Step Toward Successful Innovation Execution
28 March 2022
Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Many insurance companies are taking the path of optimism and two examples of this are Celent’s recent award winners of the Celent Model Insurer 2022 for innovation execution Cathay Life and Symetra.
Celent notes that innovation execution is not about the technology’s insurers are using, nor their partnerships with insurtech firms. It’s about the process of innovation, in which insurers produce results from their investments in innovation. The innovation investment results take on many forms some of which are:
- Delivery of value to the customer
- Creating better human experiences
- Improving productivity
- Enabling better decisions
- Mitigating risk
The path to innovation has a several unique steps along the way. We found that after reviewing all of our award submissions there is no single path for innovation success. However, there are plenty of success stories. One of the key ingredients for success is organizing for innovation and along with it developing the right culture to both support and sustain innovation for the long term. Done right this sets the foundation for an organization to embrace innovation and make it a way of life within. The right culture and leadership are necessary to support a new way of thinking, building, and doing. We found key elements within a successful culture are implementing innovative and transformational measures to initially develop a climate for innovation within an organization and promoting self-learning to improve interdisciplinary learning abilities.
We categorize steps to innovation execution under the following themes:
- Strategic Focus - Insurers are getting better at connecting the dots between strategy and innovation to compete, differentiate and win.
- Organizing for Innovation - Insurers are adapting their organizational structures to improve speed and effectiveness of innovation.
- Culture of Innovation - Insurers are engaging the hearts and minds of employees to turbocharge innovation and stimulate creative flow.
- Emphasis on Design - Insurers are investing in capabilities for design, which is often the missing link between aspiration and execution.
- Scientific Methods - Insurers are coaching their employees to take a more scientific and data-driven approach to innovation.
- Dynamic Planning - Waterfall plans provide little room for uncertainty and learning, so insurers are discovering more dynamic methods.
Our innovation execution award winners had a number of activities that mapped to our innovation framework. The advent of the post-pandemic era has greatly affected people’s lifestyles and has driven insurance companies to reconsider how they can optimize services through innovation and technology. Key to their optimization is the innovation journey. Our innovation execution winners demonstrate two examples of how insurers seized the opportunity to not only change themselves, but also influence change in the industry.
To read the details and learn more about on our 2022 Model Insurers award winners for Innovation Execution please refer to the following links