Last week, I wrote an article for Change the Equation, the nation’s premier organization that brings together top CEOs to connect the dots between the workforce pipeline and education – specifically STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math). This was a great opportunity to raise awareness about exciting career opportunities in insurance to the country’s top business leaders. You can read the article below.
Point of View: Dax Craig
Originally published in the Change the Equation NOW Newsletter, April 15, 2014
Industries are now littered with examples of market leading companies that suffered or went under because they ignored new ways of thinking and innovative technology. Blockbuster comes to mind as a recent casualty. What companies like Netflix, Google, and Capital One did to change their industries so fundamentally was actually quite simple. They let data rule and, as a result, looked at their market much differently than the “tried and true” approaches of the past. Being analytically-driven was the catalyst that allowed these companies to upend the competitive landscape in their respective industries and come out on top.
The really interesting trend in these examples is the makeup of the people who drove this change. Young, bright minds proficient in math and science have had an enormous impact on the way we live our lives today. As a matter of fact, we see this trend of evolving business models playing out in our industry right now. Valen Analytics serves the insurance industry with advanced data and analytics that allow insurers to better match an individual policy risk with the right coverage and premium amount. Analytics has already changed the game in personal auto insurance with the likes of Progressive and GEICO, and now it’s taking hold in other types of insurance.
Insurance carriers are facing a threat to their traditional business models where investment income was the primary means of creating shareholder value. The current investment environment is driving a sea change and companies must now yield substantially more profit from their underwriting operations. The problem for the insurance industry is two-fold. First, while all industries face an aging workforce, insurance is being hit harder than most. In fact, 50 percent of the current workforce will retire in the next 15 years. There are hundreds of thousands of positions that need to be filled, and with half the labor force being made up by Millennials during this same time frame, it’s clear the industry will need to recruit from the younger generations. However, the insurance industry isn’t currently positioned very well to attract young, bright analytical talent. And that’s what brought Valen to Change the Equation.
Working with Change the Equation, we started an initiative called Tomorrow’s Talent Challenge. It’s a way to coalesce an industry response on two fronts: a) making sure the next generation of talent is aware of the opportunity to bring innovative thinking to insurance and b) to give the industry a seat at the table as business leaders proactively influence our educational system to produce the future workforce pipeline we need. Even though we’ve just begun, the response has been phenomenal. Many insurance carriers, like Change the Equation member State Farm, are glad to see a way forward in solving a legitimate talent crisis. Change the Equation’s leadership is unparalleled in being able to bring together the nation’s business leaders to drive meaningful and scalable change in STEM learning. We know our partnership with Change the Equation will serve our customers now and well into the future.