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May 20, 2019

Accelerating the Transformation

Summary:

The journey requires an outside-in view (prioritizing customers) and an inside-out view (prioritizing operational optimization).

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The transformation journey requires a new lens. This lens provides a clear future-state vision that anchors both the outside-in lens (prioritizing customers and their experience) and inside-out lens (prioritizing operational optimization), which together propel the journey forward.

Acknowledging that the world and insurance are changing at an unprecedented pace, the first step to defining our future state is recognizing that the business of insurance may be very different 10 years from now. This more-open-to-the-future view lets us begin to explore possibilities and strategic watch points. It also alerts us to the fact that if we, as an industry, continue to seek only incremental change and do not change our approach to transformation, we will wake up in three to five years to discover that we have fallen behind, have lost our relevance and have missed out on a widening array of opportunities to advance.

The second step is bringing the future-state vision and applying it across all initiatives. This means focusing not on the traditional approaches (in areas of standalone investment such as core systems modernization, new portals or business intelligence) but on the transformational “step beyond” tied to the future-state vision. Then inside-out and outside-in views need to be in sharp focus. But at the same time, they must complement each other. Each insurer’s individual transformation journey will draw on both in different orders and along different paths.

In our latest strategic research brief, we illustrate SMA’s new approach to insurers’ transformation journeys with a series of use cases and proof points from the Chubb Small Business Marketplace initiative. With a clear future-state vision, Chubb took a multi-pronged approach to transformation from both the outside-in and inside-out perspectives – from creating new internal roles to launching new products and customer research, starting several strategic initiatives, introducing new portals and modernizing core systems … all linked together with the common future-state vision … to provide an amazing customer experience for agents writing small business. The clear but simple vision of Chubb’s future state has guided the company throughout its transformation journey and will continue to do so in future investments.

See also: Beyond the Digital Transformation Hype  

All transformation journeys require new perspectives and new approaches. Insurers, make sure you develop clarity on your future state, and make sure it is all encompassing. Have a clear vision of where you want your company to be before embarking on your journey toward that future. Think beyond the traditional approaches, beyond incremental change. Approaches that aim for incremental improvements are simply not going to be enough. And ensure that you are infusing every initiative with the future-state vision.

The changes in our world and our industry are transformational. Maintain your transformational focus. This is your opportunity to advance your journey. Make sure your focus is always directed toward transformation.

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About the Author

Deb Smallwood, the founder of Strategy Meets Action, is highly respected throughout the insurance industry for strategic thinking, thought-provoking research and advisory skills. Insurers and solution providers turn to Smallwood for insight and guidance on business and IT linkage, IT strategy, IT architecture and e-business.

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