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Principal Innovation Strategist

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

About Variable

Variable is an innovation team within a Fortune 100 company. Our mission is experiment with new technologies and ideas to understand the future!

We are committed to encouraging a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment where innovation thrives. We a stable, yet fast-paced, platform for our team to grow their careers, and drive impact at scale.

We are seeking an expert and entrepreneurial business leader that has worked in both early-stage companies and large corporate environments. This leader will define the strategic direction for our innovation experiments in partnership with executive business leaders. Leverage knowledge of emerging technology trends to bring the future to life alongside our dedicated team of researchers, designers, engineers. The success of our program hinges on exceptionally delivered experiments that change the course of the enterprise.

The Role:

  • Lead innovation experiments for Variable in partnership with a range of executive partners

  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to identify innovation opportunities

  • Facilitate daily scrums, experiment sprint planning sessions, and retrospectives, continuously improving how we operate

  • Proven track record to analyze and synthesize complicated and ambiguous information, solve complex problems, provide cross-functional leadership, and work persuasively among leaders across the organization

  • Connect with internal and external partners to set a clear vision, experience delivering presentations in front of C-Suite executives

  • Problem solver and team player with an analytical approach and comfortable with ambiguity

  • Collaborate with stakeholders in data, engineering, digital product, operations, and HR, to influencing the priorities of these groups

  • Provide input into the planning process for organizational priorities, establish key results and targets, and guide technology roadmaps

  • Coordinate efforts across the Variable team of researchers, designers, engineers, and other strategists

  • Align strategy development with research objectives

  • Apply a product approach to bringing concepts to life, making the strategic vision tangible and real for stakeholders


  • High proficiency in the applications of emerging technologies such as Gen AI, Web 3, etc. to business problems

  • Minimum of 10 years of experience

  • Proven track record of leading strategy development for a business unit or in corporate strategy

  • Strong leadership and team management skills, with experience working in a matrixed environment

  • Demonstrated ability to analyze and synthesize complicated and ambiguous information, solve complex problems, provide cross-functional leadership, and work persuasively among leaders across the organization

  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work effectively with cross-functional teams, and with executive leadership

  • Foundational knowledge of financial services industry and insurance

  • Experience conducting primary and secondary market and customer research to substantiate a strategic point of view


  • Tuition reimbursement, commuter plans, and paid time off

  • Highly competitive compensation that include base salary plus bonus

  • Medical/Dental/Vision plans, 401(k), pension program


Compensation Range:

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Northwestern Mutual pays on a geographic-specific salary structure and placement in the salary range for this position will be determined by a number of factors including the skills, education, training, credentials and experience of the candidate; the scope, complexity as well as the cost of labor in the market; and other conditions of employment. At Northwestern Mutual, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for their role and compensation decisions are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. Please note that the salary range listed in the posting is the standard pay structure. Positions in certain locations (such as California) may provide an increase on the standard pay structure based on the location. Please click here for additiona l information relating to location-based pay structures.

Grow your career with a best-in-class company that puts our client’s interests at the center of all we do. Get started now!

We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you work or would be working in California, Colorado, New York City, Washington or outside of a Corporate location, please click here for information pertaining to compensation and benefits.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.