‘B’ is probably the most overused character in the alphabet today - based on what’s dominating our news! Thankfully, it’s not Blockchain or Brexit I want to discuss, but another ‘B’ word. And, one that I believe we should be focusing on to help us change our sector moving forward – behaviour.

Einstein’s definition of madness is doing the same thing but expecting different results. All too often you can have the same conversations regarding change and transformation (dealing with the same restrictions and objections) and end up in the same place. You will also, not surprisingly, generate the same results.

To get different outcomes what needs to change is behaviour. It starts with thinking differently. It is thoughts and actions that drive different habits. In the same way, to change customers’ focus you need to ask them what do they ‘really’ want or need? Changing behaviour is the one thing that leads to different outcomes.

Looking back at the Life & Pensions industry over the last 20 - 30 years, on the surface it seems that nothing much has changed in terms of what customers want and what is being offered by the market.

Customers still want a ‘Single View’. They want to do what they can without third party involvement and make changes to their insurance policies quickly and easily. Above all, they really want to trust that when it comes to making a claim it will be paid. Customer perception is still that insurers do not pay out, despite evidence to the contrary.

You may be addressing some of these customer ‘wants’ by doing things a little more effectively and efficiently through technology, but where is the innovation? How are you ringing in the changes to deliver more pioneering products, increase customer engagement that delivers different and better results? How can you change your behaviour, that in turn affects your customers' behaviour to deliver something unique?

Change delivered by our industry, has been so subtle that it can be very easy to miss. We travel the same worn out ruts of a well-worn route.

It’s time to think differently. It’s time to change behaviour. Do you sometimes wonder if you have lost sight of what your customer’s really want? Do you consider how lives will be better because of what you offer?

As the population ages I think it is going to be more about protecting old age rather than simply funding it. People want to be more active in retirement, they are creating bucket lists (by the bucket load) to complete at leisure.  All of this requires funding, and the inevitable move away from Pensions and Annuities to more flexible investment vehicles will help.  However, people are not thinking about protecting health – perhaps we should be changing to focus on this as much as the ‘pot’.

I’m involved in lots of discussions, groups and meet many people throughout the industry. I hear lots of good ideas, but I also hear about challenges with cost, time and the lack of capability in systems. The result - good ideas and true innovation are stopped dead in their tracks.

All things are possible through technology, but it should never be allowed to get in the way of change. At Charles Taylor InsureTech we focus on business outcomes. We look at insurance differently, we think differently and as a result deliver different results. The first question we ask is ‘What are the business outcomes you need?’ The second thing we want to encourage is a change in behaviour – stop thinking about why I can’t do but think about what I need to do to make it happen and what will really make a difference.