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MPL Liability Insurance Sector Report: 2023 Financial Results Analysis and 2024 Financial Outlook

Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 2:00 p.m. ET
Hear analysis and commentary on 2023 industry results and learn what to watch for in the sector in 2024, including an analysis of the key industry financial drivers.

MPL Association’s National Advocacy Initiative in Full Swing

The MPL Association is shifting its focus toward state policy makers with a new program—the National Advocacy Initiative. This comes at an important time for the MPL community as the deteriorating policy environment in the states is resulting in increasing attacks on established reforms.

Inside Medical Liability



Leverage the Lessons of Amazon for Digital Transformation at MPL Association Annual Conference

By Amy Buttell

A business strategist and expert on digital transformation, leadership, and business reinvention, John Rossman is a former Amazon executive responsible for launching and scaling Amazon’s merchant integration team. He played a key role in launching and scaling the Amazon marketplace business, which now consists of 50% of all units sold at

Author of the best-selling books The Amazon Way: Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles, Think Like Amazon: 50 ½ Ideas to Become a Digital Leader, and The Amazon Way on IoT: 10 Principles for Every Leader from the World’s Leading Internet of Things Strategies, Rossman is the founder and Managing Partner of Rossman Partners. As a business consultant and strategist, he helps companies create fast, impactful, and lasting change through ROI-fueled digital transformation.

Since leaving Amazon, Rossman has served as the interim chief technology officer for the Gates Foundation and an innovation advisor to T-Mobile, in addition to a wide variety of digital transformation assignments through Rossman Partners. As a media analyst, Rossman offers expert commentary on Amazon as seen in The New York Times, CNBC, Bloomberg, the BBC, Yahoo Finance, and more.

A highly sought-out keynote speaker, Rossman will speak at the 2023 MPL Association Conference in New Orleans May 17-19 on “How’s Your Digital Transformation Going? Defining the Future of Your Organization – The Amazon Way"

Inside Medical Liability interviewed Rossman about his upcoming keynote.

IML: Why is the topic of digital transformation so important in the first place?

Rossman: Everybody’s talking about it, but most companies are struggling to actually make it happen. And let’s be honest, most companies are failing at this endeavor. That’s why it’s important to discuss the leadership, mechanism, and approaches that are necessary to get better at digital transformation. It would be easier if there was just one issue, but it is complex, so that unfortunately isn’t the case.

IML: So, we’ll bite—why is digital transformation so important?

Rossman: Because there is no other option. Organizations have to eliminate the friction in the tasks they are asking their customers, partners, and employees to undertake. The way to eliminate, or at least minimize, that friction is through digital transformation. Amazon succeeds because of their organizational imperative to eliminate friction. Think about how the one-click shopping experience has become the gold standard that others seek to emulate, and you’ll understand why Amazon is the gold standard in digital transformation.

IML: Why Amazon as the sole use case when there are other large companies that have succeeded in making this happen?

Rossman: I borrow from the Amazon playbook because I truly believe that they are the most interesting company of the digital era. And it's because of how they do their work, how they think through problems, how they hold each other accountable, how they prioritize decisions, and how they look to make great customer experiences and trusted customer experiences. I had the opportunity to be there as an early leader and help form the ethos of this organization. And I've had the opportunity over the last 18 years to help translate that playbook.


IML: How has Amazon continued to succeed in something that’s incredibly difficult—digital transformation—over such a long period of time?

Rossman: If you examine what is now the almost 30-year journey of Amazon, it's been about consistent reduction of customer friction, not just for the benefit of their customers, but also for operational efficiency. Driving innovation through both operational effectiveness and processes that benefit the customer is really the primary lens through which most companies always have an opportunity for innovation. There are tricks that I’ve learned about how you analyze the customer experience, how you use metrics, and the questions you ask along the way to get to where you want to go.

IML: What’s the most surprising question that you ask?

Rossman: It’s actually kind of a sassy question, which is: What sucks about the customer experience? What sucks about the partner or the employee experience? That invites in criticism and humility.

IML: How is the Amazon experience of digital transformation relevant to the medical professional liability (MPL) industry?

Rossman: Amazon has always had a keen eye toward understanding risk, which is critically important in business and especially to this audience, who are experts in risk management as actuaries, claims professionals, underwriting professionals, and more.

IML: Where do risk and digital transformation intersect?

Rossman: The ultimate risk, in my opinion, follows the long term 7-to-10-year horizon where most companies aren’t growing, diversifying, or innovating enough in their businesses. And that ties directly in to digital transformation, because it’s integral to succeeding in the long term. Yet I find that most leaders, while they would agree with me about that assessment, still aren’t willing to put actual processes, accountability, and leadership in place to address that gap.

IML: Why does this keep happening?

Rossman: It’s because of the tyranny of the now. We can keep kicking the can down the road, passing this on to the next generation of leaders, but that sacrifices the future for the present. We’re all so wrapped up in optimizing for this year, this quarter’s numbers, and profitability, and so on. But that’s not sustainable. It’s paradoxical, but the answer is that when you actually focus on the future and get your processes down, you take care of the present at the same time.

IML: What is something that Amazon does to make this happen that others don’t do?

Rossman: One important aspect of creating processes around innovation is actually writing everything down, including full documentation for all aspects of new programs, new platforms, and their potential impact. This seems simple, but it’s not. Writing everything down is the superpower for clear thinking. The best way to experiment with an idea is to talk through all the iterations, problems, challenges that are involved with it, because that brings it into extremely sharp focus. You learn whether something is really feasible or not and why.

IML: What’s behind this process of writing everything down?

Rossman: It’s the most important skill for the vast majority of executives—the ability to think in terms of outcomes. You actually pull the future state into the present so you can pull all the different levers necessary, including the disruptive technology, to bring your vision to reality.

IML: What’s your answer to the idea that digital transformation and the mindsets that accompany it are especially difficult in one industry like the one we are dealing here, the MPL industry?

Rossman: Believe me, I hear this from everybody! Big companies say that it’s too hard because they aren’t as nimble as small companies. Smaller companies say it’s too hard because they don’t have the resources of bigger companies and so on.

IML: What’s your answer, then?

Rossman: Yes, it’s hard. But you’ve gotta do it. While not every industry is under the same kinds of disruptive pressure, that pressure is coming, and you don’t know when. Let’s think about Google, for example, and its ad business that possessed, until very recently, one of the world’s best business models. No one saw Chat GPT coming, but now that it has, Google’s ad business faces an existential crisis.

IML: The disruptor gets disrupted, right?

Rossman: Exactly! But that’s how it goes. Sometimes the frog boils slowly and sometimes it boils really fast. But if you’re not in the game of digital transformation, you are taking a very calculated risk that you won’t be blindsided. And we know you will—we just don’t know when or how. The idea is to not only avoid being a tomorrow’s dinosaur, but also understanding the opportunity this brings. If you want to create more value, you have to do something different—not tweaks around the margins, but transformation.

IML: Let’s wrap up with one last thought—what will our readers gain from attending your keynote?

Rossman: They’ll learn about what they know that they shouldn’t be ignoring and the intentional processes they need to create around innovation and digital transformation for it to succeed. People think you have to commit a lot more to this than you do. It’s really about a mindset of systematic investment and innovation so you don’t get blindsided or you at least minimize the likelihood of being blindsided.

IML: Thanks so much for your time, John!


Amy Buttell is Editor of Inside Medical Liability Online.

"One important aspect of creating processes around innovation is actually writing everything down, including full documentation for all aspects of new programs, new platforms, and their potential impact.

This seems simple, but it’s not. Writing everything down is the superpower for clear thinking."