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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Do you work in a “Corporate Death camp”?:: Prof Roger Steare on “Moral DNA”


One thing I have come to really appreciate about the “Corporate Philosopher’s” approach is his pursuit of the root cause of so many of the [Corporate] World’s ills. We can only really get reliable answers by establishing causality. That, albeit from a very different angle of attack, is what I attempt to do in business and what the technology developed by Dr Jacek Marczyk (Founder & CTO – “genius” according to this article) at Ontonix has facilitated with their model-free technology…but there is still a long way to go with spreading such understanding and insight!

But, if we are dealing with sources of systemic risk, that threaten the sustainability and resilience of ALL that we have come to rely upon, then this is a critical mission.

In the “risk society” we tend to get side-tracked, even bogged down, by the sheer volume of information that assaults our senses on a daily basis. Excessive complexity and the promotion of “flawed” correlations are allies of the leading exponents of the sick, prevailing, culture that the Prof. is intent upon “outing”. That is why TRANSPARENCY is such a threat to institutions or organisations that have cultivated and exploited an institutional mentality!!! Read more of this post

Systemic Risk:: deep collapse in “nested adaptive cycles”


no-trust-300x225I don’t write this blog because I am intent upon coming across as some smartarse, know-it-all, merchant of doom! Rather, accepting the limitations of my own knowledge, I want, as far as is possible, to inform readers (thanks for your interest!) of issues that affect each and every one of us.

I reckon, if I prompt individuals to ask questions of themselves, me,  employer, politicians, trusted advisors or media sources then that is good. If I can answer questions even better. If I cannot, then that may be all the motivation I need to consider a worthwhile topic further or from another perspective. After all, with the communication tools we have at our disposal in the Digital Age, this IS a “Knowledge Economy”.

Part of the problem, that bothers me, is that many of the established sources of information are not as reliable as they would have you believe. Some only see information through the lens of engrained belief systems – a form of blindness. Others rely upon a cocktail of manipulation and, deliberate, misinformation. If this sounds far-fetched please stop to consider: what we have learnt about the culture in Institutions, in whom we were “happy” to trust; how we came to learn of the nature and scale of “abuse”: how long before “abuses” were admitted; why, despite, such as WikiLeaks, Occupy, etc. so little has changed; when we can expect to see perpetrators held to account for their actions?

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Innovation: the difference between organisational agility or fragility


Seth Godin is “on the money” yet again but I would contend that, if it is the most adaptable that survive and thrive, then each are key elements (or “phases”) that, harnessed and applied, drive innovation in an agile, dynamic, system…

Organization vs. movement vs. philosophy

An organisation uses structure and resources and power to make things happen. Organisations hire people, issue policies, buy things, erect buildings, earn market share and get things done.

Your company is probably an organisation.

A movement has an emotional heart. A movement might use an organisation, but it can replace systems and people if they disappear. Movements are more likely to cause widespread change, and they require leaders, not managers.

The internet, it turns out, is a movement, and every time someone tries to own it, they fail.

A philosophy can survive things that might wipe out a movement and that would decimate an organisation. A philosophy can skip a generation or two. It is often interpreted, and is more likely to break into autonomous groups, to morph and split and then reunite.

Industrialism was a philosophy.

The trouble kicks in when you think you have one and you actually have the other.

Panarchic cycle (large)Feel free to fit: philosophy; movement; organisation, as you see fit, to this infographic of the “Panarchic Cycle”

The bewildering, entrancing, unpredictable nature of Nature and people, the richness, diversity and changeability of life come from that evolutionary dance generated by cycles of growth, collapse, reorganization, renewal and re-establishment. We call that the adaptive cycle. 

Holling, 2009

Welcome to Art class: The “art” may be survival