiable as identifying with people’s feelings, thoughts and emotions translate not only into hard-core financial benefit but also value to customers, patients, agents, employees or other participants in […]

I’m Spending a Fortune on Digital…So Where Are the Profits?

The “consumer-ization” of healthcare and threats to the long-established business model of the life insurance industry are just two examples of how traditional players are facing intensifying pressure to be more purposeful about their digital strategies. No doubt about it, digital investments will continue to grow. To turn these investments into marketplace advantages, insurance brands […]

Uber Should Be a Friend, Not a Foe

As I read the considerable amount of press Uber is attracting, the level of negativity from the insurance industry is striking. Uber is free-loading. Uber is undermining consumer protections. Uber encourages drivers to engage in what amounts to insurance fraud. And on and on. Reality is, Uber, Lyft and the many other start-up companies of […]

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