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Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia
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5 Innovation Insights From Insurance Leaders

Innovation leaders from AXA, Allstate, and more share insight into their processes at the SMA Summit.
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"The Innovation Journey" was the theme of this year's SMA Summit, held Monday, Sept. 15, at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Boston. Robert James, president of P&C for QBE North America, kicked off the day with a rousing keynote that included plenty of humor and this tip for aspiring insurance industry innovators in the room:

We underestimate how much we say to employees gets reflected across the organization... It's really important for leaders to think about that as they interact with folks. You have to be able to tie it back to the business and make it meaningful.

Keep going for more insights from the day's speaker roster...

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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ncg
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ncg,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/15/2014 | 4:49:51 PM
Re: Good insight
The Change Management quote was the one that got my attention most. I particularly liked the reference to people romanticizing legacy systems. Interesting how the many complaints about a system are forgotten the moment people find out it may be replaced and the legacy app suddenly becomes the best thing they've ever worked with. Change Management has an increasingly important role in innovation - the value of adoption/acceptance can't always be quantified but the damage from lack of it can be breath taking.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
9/18/2014 | 5:28:41 PM
Re: Good insight
With all the talk about developing and implementing new technologies, it's easy for businesses to overlook the personal qualities that help those ideas come to fruition. I agree that it's probably easy for many tech execs to learn and adopt new technologies, but it's harder to teach someone how to embrace change. 
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
9/18/2014 | 4:49:00 PM
Re: Good insight
The only thing we have to fear is innovation itself. (you can tell I've been watching the Roosevelt series, tho they haven't gotten to that statement yet)
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
9/18/2014 | 4:32:57 PM
Re: Good insight
Sure seems like that, doesn't it? Unfortunately, fear can sometimes a stronger motivator for action (or in this case reaction) than risk-taking.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
9/18/2014 | 3:53:50 PM
Re: Good insight
Jeez, if it wasn't for those darn people, it would be so easy to innovate! I'm being facetious but I think these very interesting quotes show how much simple human emotions -- ego, need to be valued, fear of change, etc. -- factor into the potential success or failure of an innovation initiative. Insurance leaders must understand they are not going to change human nature just because they are advocating something innovative and brilliant. They must deal with common human attitudes, anxieties, behaviors, etc., to get people to truly understand the reasons and benefits. I'm sure there are many instances where intellectually, people "get it", but just can't make the psychological and emotional leaps that can lead the initiative to true success.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
9/18/2014 | 1:55:29 PM
Good insight
A lot of valuable advice here for insurers pursuing innovation. I really like Michel's input here and the idea of a "collective ego" throughout the business. If everyone believes that an innovative idea is pointing an organization in the right direction, I feel like it's much more likely to succeed. 
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