Innovation Roundtable 2019

Sometimes chairing an industry panel is easy.

Sometimes it is like trying to engage a monosyllabic teenager in conversation and involves lots of frenetic questioning – and lots of one-word answers.

I had an easy job chairing this session. I only had to ask a couple of questions, seek a little focus and clarification, issue a few challenges and the panellists did the rest.

Just check out this series of quotes. They set out all the familiar problems our market has had with getting its head around data. Yet among the problems are the outlines of all the possible solutions:

“…the big challenge is always the structure of the data and getting it into meaningful formats so that you can carry out more sophisticated analysis.”

“Everything we do around data should be for the benefit of the customer; that’s where the industry really needs to move to.”

“…people talk about information being a strategic asset, but the reality is there’s no commitment. It’s not a balance sheet item. Companies are more willing to label inventory like toilets and laptops but not information.”

“We have a huge opportunity to predict and influence outcomes before they occur and to really move into that risk prevention and mitigation space.”

“What’s actually going to mobilise or incentivise the market where the cost of not working together outweighs whatever that threat is? There needs to be a strategic imperative or incentive beyond the normal business conditions.”

“…it’s very hard to get things to change if you don’t mandate.”

“…there’s no big bang; you’ve just got to start. And recognise that some of it is incremental, it’s not a once and done. It’s a marathon.”

“It’s the culture and the people. The people drive the culture and then if the culture is right, everything you were talking about earlier will come into place, but it’s easier said than done.”

As the Lloyd’s market embarks on a spring and summer of consultation about how it should best modernise and reinvent itself for the 21st century, it would do well to have a quick read of this fascinating publication.

Everyone is frank and everything has been laid bare and described with great eloquence.

It is clear from this discussion that the level of engagement and sophistication from market participants is much, much higher than it was even five years ago.

John Neal and his energy are the final piece of the jigsaw. The desire to drive through major cultural change is exactly what is now needed.

There are many reasons to be optimistic and excited. The task is vast and by definition unending, but it looks like most are finally ready to take the first step.

I can’t recommend the following discussion more highly to you. To view the Innovation Roundtable supplement, please click here.

Mark Geoghegan, Editorial Director, The Insurance Insider