Blog

Balancing the Next Great Idea and Exceptional Execution

Steve Discher
Insurance Experts' Forum, September 28, 2011

At a business breakfast recently, two clients and I had a roundtable discussion sharing our thoughts about the latest and greatest ideas and experiences in insurance industry technologies, organizational constructs, sourcing options and other topics. There were about 100 years of experience between the three of us. All of us had worked in at least a few organizations; yours truly has worked in more than a few.

At first, the conversation centered on a few recent successes with call centers and what is being done to improve service, speed, outcomes and expenses. We drifted next into shared services and the issue of getting the internal organization to take the first step of trusting their colleagues to deliver. Throughout, there was plenty of discussion around smart-sourcing; using labor arbitrage in the right places to optimize the cost of labor when and where it makes sense. And of course, layered through the breakfast meeting was the topic of technologies, including stock-standard workflow engines, administration systems, business analytics, electronic payments, voice recognition and aerial imagery, just to name a few.

Toward the end of the discussion, we finished our coffee and started to summarize what we all heard and agreed to:

▪ There are many great ideas out there, but few are really new. Often they are an older idea re-tried, re-packaged or re-branded.

▪ There are many great technologies being developed and sold today, but some are just not ready for primetime.

▪ The differences between organizations and their success-rates are the speed, quality and thoroughness of the ideas and technology implementation moreso than the ideas or technologies themselves.

The next time you have a few minutes before the day starts or between meetings, consider this: Does my organization need another new idea that we haven’t thought of, or just better execution of something we already know or have planned?

Steve Discher is an EVP at the Robert E. Nolan Co. a management consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Steve using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

It’s Okay to Take a Breather from the Technology Maelstrom

Even in technology, good things may take time.

Customers for Life

Insurers once had a monopoly on lifetime customers, but technology has changed the game.

Smarter Tablet Use Could Transform Insurance

By reducing administrative tasks and automating paperwork, tablets can increase agentsí selling time and help them respond to customers in seconds, not hours.

Insurance Wake-Up Call: Embrace the Shared Economy Opportunities

SMA believes that insurers must embrace a "shared economy," crowdsourcing and open innovation to get ahead in the new marketplace.

The Lion and the Mouse: Start-ups Pitch to Top Insurer

Insurers should be on the lookout for innovative partnership arrangements that produce unique and valuable solutions.

Silicon Valley Ventures

A trip to area hotbed of technological innovation calls into question the potential viability of insurers' legacy systems, operations and processes.