Alice Keung (pictured) is the driving force behind the implementation of leading-edge technologies at Economical Insurance. As the Canadian property & casualty insurer’s chief transformation officer, she’s been tasked with turning the firm’s bold vision into reality by embracing new innovations and processes.
Her successes speak for themselves. Under the guidance of Keung - who has been recognized twice as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network - Economical Insurance has successfully rolled out a direct-to-consumer digital platform called Sonnet. The insurer has also transformed the way it works with brokers through its proprietary Vyne platform, an updated broker offering that includes a streamlined workflow and new pricing models.
According to Keung, who has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in transformational roles, there are two key ingredients that aid the successful implementation of change within any organization: diversity & inclusion (D&I).
“Transformation and change management are all about imagining things in a different way,” said Keung, who will be taking part in a panel discussion on ‘What’s next for D&I?’ at Insurance Business Canada’s Women in Insurance Toronto on September 09. “It needs to start with a curiosity and a willingness to acknowledge that different people have different perspectives on things. I might look at the world differently to others. The lenses on my glasses might be very different than yours. Once you understand that, it becomes clear why D&I is a crucial ingredient for transformation and change.”
Some companies fall into the trap of diversity target setting. Hiring managers or team leaders might say: ‘We need X amount of women, X range of ages, and X number of people from different backgrounds to make this team diverse.’ Once they reach those targets, they think it’s ‘job done!’ But they’ve only done half the job. The true triumph can only be felt by firms that create an inclusive culture to support and nurture their diverse workforces.
“At Economical, we believe incorporating D&I into the business makes absolute sense,” Keung told Insurance Business. “It’s the right thing to do and it’s a core part of our values. For us, diversity is really making sure that you have different types of perspective. That could be based on culture, on gender, on age, on a lot of things. From a business sense, having diversity is very important. The public that you serve is diverse, and if you only have a very monolithic type of a profile, you aren’t really thinking about or anticipating the needs of the folks you’re serving, or the customers you’re trying to attract.
“Inclusion is the next important step. It’s not just about hitting diversity statistics. For example, you might have half of the population as women at the leadership level, but how do you make sure that those women are included? At Economical, D&I absolutely work together, and they make a very good business case. It’s not a stretch to ask: ‘How on Earth can we effect any change if we only take the perspective of one small group in the population?’ One needs to have multiple perspectives to really imagine things in a very different way. That’s really what transformation and change management is all about.”