At a recent retirement party for an old friend who was a senior executive of a large insurance company, he made some interesting points worth sharing:
Now, here is the point that made the crowd put down their drinks and really start listening. He said, “That doesn’t work anymore,” adding, “It won’t work for individuals or organizations in the economic environment we are now in.” He went on to explain:
Truly innovative thinking will be a desired state for the next five or 10 years, and this will be a significant characteristic of surviving firms.
Learning and applying will still need to happen, but more and more, the challenges insurance companies face will require a fresh look, a curious mind and the ability to think. Companies will need to come up with breakthrough innovations in service, distribution and products.
If my retired friend is right, how does an organization go about embedding innovative thinking into its culture and processes?
While approaches will vary based on each organization’s unique people, processes and technologies, they all should share several important characteristics:
That may seem like an oversimplified plan of action, but it covers the major points that are required for success. In these times, insurance companies face several difficult challenges that have no precedent, ranging from expense management to successful growth strategies to survival. As my old friend said about applying things learned over the past 30 years to today’s challenges, “That doesn’t work anymore.”
Ed Fenwick is SVP for The Robert E. Nolan Co., a management consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry.
Readers are encouraged to respond to Ed using the “Add Your Comments” box below.
The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.
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