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As we reflect on the 1-year mark since COVID-19 permeated our lives and businesses, the big question is how to best prepare for what comes next. As my partner Matt Katz recently reflected on, the pandemic brought on health, social, and economic challenges that will make thoughtful and strategic planning even more integral to organizational survival and success in every industry.
While pandemic forces dictated most decision-making last year, this year leaders will have to balance a series of new challenges as the world begins to heal. Digital acted as a lifeline for many last year, and it will remain an essential tool for businesses as they continue to create transformative change while navigating a continuously shifting world.
Inside this newsletter, you’ll find the most recent insights from our industry experts on how to leverage digital and other strategies to position your organization for success throughout every stage of 2021.
Rapid innovation has been hard to achieve for most leading insurance carriers, despite the urgent push to leverage efficiencies offered by new technologies. In light of all the challenges facing the industry, forward-thinking carriers have recognized that the path of least resistance is partnering with or acquiring insurtechs.
Recent transactions in the insurtech space like Prudential Financial/Assurance IQ, Aon and CoverWallet, Bold Penguin and RiskGenius, and State National and Tesla all demonstrate that carriers are willing to deploy significant capital towards buying the capability to stay ahead of the competition.
Read the full set of insights into driving operational excellence, and learnings from recent carrier acquisitions in the insurtech space here.
Retailers have had to drastically pivot to compete, or in some cases to survive, over the past year. We’ve seen drastic changes– including ten years of digital maturation in a few short months, the growth of omnichannel offerings, and the expansion of store geographies to include spots for curbside pickup or storage for buy-online-pick-up-in-store packages. We likely won’t ever go back to exactly where we were before the pandemic – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The new models that remain will be led by agile thinkers and newly reskilled employees.
Read all the lessons learned from the past year of the pandemic, and an outlook for the future of retail here.
The need to leverage the ever-improving efficiencies offered by new technologies has become increasingly urgent in the insurance industry. Rapid innovation has been hard to achieve, and, while digital transformation has been happening in certain areas, the pace has historically been slow and reactive. Customers simply do not want to interact with insurers the way that they have historically, and this is serving as the driving force for this digital transformation acceleration. In the post-COVID future, a differentiated, digital-driven customer experience and enhanced product offerings will determine who wins and who loses, and carriers that do not follow suit will quickly fall behind in this new digital reality.
Read about how the pandemic has shifted the digital landscape in the insurance sector, and ways firms can get ahead here.
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David Niles addresses the attendees of this year’s Deming Cup from our New York City Headquarters.
The Deming Center was established in 1993 to connect research and practice in operational excellence. To this end, the center sponsors applied research, supports curriculum creation, disseminates best practices, provides professional development, and honors leaders for exemplary commitment to continuous improvement through the Deming Cup.
You can watch David, who is Chairman of the Columbia Business School Deming Advisory Board, give the 2020 Deming Cup welcome remarks here.