All iconic brands—past, present and future—share one thing in common: innovation.

Executive Summary

The first and foremost step carriers should take with innovations is to be proactive in fully understanding an opportunity instead of being reactive in their decision-making, writes Carol Williams, a risk management and strategy consultant for P/C insurers. FOMO is rarely the best driver of innovation, she notes, instead proposing a risk management approach that contemplates upstream dependencies and downstream consequences associated with potential innovation initiatives and strategic scenario analysis that investigates long-term benefits and consequences.

When done right, innovation is one of the characteristics that sets long-term, successful firms apart from the competition.

Whether it is Henry Ford’s assembly line, BirdsEye’s frozen vegetables or more recent examples like Google, Amazon, Uber,or even Peter Drucker’s landmark concept of “management thinking,” these innovations did not incrementally improve existing products, services or processes. Instead, they fundamentally changed how things were done or created entirely new market segments.

Paraphrasing business professor and author Oren Harari, complex systems thinker Dr. Warren Black illustrates this point with the statement, “Electricity wasn’t invented to improve the performance of the candle.”

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