Use yer heid:: conventional wisdom requires a sound basis


Here is a piece that I found particularly interesting. The full article can be found here.

Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s capacity to modify its organization, pertaining to the acquisition of new skills and learning. Several decades ago, the consensus was that the neocortical areas were immutable after a certain stage of development. However, recent studies determined that environmental changes could alter cognition by modifying neuron connections in adults. What’s more, it was determined that stress is the key factor in boosting plasticity, and learning, in the nervous system.

In other words, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The brain says to itself: “Oh, my survival is at risk, so I’d better start thinking and learning really hard right now.” It’s only when you have skin in the game that you’ll really focus and learn.

Unfortunately there are still too many people who have difficulty in coming to terms with the FACT that, the others, who have always been around and tended to make things all right, can no longer be relied upon to do so!

Who’s that then?neural plasticity

The institutions that we were brought up to trust.

Organisations that could be trusted but who have shown themselves more concerned about holding on to power and/or wealth, than responding to he changes that right-minded people are, increasingly, calling for. Any innovation is on their terms and, first and foremost, for their benefit – destructive creation.

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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?

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Adaptability: The New Competitive Advantage


Geary Sikich quoteNo wonder many of C-level Exec’s and institutions, that thrived in the industrial era, are “failing” in the Digital Age, when so much of what they held dear and used as justification for excessive remuneration and bonus packages, have been shown to be deeply flawed: economics; financial and risk management. Some do claim that they are now looking to “innovate” their way toward a brighter future but the evidence suggests that their idea of i-nnovation is more about re-packaging the same old “win/lose” propositions: destructive creation!

What IS required is the type of “creative destruction” that benefits stakeholders and leads to “win/win”: now that is I-nnovation that customers can understand and embrace. Alternatively, customers will look for VALUE from new entrants to a given marketplace…whether these be new players (without legacy issues) or established players from emerging markets. Read more of this post