Accelerating innovation in insurance

Artículos, DANAConnect

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Deliver superior solutions, reduce the risks and costs of change, and ensure employee buy-in. That's what innovation is all about.
Many insurance companies are unable to keep pace with the latest innovations, which are occurring at an unprecedented rate. However, any company can introduce small improvements that have a big impact on its operation, applying a strategic approach to innovationHowever, any company can introduce small improvements that have a big impact on its operation. Listed below are actions you can take to boost your company's innovation game and improve innovation in your field.

Rethinking the status quo

Insurance companies often struggle to change because they are unwilling to abandon the status quo. It's easy to stick with what has worked in the past. But, customers have changed and expectations have changed. You must be willing to abandon the process you have relied on for many years to remain relevant in today's marketplace. This might mean working with outside technology experts to implement new solutions that give your customers better experiences. You may also consider implementing new business models that make it easier for you to deliver innovative solutions to your customers.

Encourage continuous improvement

It is crucial to pace yourself and allow time for improvements to manifest themselves before undertaking significant changes across the board. As much as you want to change and pioneer a new innovation in your product, you will only go so far if you don't first focus on continuous improvement and what is truly worthwhile. By examining ways to improve your company's efficiency and effectiveness, you will be in a better position to introduce new features and services as they become available.
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Think of processes as journeys

For each product or initiative, innovation teams should prepare a business case that carefully documents all assumptions. Business cases can become clear milestones and guides to a set of fundamental assumptions that can change the course of action. With business cases in hand, it is easier to initiate improvements toward the minimum "valuable" product. That is, thinking about what incremental improvement can be made that will create value for the customer, for the employees/agents in their day-to-day productivity and, of course, for the insurer as a whole. 

Find ONE task to change

Failure to take a critical look at your processes can often lead to completing a task in a way that does not provide value to the business. If you have been reusing tools, processes and systems that are no longer relevant, it's time to take a step back and critically examine your operations and your toolset. Identify where your current tools are not working by asking yourself What triggers resolution in the case of that exceptional event? For example: What happens after an invoice is not paid? If those task exceptions go to human agents, your problem could be too many employees performing tedious, time-consuming tasks. The key is to identify where manual tasks disrupt operational flow. Start by picking one of those small tasks and innovate a little.

Create a culture of innovation

A great way to start an innovation initiative is to look for ways to foster a culture of creativity and innovation within your company. How your team members interact with each other and their role in the company's strategy is just as important as any particular innovation initiative. By fostering a culture of creativity and innovation, you can encourage your team members to think creatively, look for new ways to solve problems and identify new opportunities for growth. By creating a culture where innovation is encouraged and embraced, your company will be in a better position to make improvements that have a significant impact.

Discover the innovators among us

What many organizations fail to realize is that you can't just hire a team of innovators. You should always be looking for employees who want to take their skills to the next level and who have an entrepreneurial mindset interested in expanding their knowledge and acquiring new skills. You can find these types of people by consulting your current staff and getting feedback on who knows what and who might be ready to take the next step. Creating communities of practice is also one of the best ways to gather a network of industry experts who can share ideas and help each other grow. Communities of practice can help keep abreast of the latest developments in the marketplace, help find solutions to new challenges.

Involve employees in the process.

If you want to create a culture of creativity and innovation, it makes sense to start by involving your staff in the process. As a leader, you can help foster a culture of creativity and innovation by making an effort to include your team members in the decision-making process. This can be done in a variety of ways, from holding an open forum to conducting one-on-one interviews. Fostering a culture of creativity and innovation requires more than just introducing new tools or processes, it also requires a change in the way you approach employees. By involving your team members in the decision-making process, you can help foster a culture of creativity and innovation and look for new ways to solve problems.

Bring external resources on board

While your team members are critical to creating a culture of creativity and innovation, it is also important to look for ways to bring in external resources and partners to energize innovation. Bringing in external partners and resources can help you meet specific goals and objectives more quickly and efficiently, and can also help create a culture of collaboration that transcends organizational boundaries. By partnering with external resources and bringing in experts from other organizations, you can create a culture of collaboration that helps foster a culture of creativity and innovation. 
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Monitoring and measurement

Insurers typically don't measure their success (or failure) well enough. This is a major oversight that can be easily corrected by starting to track key metrics and making sure you are progressing in the right direction. It's easy to get caught up in the daily grind of your business and forget that it's important to track key metrics. By simply tracking a few key metrics, you can easily see where improvements need to be made and make them in a timely manner.
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Innovation is not just about technology

To truly innovate, you must also invest and engage in other essential aspects of your business, such as your product design and marketing strategy. When it comes to updating your product design and value proposition, you must ensure that you are not only responding tochanges within the industry and marketplace, but that you also incorporate new technologies and approaches, such as customer engagement models that are designed to be more personalized and offer better channel coverage by moving toward hybrid distribution models.
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Reinventing the existing agent channel

To address the needs of multiple access customers, the strategy chosen by many of these companies is to start with the digitization of the existing agent channel. The goal is full channel integration for a consistent and seamless customer experience that puts the customer's needs at the center. This approach does not necessarily see a tied agent as a mandatory middleman, but as someone who adds value where it is needed with expert advice and service. Support the sales activities of the existing agent network by using digital tools to interact with customers as advisors at key touch points in the digital journey.
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Conclusion

The insurance industry is always under pressure to innovate and find new ways to stay relevant to consumers. This type of pressure is an opportunity in disguise and a chance to improve the way you operate and interact with your customers. An insurance company with a well-thought-out innovation plan is well positioned to meet the challenges ahead. By following these five steps, you can improve innovation in the insurance industry and make your company more successful.

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