It’s a funny thing, innovation is almost always recognized as a force for business good. You can improve the customer experience, reduce process drag, boost profits, etc. by being innovative. Yet, very few businesses have any real formal approach to the way that they innovate. Insurance businesses in particular seem to struggle with innovation and lag the banking sector considerably when it comes to technological innovation.
Creating a culture of innovation at work doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. There are several ideas that can help with the transition:
Make Innovation Formal
The purpose of formalizing innovation is not to burden it with bureaucracy but rather to give it space within the business. We’re all busy, all of the time. If we don’t allocate time to become creative; it becomes less of a priority.
There are plenty of ways that you can approach this formalization. From delivering creative workshops to adding space in team meetings for ideas for improvement. You might even try holding an offsite workshop for a day to involve everyone without the day-to-day pressures of work interfering with the creative process.
There’s a second purpose to this approach; it makes innovation exciting. It encourages people to create and change the businesses they work in for the better.
You can even use the formal process to gather ideas on how to better innovate within the business. How do your people want to be involved in the process? How can they be kept in the loop when changes are taken on? And so on…
Use Technology to Provide Data for Innovation
The era of big data means that insurers can delve much deeper into their customer’s lives than ever before. But there has to be a purpose for all that data… or otherwise its value is limited or can even constrict your ability to do business well.
That means putting some of that data into your formal innovation channel. Get people with different eyes to examine it and see what it might be used for. Don’t restrict your data to a tiny silo of people with specific responsibilities for it. Make sure that the whole business can get involved and you may be surprised at the possibilities that they discover in your data sets.
Step Outside Insurance
One of the easiest places to find innovative ideas for your insurance business is in other business areas. What could you learn from Amazon or Google that might enable you to develop an edge? Take some time to review big companies and new companies in other market places and see what might be relevant to your own.
It’s very easy to get lost in a place where you can’t see the wood for the trees. While insurance has its unique quirks which cannot be affected by other industries, it has a lot in common with other industries too. Spotting patterns of differentiation elsewhere can allow your insurance business to be a leading edge innovator without as much risk.