Entries by Mark O'Brien

Our New Year’s Resolutions

No matter how you slice it, 2021 is going to be an extraordinary year, if for no other reason than it follows 2020. Need we say more? Consequently, we thought it appropriate to come up with an equally extraordinary list of New Year’s resolutions and to share them here. So, as a public service, here […]

A Christmas Tale

’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Finys, What most folks were doing was anyone’s guess. But Kurt was responding to customer queries While Scott, fast asleep, dreamt of sugar plum fairies. Their stockings were hung from their chimneys with care: With COVID around, the home office was bare. But customer service was still […]

Good Enough is Not Good Enough

There are many ways by which we come by our convictions: Sometimes we see things that motivate us. Sometimes we learn things that inspire us. Sometimes we hear things that disturb us. Sometimes we hear things that unsettle us to the point at which we realize we can’t let them be true. Pertaining to #4, […]

The Big Shift

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. (L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between) The coronavirus pandemic has us thinking about that famous quote from L.P. Hartley. It also has us thinking about three other things: The so-called new normal Best practices Thomas Kuhn. First, the notion of a new normal, of course, suggest […]

Afloat Again

We’re not sure we’ve stumbled on the proverbial new normal. But we’re positive we’ve found new life in the ninth month of the coronavirus pandemic. Like everyone else on the planet, we slowed down for a while. We had to. Common sense dictates proceeding with caution through uncharted waters. But we started to find our […]

Hurry Up and Wait

Because we’re incorrigibly curious — and because it’s part of our professional responsibility to stay abreast of things in the industry we serve — we recently conducted an experiment on Google. We entered the phrase, coronavirus insurance industry, and searched. The search returned 496,000,000 results. The sheer number surprised us. But what surprised us more […]

And We Quote …

We know it’s bad form to quote ourselves. But we have to make an exception here. We recently watched a panel discussion about the ways in which insurers responded to the effects of the coronavirus and its ensuing shut-down. One comment, from Sean Ringsted of Chubb, jumped out at us: I draw a distinction between, […]

Don’t Roll the DICE

efficacy:noun — capacity for producing a desired result or effect We don’t seem to hear as much about digital transformation or digitalization as we used to. There are two pretty compelling reasons for that: We’re not hearing as much about those things anymore because we’re actually doing them. The coronavirus gave as a very good […]

What’s In Your Toolbox?

Imagine you have some new friends coming over for dinner. You really want to make a good impression, but your house has a few things that need to be fixed. While not many friendships are lost over broken screen doors, shabby paint, or a picture that needs to be hung, it would better if things […]

Portals Are the New Common Sense

We love inevitability. For instance, it’s often said that insurance is sold, not bought. That means many consumers don’t think of insurance as a necessity and tend to purchase it only when it’s sold to them. (Hence, the classic scene from Woody Allen’s Take the Money and Run in which Woody’s character is sentenced to […]