Other parts of this series:
In this series, I have been looking at innovation within LP&I and asking what can be learnt from the new wave of fintechs and insurtechs entering the market; I’ve also suggested how LP&I firms can kickstart innovation within their own businesses.
As part of this series, I thought it would be a great idea to hand the reins over to some of the younger generation within our LP&I practice, so that we can hear their views on what customers (and employees) of the future actually want.
Thanks for the introduction Richard, and for letting us take over your blog series. As customers (and employees) of the future, we’ve pulled together our thinking on the kind of products and services we want, and we’ve outlined our formula for creating an innovation culture. Pay close attention…
Where products and services are concerned, we’re looking for a handful of key qualities. Most importantly, we want saving to be automatic and flexible. Services like the integrated savings chatbots provided by Chip and Plum are right on target. Automated controls enable regular, no-hassle saving, and savings can be regularly reinvested through pre-determined settings. This removes an admin headache and provides confidence that we’re getting value out of the product. What makes these products even better is the fact that they are seamlessly integrated with our lives through social channels. Communicating, sharing and keeping up to date through Facebook and other social platforms are second-nature to us, and we expect our providers to be there too.
Richard’s previous blogs correctly pointed to companies we engage with, such as Monzo, Evestor and MeetMia. Another company that excites us is Curve. For people with several bank/credit cards, Curve enables spending from all accounts via one smartcard and its app lets you switch the account even after payment. It’s streamlined all our accounts into a single place where we can manage how our money is spent.
Unfortunately, these companies solve only one part of the equation. While we’re fine with using multiple apps, we’d prefer one that brings them all together into a central place where we can manage our finances and see a holistic view of our financial position that’s always up to date. Hopefully someone reading this blog will take up this challenge!
And what about innovation within the workplace? We want to be part of a dynamic business where new ideas are encouraged, and where the whole culture has bold new thinking at its core. We believe that a great way to make this happen is to set up a dedicated Innovation Culture Group which promotes and drives innovation enterprise-wide and, crucially, provides support for us when we want to get something new off the ground.
Next, we suggest that LP&I companies make it a priority to empower their existing young workforce. Encourage them to create their own focus groups (without management) to brainstorm and pitch new ideas. The best ideas can be reviewed by a panel combining people of different ages, and business and technology backgrounds. The frontrunners should receive management support to help them on to the next stage. However, the young workforce should retain overall responsibility for carrying their ideas forward. Think of management support as the seed capital required to move the most promising ideas on to the next stage. Through this, young people would be allowed to take controlled risks and they would have a personal interest in pushing projects to succeed. Of course, not all these ideas will see the light of day. But even the ones that fail will provide some great lessons for next time, and all experiences in this area will help to develop the skillset of the young workforce. This, in turn, will accelerate future innovation.
It’s not just new ideas that need investment. Your young people do too. To secure the best talent we suggest engaging with them throughout university and showcasing an exciting career path. As Richard noted in his second blog, innovation and an exciting career go hand in hand. Furthermore, the employer must provide funds for ongoing learning, so that the younger workforce can go on courses and placements that help develop their wider industry thinking. It doesn’t all have to be external experience. Employees within the workforce should share their thinking at workshops and other informal events. In turn, innovation will thrive, as it happens best when different experiences and perspectives collide. Therefore, make sure the talent structure is as fluid as it can be and give young people regular opportunities to rotate through different teams. This helps to ensure your talent is continuously evolving and adapting for the future. At Accenture, it happens every two months or so. But, in our experience, many incumbent firms have no systematic culture of rotation after the first six to twelve months of graduate placements.
Fluidity and flexibility are essential for innovation, but there also needs to be structure. The dedicated innovation groups we talked about earlier play a vital role. They need to be set up within a company-wide framework for submitting new ideas. Management needs to be closely involved, but they also need a new mindset where it’s actually beneficial to relinquish control. That means unrestricted inclusion and bringing different demographics together, as well as nurturing and supporting innovation from the ground up. This includes the critical part of an overall digital transformation that must be a prospect for traditional firms, as your next generation of talent wants to work like they live. To attract and keep them, LP&I businesses need to change.
In our opinion, everything discussed here and in Richard’s earlier innovation blogs are what LP&I companies should have been doing yesterday. It’s worth stressing that you won’t transform into an innovative business overnight and it isn’t the end destination that is important. What is important is the vital journey, the process of building an innovative business where young people feel valued and valuable. By structuring innovation as outlined, you’re helping to build a start-up culture within the organisation, one that will permeate the whole business over time. It’s a challenge, of course, but it’s also an incredibly exciting journey for everyone in the organisation.
That’s all from us. But as you can tell, we’re really interested in this topic and keen to work with companies to help drive innovative practices. We want the LP&I industry to be an exciting one for generations to come. Please feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn and reach out if you want to discuss anything further (firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com). Now, back to Richard.
Thanks David and Lucy. I think it’s obvious to see that there is an innovation gap to bridge within the LP&I industry, both in the products/services on offer and in how the workforce is managed.
Next up in my blog series will be a point of view that explores the innovation opportunities arising from insurtech disruptors.