There are not many people in the insurance business who can flash business cards with the title “head of innovation.”

Bill Hartnett, a former executive in the insurance division at Microsoft, was named head of innovation at the industry’s global standards organization, ACORD, in September. As ACORD’s first innovation chief, Hartnett is reminding people that the “R” and “D” in the organization’s name stand for research and development. He is in a position to not only define what innovation means to an organization committed to efficiency and standards but also create an innovation model from which others in the industry might learn.

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