In my last post, we talked about the stubbornly homogenous makeup of the insurance industry’s C-suite and how the future success of carriers will depend on solutions that address and fulfill the needs of a changing customer base.

In order to make the most of innovative technologies and drive new solutions, insurers need a makeover—starting with the C-suite. Here’s a four-step guide to help carriers change existing behaviors and mindsets:

Step One: Diversify the leadership team. Insurers have been known to be too insular when it comes to talent & organization. It’s time to develop a diversity-focused recruitment strategy, and consider hiring from the outside. The executive teams need to become more diverse, as does the composition of the board.

Step Two: Think like the customer. Accenture’s 2017 Technology Vision survey found 80 percent of insurers believe that the next industry leaders will be the ones tapping into what motivates human behavior and designing the customer experience accordingly. Carriers need to change their perspective, and to challenge the existing processes and structures based on the customer experience and value creation.

Step Three: Expand innovation across the entire enterprise. Insurance must disrupt the “same old, same old” thinking. Every department and management team needs to have innovation targets. Fostering an innovative enterprise-wide culture means supporting those efforts with events and actions designed to reinforce diverse thinking.

Step Four: Reskill the workforce to grow with disruption. Insurers will have to broaden their learning efforts to help the workforce embrace innovation, instead of fearing it. Non-traditional learning opportunities will be key; these include coaching, leadership academies, and gaming. Bring design thinking, agile development and diversity capabilities into the spectrum of learning.

These steps don’t necessarily mean a complete C-suite regime change, but they might help carriers avoid mutiny from both the customer base and the workforce. A renewed commitment to a diversity of ideas, experiences and capabilities will refresh the image and brand of insurers, and will create a conducive environment for the meaningful change needed to deliver the best customer experience.

To learn more, download my report: The Insurance C-Suite Needs a Makeover

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