by Sally Pace and Leigh Dill
On the heels of the 41st Self Insurance Institute of America’s National Conference, attendees were challenged to look at the past few years in order to prepare for the future. In a poll presented to the 1000+ attendees, some tough questions were asked. Here’s what the audience said:
In your opinion, what is the best work arrangement for the future?
16% All remote
4% Back in office full time
As we are adapting from the pandemic, is your business better positioned for success?
56% said somewhat or much better positioned so positive outlook
What was the biggest impediment to positive change within your organization?
21% budget constraints
11% quality of new hire
Dovetailing these sentiments, futurist and author Mike Walsh shared three things our industry needs to navigate the new rules of the new world we find ourselves entering into.
In the emerging world of work, if you are not a digital business, you are no longer in business. To achieve this concept, the fastest way to move the needle is to think about your future customers. Think about your own kids, and what they are like as consumers. Generationally, they are no longer going to movies or watching “regular” tv with commercials. Instead, they gather entertainment on demand through abbreviated platforms like Netflix or YouTube. These activities are all moderated by algorithms to ensure the individual consumer is being continually exposed to content of interest, based upon past activity.
Rule Number 1 – There is no digital disruption, just digital delivery.
To begin understanding this concept, first ask yourself what is possible now that wasn’t possible before? We are experiencing a consumer-driven shift from product to platform, away from transactions and toward experiences. People are paying less attention to the price, and more about how something made them feel. How does this play into the benefits arena? Start by thinking through what a customer should and does experience when they interact with your brand.
Additionally, we are shifting from data to insights. The amount of data you have isn’t as important as what you do with it. We see that come to life in healthcare as consumers are demanding a move from analytical reports that are reactive toward solutions that provide proactive health claims information. This is the future key to driving outcomes. And, operational insights allow you to formulate those customized experiences in conjunction with the data.
As industry leaders, we must constantly challenge our assumptions about the future. Within your own organization, tap into your younger talent, and ask them to help find links between the apps they use and the products you deliver. Engage them to help think through what customer behavior look like through their eyes as you plan for your future growth.
Rule Number 2 – There is no remote work, just work.
Technology can change your hardware, but culture is your operating system. How do you improve that cultural operating system for your team? Start by taking a hard look at how people get things done, communicate, and collaborate in your organization. When it comes to mobility, does it matter where you are? Where do real decisions get made? Focus on autonomy, and mobilizing teams to work effectively without a strong set of controls. When it comes to objectivity, do you let data challenge what you believe? In the new world of work, it is crucial to build a data driven culture. Finally, when change occurs, evaluate how quickly your team can respond. This is what will define the 21st century digital organization.
Rule Number 3 – AI will not destroy jobs, but it will change them.
Algorithmic leaders of the future will need to combine a deep understanding of human complexity with a flair for critical thinking. To get there, think computationally. How do we digitally transform ourselves, but also take the data to change the ways in which we make decisions and change the world? To work towards this end, don’t just work, design work. Ask yourself, “how can I use AI and technology to improve outcomes in a more impactful way, and how can I also leverage technology to automate these tasks?” Finally, ask if the algorithms work and are they fair. If the answer is X, learn to ask for Y. If you know where you are trying to get, work backwards and think through the steps needed to get there. Then make the most of the resources available to accomplish those steps.
As we upgrade our systems, we must embrace the opportunity to upgrade ourselves. Now is the time to invest in our people, and to respect the value of human judgement. As businesses recover from the pandemic, we have the opportunity to evaluate what we want to continue, what we want to change, and what was stopped that we would like to bring back. Now is the time to reinvent how we engage our clients, our employees, and even our communities to improve them all for the long haul.
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