Author Amy Radin sat down with Winsome Consulting CEO Heather Thomas at Tigerlabs to discuss strategies for navigating the ever changing landscape of work and career within corporations and as an entrepreneur. Amy led teams instituting change amid behemoth bureaucracy at E*Trade, AXA and Citi by encouraging people with complementary skill sets to unite towards a common vision and goal. She wrote “The Change Maker’s Playbook” to share her formula of Seek, Seed and Scale to help innovators leverage her experience and expertise in achieving value and growth.
Author Amy Radin with Heather Thomas
Amy’s book includes interviews with founders who had to supplement passion and purpose with resourcefulness and creativity to fail and succeed. Innovation comes from a commitment to curiosity, attention and service to the customer. Understanding problems and figuring out a way to fix them. A sentiment echoed on the wall at Tigerlabs: “Make something people want.”
For those in the early stages of their career or considering a switch, Amy advises people to create value, build credibility and give weight to corporate culture when considering a position. Compensation, commute and job title are only part of the package. “…a culture is the sum of decisions and choices, words and actions made by the people who belong to the organization, as well as those they choose to invite in. Culture is set by the top executive, and then carried out by how people choose to behave and treat others based on what they see at the top.” – The Change Maker’s Playbook
Amy exited corporate culture to write the book and do private consulting. Heather Thomas shifted gears to start her company Winsome Consulting a decade ago. Heather wanted more flexibility and fulfillment in her work, and was willing to sacrifice financial rewards and stability initially to pursue entrepreneurship.
Both women emphasized the importance of building a personal network and a personal board of advisors. The key is to pay attention, stay interested and have faith that the right contacts and opportunities will present themselves in serendipitous ways. Luck does play a role sometimes. The Chamber recently hosted a workshop by Jennifer Willey of Wet Cement on building your personal board of directors.
Innovation Book by Amy Radin
Amy emphasized the importance of focusing on the long game and staying open to new possibilities, “Life is a constant learning journey.” Life can be unpredictable, but one can learn to get comfortable with discomfort. She was able to accept candid career reviews from management as opportunity for improvement instead of caustic criticism. Seek out advice from people you admire and trust there is a place for you in the marketplace. Start with self awareness.
The Book Club event was organized and co-hosted by the New Jersey Chapter of Room to Read and Ellevate Network. Room to Read focuses on literacy and gender equality in 16 countries across Africa and Asia. Room to Read helps young children learn to read and develop a love of reading from an early age. Room to Read supports adolescent girls in secondary school in becoming leaders in their own lives and agents of change. Room to Read Believes World Change Starts with Educated Children.
Ellevate Network is a global network of professional women committed to elevating each other through education, inspiration, and opportunity. Their mission is to close the gender-based achievement gap in business by providing women with a community to lean on and learn from.