Creative ‘deconstruction’:: Innovate Your Business Model


In such a fast-moving economy Opportunities & Threats emerge from the environment at such pace that an effective, resilient, ecosystem are prerequisites. Not since the dawning of the Industrial Revolution has the need for ‘organisational adaptability’ and agility been so apparent.  image

“…even with a concrete business model, there may come a time to modify and innovate it.  So, the question is:

What circumstances require business model innovation?

There are five circumstances that often require business model innovation.  They can be categorized into Opportunities and Needs…

via » Deconstruct and Innovate Your Business Model.

UK insurance ‘dissected’


I felt compelled to respond to some comments that were prompted by a previous article:

IBM Insurance:: does the industry really care what customers want? I wonder…

The following comments come from a, highly experienced and senior, former insurance executive, who now works for one of the major Global Consulting firms. Obviously I wouldn’t name names without first gaining the approval of the individual in question but I really wanted to share my thoughts. After all that’s why I blog.

For many years I have eagerly anticipated some meaningful debate with thought leaders, passionate or concerned people from within the insurance industry. But I have been, consistently disappointed. I wish I was more confident that these views might spark some meaningful discussion…but I won’t hold my breath!

The comments:

I think David Wilson is making the point that despite the results of the IBM survey, he’s seeing little action from the UK insurance industry. I think at the moment UK and Western European insurers have their hands full with Regulation – Solvency II, RDR – and this is diverting their attention.

Even so, in terms of innovation, UK insurers (or at least Northern European insurers) are seen as leading the global pack in terms of capital effectiveness and optimisation, with the North American market looking to UK as an example of best practice especially in the area of risk management.

My response:

What are the key issues identified:

  1. Compliance with additional Regulation – brought about by cultural, operational and regulatory failures
  2. UK & Europe seen as innovation leaders – based upon the above, should this be the case? And,
  3. capital effectiveness and optimisation – are these correct metrics for innovation and compliance?
  4. risk management – where is the evidence of “best practice”? – I see plenty of evidence of “bad practice” that has become ‘accepted practice’ across the industry. What are current practices in relation to complexity, business resilience and systemic risk?
    Insurance and banking have convinced themselves that they have been/are innovative but, if this is true, why are they the least trusted and most complained about industries according to their customers? Does that not explain the perceived need for more regulation?

Read more of this post

Digital Business in 2013:: it’s how things ARE on the inside that matters


Trust me, because I speak from personal experience, it is a hard (frustrating, lonely and costly) path you tread when advocating fundamental change for an industry such as insurance!

Social Business is the real deal, NOT a flash-in-the-pan.

Of course there any number of firms ready and willing to tell the insurance industry about the merits of their particular social media (Social Business) solutions…there is even a forthcoming event, “Digital Insurance Strategies 2013”…BUT, very few have sufficient knowledge about the number and nature of the industry’s root and branch problems. I fear there isn’t much scope for help from within an industry: in denial of the failings of the prevailing model and culture; structured for selling – push not pull; hampered by a prediction addiction; too closely-coupled to its supply chain to adapt to a changed environment; devoid of truly innovative [creative destruction] ideas – a long and inglorious record of self-serving destructive creation is no substitute and has the opposite of the desired effect, which leads to; the inability to afford the requisite level of transparency required to (re)build customer trust and loyalty.

 digital_business_2013_visual

For a digital strategy to be effective and sustainable in the Digital Age requires i2o [inside to out] change…otherwise it could be a, short-lived and very expensive exercise in turd-polishing!!! Read more of this post

Watch "Eddie Obeng: Smart failure for a fast-changing world"


I’d never heard of Eddie but, ‘once heard never forgotten’ is how I reckon most open-minded people will view this circa 13 minute presentation. I can only describe it as being like stand-up that might make you smarter!

The world is changing much more rapidly than most people realize

He is right in everything that he says and, remarkably, he manages to tell us: what is wrong with ‘conventional wisdom’ without deriding Institutions; about non-linear systems, chaos and complexity without using any of these terms; that global inter-connectedness changes everything and has outpaced our learning…so assumptions based upon what we ‘know’ are (at best) unreliable; about the opportunities and threats that  – volatility, uncertainty and complexity afford us IF we are agile enough to adapt to THE new landscape; that innovation won’t happen like it did before, at the pace that it did or, necessarily, be led by Institutions and Corporations but through the collaboration of creative individuals; recognising creativity that accelerates our learning rather than stifling innovation and suppressing ‘creative destruction’ by promoting ‘self-similarity’; that, instead of expending time and resource trying (and failing!) to construct ‘failsafe’ systems we need to focus upon systems that are ‘safe to fail’.

All-in-all Eddie delivers the most upbeat, non-scientific, scientifically-based, kick in the ass for managers and consultants who trot out the same tired old claptrap about how business has been perceived…NOT how it is in the, real-time, real world of the Digital Age.

Current institutional arrangements, including the lack of incentives for the private sector to innovate for sustainability, and the lags inherent in the path dependent nature of innovation, contribute to lock-in, as does our incapacity to easily grasp the interactions implicit in complex problems, referred to here as the ingenuity gap.

Thomas Homer-Dixon

Waken up, smell the coffee and ‘git wi da programme before you do even more damage!!! As Alvin Toffler put it, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

Schumpeter, interrupted:: the impact of “destructive creation”


Euskara: Joseph Schumpeter ekonomialaria

Euskara: Joseph Schumpeter ekonomialaria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote a couple of articles last year, citing the lack of creative destruction in UK Finance and Insurance as a problem, so it is very interesting to read this article. Also good to know that the trend for non-conventional thinking is flourishing at Bank of England.

destructive creation: the type of self-serving innovation intended to improve [short term] returns at the expense of or with out benefit to the customer.

I use the term “unconventional” but, when reading this paragraph, I was reminded of Gresham’s Law. Further food for thought perhaps…

If this is true, it suggests that the economy is suffering from a failure to innovate. Joseph Schumpeter, the granddaddy of innovation economics, first described the innovative process of one of creative destruction, of good ideas driving bad ones to the wall and of capital being reallocated, often rapidly and disruptively, from the old to the new. Broadbent’s analysis suggests that we need more of this if the economy is to recover.

via Schumpeter, interrupted. – Nesta.