Kelley Kage, Sr. director, legal tech, Liberty Mutual
Kelley Kage has become a star at Liberty Mutual for her ability to manage big, complex digitalization projects. As director for third party services in global retail markets, she led an application integration initiative to streamline the combined Safeco and Liberty Mutual systems. Now in corporate functions technology — specifically, legal technology, she is in the midst of transitioning the group to Agile methodology, and has already delivered minimum-viable products leveraging data to power machine learning. She was nominated by group CIO Shelia Anderson.
How do you stay focused while in the midst of major projects?
Remaining calm and having a vision for myself and my team has been critical. There are fire drills every day, but being able to never lose sight of the important work that will really drive change in the organization is important. In one case, a vocal leader in the organization had drafted a solution, was soliciting feedback, and was ready to hit the ground running on implementation. We sat down, I expressed my concerns, and made some recommendations for how to proceed to enhance the value delivered. Initially this other leader was very resistant. By remaining calm, and communicating clearly the reasoning behind my recommendation, we were able to come together and develop a better solution that improved process, enhanced data quality, and simplified the way users thought about their work.
What do you like about working in insurance?
You can work for one company for 20 years, but it feels like you have worked at five different ones because when you move around the organization, the business is different, the customers are different — really, everything is different. Also, so many areas of insurance are ripe for technology enhancement, and I believe that the Insurance industry is on the cusp of major disruption. Insurance is a complex product, but innovation comes from taking something complex and making it awesomely easy.