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March 16, 2021

Six Things Newsletter | March 16, 2021

Summary:

In this week's Six Things, Paul Carroll discusses the new retronym "human employee." Plus, what future will we choose? Are solutions in tune with today's needs? Leaders rise from a year like no other; and more.

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An Odd ‘New’ Retronym

Paul Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of ITL

Retronyms have always intrigued me: those new formulations for long-used terms that arise because of some advance, usually related to technology. My beautiful old wristwatches are now “analog watches” because so many of you sport digital watches. A war used to be a war, but then the Cold War came along; now, when people shoot at each other, we call that a “hot war.” (A friend who consults with the military recently used the euphemism, “sending kinetic energy downrange,” which I love but somehow doubt will replace “hot war.”) A century ago, cars just had transmissions; now, those that require the driver to change gears are “manual transmissions.” And so on.

I’m now starting to see a lot of uses of a sort of retronym that I never expected: “human.”

The actual retronym is “human employee,” which is increasingly being used to distinguish those of us with flesh and blood from the artificial intelligences that are being employed in business settings. But the term almost always gets shortened to “human,” which makes the implication even starker: We’re at an interesting spot in our deployment of AI, maybe even at a tipping point…. continue reading >

STRATEGIC PRIORITIES 2021 REPORT

Majesco research examines the gap between Leaders and Laggards and the critical changes Leaders made to stay on top

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SIX THINGS

What Future Will We Choose?
by Francis Bouchard

The industry needs to stop wishing others could see the critical role we can play in preparing for climate change and just start playing that role.

Read More

Are Solutions in Tune With Today’s Needs?
by Bernhard Klein Wassink

Developing products around new customer priorities, and reaching new demographics in need, are key to keeping the industry relevant.

Read More

‘An AI Walks Into an Electronics Store…’
by Marty Ellingsworth

Customers may prefer interacting with a smart-bot–no judging, no fatigue, no bad days. There is empathy in any process that respects our time.

Read More

The Insurer’s Customer Acquisition Playbook
sponsored by Data Axle

The right approach to data analytics can cut wasteful spending in customer-acquisition programs while attracting high-value clients.

Read More

Digitally Challenged Miss Opportunities
by Paul Ford

Cloud-based AI can compare thousands of variables in a few hours, enhancing pricing, risk assessments and customer acquisition.

Read More

To Post or Not to Post? Choose Wisely
by Maria Grimm

Here are six tips on how agencies should use social media, to join important conversations while protecting against reputation damage.

Read More

Leaders Rise From a Year Like No Other
by Denise Garth

In the first six months of 2020, e-commerce in North America as a percentage of overall commerce increased more than in the entire previous decade.

Read More

MORE FROM ITL

A Conversation on Corporate Strategy
with Amy Radin

In-depth with ITL’s Thought Leaders

Join ITL’s editor-in-chief Paul Carroll as he sits down to discuss corporate strategy with director, advisor, author and thought leader Amy Radin.

Watch Now

March’s Topic: Strategic Innovation
 

Strategy is what you don’t do.

That was the dictum of the late, great Mel Bergstein, who way back in 1994 founded the pioneering digital strategy firm Diamond Management & Technology Consultants. (It became part of PwC in 2010.) I heard Mel’s line a lot, as a partner with Diamond from 1996 through 2003, and I think his are words to live by in the insurance industry these days.

Everyone seems to have gotten the memo about the need to digitize insurance and to explore innovative ideas, but the present typically creates a real drag that slows movement toward the future.

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