6 Insurance Innovation Imperatives, Part III: Cross the Seven Frontiers of Innovation Capability

The typical IT organization will need to evolve through seven stages to become an “innovation foundry.”

Editor’s Note: This article is the third in a series of six installments. Please find links to the other parts below.

As important as a well-articulated vision may be, it is still not enough to make innovation happen. The most reliable IT shop cannot become an innovation foundry overnight – organizations need to be geared for innovation. The essential characteristics that an innovative shop needs include the ability to encourage forward thinking, to generate and triage new ideas, to provide support for research and incubation and, finally, the capacity to execute those ideas into tangible business value driven deliverables. The typical IT organization will need to evolve through several stages:

  1. From nothing to a substantial number innovative ideas being generated and put in the pipeline.
  2. From bare-bones ideas to deep and broad innovative solutions hat move the needle of the company’s performance.
  3. From zero logistical and financial support to significant investments that enable experimentation and research.
  4. From no skills to highly advanced skills that tackle cutting edge, complex and potentially high-value solutions.
  5. From no business engagement to close collaboration and involvement of the business thought leaders to jointly research and develop ideas.
  6. From no management structure at all to a fully development management framework to enable solution generation and execution.
  7. From the absence of value networks to highly powered value networks that break the barriers of a company’s bureaucracy, enabled by the establishment of an operation model designed to deliver high-value, advanced solutions. The value networks can be internal or external. The latter combines where employees and managers bring in outside experts to brainstorm, develop and execute ideas.

In the end, intentions, proposals and visions remain just such if the CIO and the IT leadership do not take steps to develop an organization that is capable of thinking, researching, evaluating, prototypes, selling to the business, and executing on innovative ideas.


Editor’s Note: Click the links below for the other installments in this series:

Part I: Plot a Clear Path.

Part II: Match Innovation to Market Level

Part IV: Integrate Innovation into IT Strategy and Operations

Part V: Apply 5 Key Steps to the Execution of Innovative Ideas

Part VI: Establish a Comprehensive Program

Alfred Goxhaj // Alfred Goxhaj is an IT professional with over 18 years’ experience in a variety of industries as a developer, analyst, architect and manager. During his career he has managed large-scale enterprise architecture, application development, business intelligence, data management, ERP and e-commerce projects. In Jan. 2013, he became CIO of Endurance Specialty Holdings, after a four-year stint as CIO of Tokio Marine North America/Philadelphia Insurance Companies. Goxhaj’s trademark achievement has been the establishment of a clear vision and strategy for the integrated architecture and technology for life and P&C insurance companies, and leading successful implementations in record time. He holds degrees in advanced physics, applied mathematics and an MBA/MIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

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