Property Innovation Summit, Day 2

Yesterday, Day 1 of the Enservio Property Innovations Summit focused on how to create environments where innovation flourished. On Day 2, speakers focused on softer skills – how to be physically energized to be innovative as well as how to ensure the geniuses in your organization flourish, among other topics.

Because I’m not good at anything, I was eager to see and hear Tony Schwartz, the best-selling author of “Be Excellent at Anything.” Schwartz, who is a productivity guru (and very tall), focused on why 75 percent of all employees around the world feel disengaged at work every day. Essentially (and there was much nodding across the room), as organizations demand more out of their employees, they’re undermining the very factors that ensure great performance. Rest is a key component in performance. Coming to work with less than five hours of sleep for four days running is the equivalent of coming to work intoxicated.

Rather than running like computers at high speeds for long periods, we’re at our best when we “pulse” between expending and regularly renewing energy. Schwartz used an example of the employee who comes to work at 8:00 am and works continuously but is barely at 50% performance by 6:00 pm. In contrast, the employee who comes in later, takes a real lunch break, and “recharges” in between meetings is closer to 70% at the end of the day and still capable of taking on strategic challenges. As someone who looks forward to lunch, I say “hear, hear” to Tony’s pitch – and of course, it’s backed up by reams of data.

Dave Pratt, the GM  for usage-based insurance, Progressive, followed with a fascinating look under the hood of Progressive’s “new” Snapshot program. I put “new” in quotations because Snapshot is actually based on 15 years of development – and six patents – largely to get the telematic device Progressive uses to collect the data to be more user-friendly. Snapshot offers Progressive auto insurance consumers customized prices based on actual driving data. Participants can earn anywhere from 0-30% in discounts based on their driving behaviors – how far they drive, what time, and the number of hard brakes. Pratt emphasized that no customer can be penalized from participating and noted their data shows driving behavior rather than points is more predictive of the potential for an accident. Participation is purely voluntary and approximately 1/3 of progressive’s customers have already opted in. Pratt’s presentation brought up a number of follow-on questions:

  • -Should this be a voluntary program or mandated?
  • -Will third-party aggregators emerge to take advantage of the data?
  • -How will the market address the worst drivers?

Pratt concluded with a sneak peak at their new advertising for Snapshot – no Flo!

Rob Chase, Enservio’s SVP of Strategy and Business Development, managed a panel of insurance industry experts commenting on trends in customer service, big data, and how to combat unethical behavior. Panelists included Steve Brewer, the SVP, Underwriting Solutions for MSB, James Swayze, CEO of Symbility, Mark Burnam, COO of ICA, Robert Logan, CEO of Itel, Jay Southerland, CEO of First Choice Repair, and Mike Pillatsch, VP, for MasterCard Worldwide. Chase kicked off the panel emphasizing the little known “coffee roots” of insurance. As the story goes, Lloyd’s of London was originally a coffee shop in the late 1600s that served as popular meeting place for the discussion of insurance deals before morphing into its present day establishment.

Elise Foster posed an interesting challenge – do you want to be known for YOUR smarts and savvy or for producing a field of geniuses around you? Elise is a leadership coach for the Multipliers program. A “Multiplier” is a genius maker who brings out intelligence in others and can get up to twice the performance from their team. “Diminishers” are leaders absorbed in their own intelligence, who stifle others and deplete the organization of crucial capability. Sound familiar? Elise took us through a number of exercises and even cautioned falling into the trap of leaders who fit the following persona: The Idea Person, the Rescuer, the Pace Setter, the Eternal Optimist. All can be flawed in driving a team to optimal performance. The best leaders have the right questions – NOT the right answers.

And, so ended the conference with a box lunch perfect for the sun, which had finally emerged.