In my earlier posts in this series I made the point that there is a huge opportunity for life insurers that can help consumers meet their retirement needs. The problem is: most consumers no longer regard insurers as the providers best able to help them.

Clearly, something needs to change. But you don’t need me to tell you that change doesn’t come easily. When we’re talking about a shift in corporate culture, and the kind of restructuring that’s necessary to become properly customer-centric, the resistance to change can be intense. This kind of transformation is risky, costly, uncomfortable and—for many in the organization—unpopular.

Less-connected executives often dismiss it because they figure the company can continue to coast on its current strategy and will perform satisfactorily for the next few years—at least until they move on. By then the firm will be at a distinct disadvantage in its preparation for the future, but that—and the risk which accompanies transformation—will be problems for the new guard to worry about.

There’s no denying the need for new strategies, new services and new capabilities. We hear all the time about the many ways in which consumers are changing, and we see every day how businesses—large and small—are transforming to adapt to this new reality. Yet many insurers are slow to respond.

The futurist Scott Klososky puts it down to mindset that says “we’re still making money, it’s all okay.” But he adds: “Making money is no assurance that you’re going to keep on making money.” And he spins off a list of household names, starting with Kodak and Spiegel, that went out of business believing it would all be okay.

In my next few posts I’ll examine some of the changes which, I believe, life insurers need to make to stand a chance of benefitting from the immense opportunity that retirement services represents. I hope you’ll join me. If you missed the first two posts in this series, you can find them here.

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