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SMA Report Examines Innovation Maturity Levels

Staff Writer | February 20, 2015

Strategy Meets Action (SMA) announces the release of a new research report, Innovation Maturity in Insurance: Enabling the Next-Gen Insurer. The report provides a framework to help insurers assess their current innovation maturity level compared to where they want to be, which helps them determine strategies and plans to establish innovation as a core business capability to help succeed in today’s world.

While many insurers indicate they have begun or are well into their innovation journeys, their level of maturity based on their approaches is different. SMA's research has found that a snapshot of key areas that influence innovation maturity indicates that a minority of insurers have the necessary foundation in place to achieve market leader or mover status, leaving the majority of insurers at the mainstreamer or laggard level.

"Today's increasingly rapid changes are challenging decades of business traditions and assumptions. Insurers that challenge the status quo and capitalize on the disruption and influencers of change through a mature innovation capability will gain competitive advantage as a Next-Gen Insurer," says Denise Garth, SMA partner. "Insurers must assess their current innovation maturity level, define the desired maturity, and formulate a plan to move the organization forward on their journey as a Next-Gen Insurer."

The report highlights and discusses the following:

  • Insurers appear to be significantly behind, especially when compared to industry challengers who are moving at a high pace and level, with new innovations and capabilities emerging regularly through their own development, acquisitions, or partnerships.
  • Innovation leadership and organizational approaches are taking many different forms. But the majority of insurers still lack a single point of accountability and focus, presenting a risk to delivering results. An initiative must align to the organization’s vision and strategy.
  • Insurers must assess and determine their company’s desired innovation maturity, measuring the company’s competitive position against current peers and future industry challengers to define the necessary level of innovation maturity needed to compete today and in the future.
  • Innovation should be viewed no differently than program management. Both are crucial for any strategic initiative to be effectively managed and implemented. Innovation maturity is highly dependent on leadership and organization commitment, linked to the vision and strategy, and underpinned by a robust process.
  • The creation and participation in ecosystems with internal and external resources will enable insurers to gain insights, knowledge, and ideas through collaboration, inspiring the re-imagination of businesses and empowering the processes by which it will happen.

"Winning in today's rapidly changing market requires strategy, commitment, ecosystem collaboration, scenario planning, ideation, and operationalization and commercialization of those ideas," says Guy Fraker, founding CEO, get2kno, Inc. and Chief Learning Officer, AutonomouStuff. "The SMA Innovation Maturity Model provides a best practice framework to propel the evolution of insurers' innovation maturity."

Fraker contributed to the report as a guest author. 


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