Diversity in Board Room also includes Age

Diversity in Board Room also includes Age:

Age Diversity is something that should be embraced in the board room as well as other forms of diversity.  Age diversity doesn’t get the headlines it might deserve, especially in insurance.

Unfortunately, many executives forget where their skill sets lie and experiences may fall short.  Although super bright and intelligent people, they drink their own Kool-aid.   When it comes to corporate board rooms and senior leadership positions, a young Millennial or 30+ year old with the industry experience, tenacity and insights (to even be considered), well frankly…the board should embrace this type of candidate.

Especially in the insurance industry, which is ripe for technology changes and consumer behavior changes.  This is not your grandfather’s insurance industry anymore and board rooms should also prepare for this change.

Disruption is the word of the year and if you aren’t proactively pursuing what your future customers (millennials) want from their insurer, you will miss the boat.  Keep your head in the sand.

 

Changing Customers

As we have seen, the new age of consumer wants to do things differently.  The Technology enabled firms who improve the experience (from the customer POV) will win.

It takes understanding the customer mentality to drive this important decision.

The board must be aware of this landscape and be plugged into the changing paradigm.

 

Age

The commentary above is not around taking on a 21 year old with no experience and checking the box with age diversity.  Hopefully that goes without saying, but the diversity of age should include those in their 30’s.

It is those individuals who were born 1977-1984 who are at the maturity and experience level to give valuable insights to corporate boards, they have a window into the Millennials and technology that corporate boards need.  In addition to the fact that they recently went through the same struggles, issues, etc. that the generation behind them face.

These candidates can speak the language of the senior board member and the target customer, technology expert, etc.

It’s all about spotting trends and speaking the right language

 

Board

How can you ensure your strategy is well positioned to engage a future generation of customers, if you don’t know this age group well.

Who knows this age group better than someone who recently was that age?  Or what is impacting their lives?  What technology they embrace?

This may be suited for a private or mutual company vs. publicly traded, however, without the direct insight to the BOD from this generation…you may miss the trends.

 

Thoughts

If you haven’t considered Age Diversity as a solution, hopefully this is thought provoking.  Most insurance industry firms suffer from this issue so your not alone and in good company.  The threat of Technology disruptors hopefully has you thinking about how to embrace Tech and better serve your existing and future customers.

For those mid-career professionals, keep your eyes and ears open, get board experience through non-profits or industry associations.  Your time will come.  Be patient but prepared.

As a customer, you should request that your carrier embrace this philosophy.

As an investor, same.  The ROE’s for those companies that don’t successful embrace the right Tech will be easily seen.

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