- Google works to fix problems. The Google employees were clearly driven to fix problems, and that desire took precedence over job titles. This was refreshing to witness first-hand.
- Google thinks big picture. With a number of insurance regulators and insurance company executives in the room, it was eye-opening to hear a Google employee discuss statistics or numbers when solving problems only to admit the statistics or numbers were not precise. The Google employee considered best estimates that were “probably close enough” to a true statistic or number to be good enough to keep the ball rolling. Insurance company executives generally would only rely on exact figures to prove a business point, which requires actuaries to pound through data for weeks to get the correct number. Unfortunately, during the lengthy look at the data, innovation likely sits idle. Google’s ability to not think in a vacuum or silo appears to be critical to moving innovation and ideas forward without being totally entrenched in analysis paralysis.
- Google focuses on the customer. Repeatedly, Google employees drilled home how they view their relationships with their customers and their desires to constantly improve the lives of those customers.
- Google wants to work with insurance regulators and policy makers. Google understands, respects and embraces the important role regulators play in protecting consumers. The fact that invited me to participate demonstrates this commitment.
- Google is incredibly mission-focused. All the people I met from Google discussed the mission they had for their particular projects over everything else. Whether the missions were saving lives, improving buying experiences or lessening traffic and use of fossil fuels, these employees know the mission of the projects they are working on and how they relate back to the overall mission of Google.
- Google could be a powerful force in the insurance space. Google has smart people who understand customers and the demands of the customers. Combining this with a desire to improve customers’ experiences and the immense technological and mobile resources Google possesses likely makes it a strong source of innovation in insurance.
- Google employees are powerful brand ambassadors. How employees act says more about an organization than any activities the employer does. Every Google employee I met was a true Google ambassador. From the individual who welcomed us, to the person who showed us around, to the staff in the cafeteria, to the executives. Google’s employees understand Google’s mission and, more importantly, have bought into the vision.
What I Learned at Google
From what I witnessed at a recent symposium, Google doesn't get bogged down in actuarial precision and could be a major force in insurance.