Intelligent machines inform better, faster decisions. They enable managers in insurance to shift their focus to activities that call for decidedly human traits such as complex thinking and higher-order reasoning. Providing guidance and recommendations, machines complement managers’ expertise, experience and ethics, as well as their ability to experiment and innovate.

The overwhelming majority of insurance managers believe machines will make them more effective and their work more interesting. That’s one of the findings of a first-of-its-kind study of the impact of cognitive computing in management by the Accenture Institute for High Performance and Accenture Strategy. However, the survey also revealed a lack of trust in machines among managers that might affect an organization’s ability to make the most of cognitive computing.

How can insurance leaders close the trust gap? When asked what would allow them to trust a system’s advice, 50 percent of first-line and mid-level managers responded: a system that explains its logic.

Closing the trust gap between managers and machines

The survey also found 63 percent of mid-level and first-line insurance managers would trust intelligent machines that had a proven track record.

Closing the trust gap between managers and machines

By satisfying these two conditions, leaders would be better positioned to capture the synergies that are possible when machines augment managers’ performance.

Ideally, insurance leaders should strive to create a union of managers and machines that does more than automate tasks or augment managers’ performance. The most successful long-term unions will multiply the value that managers or machines are able to deliver on their own. Without trust, it’s unlikely an organization will be able to do more than automate a few routine managerial tasks.

In addition to promoting intelligent machines as trustworthy advisors, insurance leaders must present themselves as trustworthy advocates of change.

Accenture Strategy’s analysis of 250 major change initiatives at more than 150 organizations  has confirmed that organizations with trusted leaders can implement and accelerate change without first having to educate employees about the specific details. This suggests that insurance managers will be more likely to commit emotionally to the introduction of cognitive computing if they trust the leaders at the helm.

Building trust in order to create a more perfect manager-machine union will require clear and honest communications from day one. It also calls for insurance leaders to involve managers in the change. They should encourage managers to share their insights, suggestions, opinions—and even their fears—at every step of the journey.

Learn more, view the “Managers and Machines, Unite!” Insurance Infographic  or read the cross-industry report.

“Managers and Machines, Unite!” Insurance Infographic

Learn how intelligent machines are poised to dramatically shift management roles and recast the workforce of the future.

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