September 25, 2012

At SMA's Innovation in Action summit this Monday in Boston, insurers, vendors and industry observers talked about making the business case for innovation. Judy DeLaRosa, VP of online platforms and solutions manager for Chubb, said during a panel discussion that there are four "P" words in particular that she uses to get the organization rolling on innovative projects.

  • Passion: "This is the driver behind innovation," DeLaRosa says. "It's your passion that helps you create the vision. It can and should be contagious -- that happens when you share your vision and how it meets the business need. That will in turn develop collaboration and energy."

  • People: "I have to pull together a lot of people from diff business areas to meet a business goal," she explains. "Develop and nurture the relationships you need with the right people early. Stakeholders need to be identified early on. They are going to spread the message of what you need to do and why it's important. It's important to have individuals who can support short-term objectives and those who can keep their eyes on the long-term vision on your side."

  • Process: This comprises the vision developed through your passion, the strategy you develop with people, and a roadmap to guide them both, DeLaRosa says. "It's especially important if what you're doing is innovative," she adds. "You're traveling down a road that hasn't been traveled. A roadmap says 'here are the initiatives, here are the people and here is the tech we need to make this happen.'"

  • Politics: There are probably people who have tried to solve this business problem before, DeLaRosa says. "Take time to learn what they've experienced, and how your way will help achieve the business goals you have," she says. "Understand who the decision makers are the stakeholders are and engage with them often."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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, ...