Insurance Industry:: Innovation, transformation or failure


If you have visited my blog before you will already know that I have spent some considerable time researching and commenting upon a wide of topics that, although many within insurance fail to see the connection, are related directly related to the insurance industry.

In truth, my work was initially prompted by concerns (a deep dissatisfaction may be more appropriate!) about how the insurance (particularly broking) operated: structure; culture; regulation; remuneration levels; use of IT; cover; pricing of RISK. It was only as I delved deeper into the subject matter, a form of ‘root cause analysis’ [RCA] – causality being particularly pertinent to insurance! – that I came to fully appreciate HOW DANGEROUSLY LIMITED the understanding and application of a probability-based assessment of risk truly was. Especially when the business environment has, fundamentally and irrevocably, changed.

If a future event will take place, it will do so irrespective of the probability that we may have attached to it. If an extremely  unlikely event will happen, it’s probability of occurrence is already 100%

Having been introduced to Complexity (by Dr Jacek Marczyk, Founder of Ontonix srl) and it’s relationship to risk and uncertainty my RCA led me to investigate from a (more rigorous) scientific and mathematical perspective. Eventually into the realm of the behaviour of Complex Systems and, inevitably, to Systems Thinking. Gradually, the understanding, that comes from viewing life and work through the Systems lens, revealed that much of what is wrong with Financial Services stems from unnatural interventions.

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Why bother with systems thinking?:: presumably because you want to understand!


Team interactionI absolutely INSIST that you read this excellent 3 part series on ‘Systems Thinking’ (ST).

I came to ST along a path from insurance risk, to complexity and resilience but it made so much sense because, well, that is the way my brain is wired! When I was younger I didn’t buy in to the conventional Business Management books because they just didn’t feel right but ST did and, although it can, as John says, make you feel like you are going crazy! However, when the message is spelt out in such a readable manner I begin to see where I (and others) have been going wrong in our efforts to communicate the need for and benefits of change.

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Seth Godin:: Two questions behind every disagreement


There is no getting away from the fact that communication and consistency are critical but so is understanding. If all parties have the same goals [a common purpose] but the language is different, the means of communication unreliable or poorly structured*, the scope for progress is, seriously, hampered because the information-flow between individuals – interdependent components or processes – is impaired and vital signals can become confused or lost.
If the goals diverge, for whatever reason, the purpose may remain similar but the interdependence that is fundamental to a resilient enterprise, strategy or system is lost. This is how organisational silos can occur:
inter-connectedness is a less resilient state than interdependence.

*hierarchical structures  were NOT created to manage information in the Digital Age but to manage people and process in a past era.

Are we on the same team? and

What’s the right path forward?

Most of time, all we talk about is the path, without having the far more important but much more difficult conversation about agendas, goals and tone.

Is this a matter of respect? Power? Do you come out ahead if I fail? Has someone undercut you? Do we both want the same thing to happen here?

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Edge:: Reinventing Society In The Wake Of Big Data


Edge.org is one of, if not, THE go-to place for insights from great modern thinkers across a range of subjects. Multi-disciplinary is now, increasingly, the way of things in Academia and in business too. Generalists appear to be in the ascendancy as the limitations of the narrow views of, past, over-specialisation and benefits of recognising the universalities of [non-linear] complex systems have become more apparent through examination using the tools that technological innovation have given us.

I had intended to only include one or two extracts from this conversation but I was so inspired I got carried away! Nevertheless I would urge you to follow the link (below) to read the full text and view the interview. Read more of this post

Stakeholders and Complexity in the project management environment


Project management writings of the last few years suggest that ‘people skills’ and leadership are important attributes of a successful Project Manager and effective stakeholder management is definitely seen as a major item in delivering project success[2]. Within this emerging people centric paradigm, complexity theory helps us to understand the social behaviours of teams and the networks of people involved in and around a project. The idea of complexity applies equally to small in-house projects and large complicated programs; in this regard, ‘complexity’ is not a synonym for ‘complicated’ or ‘large’.

Link