Top 10 Lessons Learned: Past Insurance Innovation Pivots

By Deb Smallwood, CEO & President, Strategy Meets Action

The World is Changing and Insurers Are Responding

Boston, Massachusetts, July 20, 2017 – Some of the best innovation success stories are built out of the lessons learned from watching the attempts of others as they either falter or flourish. SMA regularly works with insurers and studies their innovation approaches, behaviors, and initiatives across insurance and many other industries. And we also conduct an annual study on innovation specifically in insurance. Over the years, we have come to a very good understanding of the best practices in innovation. The following is a compilation of what we believe are the best practices for innovation, through anecdotal and use case examples.

In an effort to help and inspire insurers along the innovation journey, SMA has grouped the ten innovation best practices into three phases and then defined each of the ten best practices.

Top 10 Best Practices for Innovation

Phase 1: Getting Started: Begin the Innovation Journey

  1. Don’t Be a Lone Wolf
  2. Institutionalize Innovation
  3. Reframe Business Strategies and Plans
  4. Explore the InsurTech Landscape

 Phase 2: Gaining Momentum: Learn From Successes and Failures

  1.  Have a Champion for Each Cause
  2. Pivot, and Then Pivot Again
  3. Expand Your Failure Appetite

 Phase 3:  Creating Advantage: Leverage Innovation for the Competitive Edge

  1. Leverage Customer Insights
  2. Innovate Across the Enterprise
  3. 10.  Make Innovation Continuous

SMA Call to Action

As your insurance peers have perceptively stated at the annual SMA Summits, “What is innovative today will be expected tomorrow … This is the ideal time to reimagine and rethink … Start today to create a culture that embraces continuous improvement … Deploy maturing and emerging technologies to position the organization to capitalize on the infinite possibilities.”

Read our full research brief on The Top 10 Best Practices in Insurance Innovation. And watch for our 2017 innovation research results and report in the fall of 2017.

About The Author

Deb Smallwood, the CEO & President of Strategy Meets Action, is widely recognized as an industry thought leader who is known for her expertise in helping companies rethink the traditional business of insurance and position for success in the changing insurance world. Deb’s passion is to advise insurers on innovative ways to leverage InsurTech and the emerging technologies that are required in today’s digital connected world. Deb provides insights that guide insurers on their journeys to becoming the Next-Gen Insurers of tomorrow. For over 30 years, Deb has helped customers understand how to leverage technologies, shift strategies, and make the right strategic investments. Deb has worked with hundreds of insurers and solution providers over the years, enabling them to create high business value and differentiate their businesses through their decisions and investments. Read more.

About SMA

Exclusively serving the insurance industry, Strategy Meets Action (SMA) is an advisory services firm offering retainers, research, consulting, events, and innovation offerings to both insurance companies and solution providers. Learn more about SMA at

SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)

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