October rolls into Chicago with amazing and fierce beauty. The city showcases vibrant colors of the leaves, brisk winds, and hordes of people out walking, jogging, biking, skateboarding, riding the El or bus or driving their cars and honking. And honking. And honking. I love visiting Chicago and was very grateful to be there to attend the 2022 LIMRA Annual Conference.
I must hand it to the LIMRA team, they put on a fantastic Annual Conference. The pre-conference Women Leaders’ Reception was filled with female leaders across the life, accident and health insurance industry, where we were told that nearly 46% of the 2022 conference attendees were women. The near parity of women to men at this conference really energizes me because it indicates that the insurance industry is becoming more reflective of the population. Embracing diversity in leadership in all forms provides greater depth and insight to all life events that insurance touches. I found this very encouraging.
The first full day opened with a truly awe-inspiring and rousing performance by The Pack Drumline – I really can’t tell you how their music and enthusiasm provided morning adrenaline to the audience. I then attended two full days of sessions dedicated to workplace benefits, which were a great addition to this event. I heard Chuck Johnston speak on a panel, “Technology: Overcome Modernization Hurdles” where he talked about the opportunity for carriers to embrace incremental transformation. Time and again, we hear insurers say they are not ready to launch a complete core system replacement; incremental transformation is centered on the pace that’s right for insurers, allowing them to upgrade one segment of their legacy system at a time.
And like so many others who attended, I found the general session, “Growth in the New World” presented by Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, fascinating. The international bestselling author of “Contagious,” “Invisible Influence,” and “The Catalyst” was witty and inspirational. Even better, his REDUCE outline of next steps to achieve change is totally achievable. (Eureka!) One of Berger’s key themes was to meet people where they are on their journey – not to try to force them to comply with our version of the journey. That really resonated with me because it encapsulates the FINEOS approach to incremental transformation: enabling insurers to take that journey in the way that suits their appetite for change and their business goals.
But let’s be honest, all business talk aside, First Lady Michelle Obama stole the show. Her humor, approachability, honesty, and grace were a delight to witness. In retrospect, she was talking about incremental transformation, too. In reference to the program she started called, “Let’s Move,” she said she encourages people to stop thinking they must be as athletic and Serena Williams, which is incredibly daunting, and therefore hampers their trying to be active, thus turning them into couch potatoes. The “Let’s Move” approach is to get up and do a bit more today than you did yesterday, and it is a good lesson for all of us in many aspects. Today, I finished two blogs, I drank more water than yesterday, and I ate an apple. Nothing amazing, but it’s a start.
So here is my question for you: What are you going to do today that starts your incremental transformation journey?