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Inspiring innovation within the insurance sector

Inspiring innovation within the insurance sector | Insurance Business

Inspiring innovation within the insurance sector

Somerset-based insurance claims handling firm Claims Consortium Group has received a highly-coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation. Using the knowledge learned in developing its award-winning, industry-first IT platform Synergy®, Jeremy Hyams, CEO and founder of the company, shares his thoughts on the sector’s approach to innovation and cultivating a creative environment. 

The general perception of the insurance industry is that it’s behind the curve in terms of innovation and technology. But peel back the layers of businesses that make the sector tick and you couldn’t be further from the truth. As a provider of services to leading insurance companies, we’re competing against businesses that are all set on making themselves stand out. The key is innovation. So, as we have found, the environment in our sector actually encourages it rather than hindering.

Our frontline is dealing with our customers, the insurance policyholder. And as customers’ needs evolve and they embrace new technologies, so must we. These ‘modern customers’ aren’t a select group. They’re you and I. We want information at our fingertips. We want instant data. We want fast and efficient service. And why shouldn’t we get it?

We’ve constantly looked at how we can make the claims process better for the customer. We’ve questioned the norm. We’ve challenged ourselves. And so we’ve organically harvested a culture of innovation and creativity driven by this desire to make the customers’ experience effortless.

While most companies know that innovation will drive their future growth and competitive advantage, many struggle with the first steps in lighting that spark of invention within their organisation. Is there one big idea that will transform your business? Not often. Innovation for me isn’t about a singular product development. Instead of waiting for the light bulb eureka moment, focus on nurturing an environment that gives staff the freedom to be creative with their ideas and to bring those ideas to fruition. I’m a real advocate in ‘coaching as leaders’ –and not driving change with an antiquated ‘top-down’ management style.

Our recent achievement of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise recognised the success of our claims software Synergy®. Needless to say we’re extremely proud of both the software and this accolade. Synergy® itself is the result of many years of work by a dedicated team of developers requiring substantial investment. All our developers have half a day ‘creative time’ each week where they can work on anything they want to and it’s this time that often generates the best ideas.

The essence of innovation is that it takes multiple experiments to successfully create new products, solutions, and services. You’ll hear many experts say that failure is part of the innovation process. When employees are not afraid of failure, they will feel confident to take risks and be “crazy”. But you need to provide a safety net – and that’s simply by building a well-structured, sound business.

As it happens, developing this type of workplace ambiance where trust and respect rule creates a knock-on effect in terms of greater productivity and engagement. And where employees feel inspired by a leader they are more inclined to go that extra mile. Innovation triumphs, and the business benefits.

It’s a company that has these principles etched in its culture that will grow through innovation.

The preceding article was an opinion piece from Jeremy Hyams, CEO and founder of Claims Consortium Group. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Insurance Business.

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