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October 03 2013 | Karen Furtado

In order to get the necessary energy behind an idea, invention, or change it needs to be well structured. Industry experts from insurance companies where innovation has helped to make significant impacts in their own organizations recently spoke at our SMA Summit: Innovate for Advantage. Scott Good, Senior Director, Customer Innovations at Scottsdale Insurance Company, suggested an organization might start by having an innovation day where leaders listen to the needs of their customers and imagine solutions to fit those needs and make their lives easier. He explained that having a customer focus allows you to focus on needs first, and then challenged attendees to hold an innovation day within their own organizations where they will predict the competitive landscape 18 months, 3, and 5 years out. This may be challenging and scary for some, but in the end predicting and thinking for the future will make you smarter in the long run and inform your decisions in the present.

Janet Deskins, Chief Product Officer, Transamerica, Life and Protection, furthered the notion of sponsoring formal ideation sessions. She described the great environment Transamerica has created to foster innovation. Transamerica has innovation cafes where employees of all levels can gather and dream big about where they’d like to see change. They call their employees “tomorrow makers” and encourage them to “declare” ideation, providing a great example of an insurer that has woven innovation and ideation into the culture of everyday business.

I second Janet’s challenge to insurers: What would take for innovation to succeed in your organization? Create a platform and be deliberate about change.

SMA will continue to honor the robust discussions held at the Summit by continuing the dialogue all year through social media, our research, our Insurers Forum, and continued webinar opportunities. This will all be brought to new heights at the 2014 SMA Summit, where the theme will be The Power of Innovation and Transformation.  Save the date; September 15, 2014!

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To learn more, please contact:
Karen Furtado
Strategy Meets Action, a ReSource Pro company