Agency Growth

How Creativity and Innovation Will Set Your Insurance Business Apart

Most insurance professionals want to know how creativity and innovation will set-them apart from their competition.

As you read the story below, ask yourself whether you offer something unique. Then imagine how different your business will be when you set your insurance business apart using creativity and innovation.

On December 17, 1903, a man walked into a restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia to announce that “there are two loony Yankees down at Kitty Hawk trying to learn to fly.”  Little did this man realize that these curious pair of innovators would achieve the first powered, sustained, and controlled flight of an airplane.

The credit card was introduced in the 1920s for automobile owners to purchase gasoline easily and efficiently.  As companies like American Express and Diners Club made it possible to purchase meals, lodging, and merchandise with the swipe of plastic, the concept of the credit card took off.

In 1968, a scientist named Spencer Silver was researching ways to make 3M’s adhesive tape stronger.  He failed to meet his objective, yet discovered something new – an adhesive strong enough to stick on many surfaces but one that could easily be removed and reused.  In 1977, Post-It-Notes hit the market.

What do the Wright Brothers, the credit card, and Post-It-Notes have in common?  Creativity leading to innovation. 

Creativity is the act of producing new ideas, approaches, or actions while innovation is the process of putting an idea into action.  Creativity is always the starting point for innovation.

People who have a gift for creative innovations tend to differ from others in three ways: 

  1. Specialized technical knowledge in a particular discipline.
  2. Creative thinking skills.  Flexibility and imagination as relates problem solving.
  3. Intrinsic motivation.

Commoditization is a huge issue for the insurance and risk management profession.  It is evidenced by ferocious price competition, leading to lower prices, margins, and profits for agents, brokers, and carriers.  Unless an agent, broker, or carrier offers something unique or differentiated, price will win every time.  In today’s fast-paced, turbulent marketplace, it is critical that industry leaders understand the importance of creating a culture that fosters imagination, originality, diversity of perspectives, and fresh ideas.