Blog by Adam Beckett

Read why we're emulating Sniff and Scurry and getting ready for what’s next.

Posted on 6th May 2022 Tagged in Corporate News Blog
Ageas BIBA Web banner 1_getting ready

Blog by Adam Beckett | Chief Distribution Officer at Ageas Insurance. 

There is a seminal business text by Dr Spencer Johnson that offers us a way of thinking differently about change and how we can get ready for what’s next. His parable tells the story of mice Sniffy and Scurry and Littlepeople Hem and Haw through their lives in the Maze*, looking for cheese to nourish them and make them happy

If you know the story you may remember that one of the biggest lessons that Haw learnt was to “Smell the cheese often so you know when it’s getting old”. For Ageas over the last couple of years the cheese in this analogy has been customer needs and expectations. These have evolved exponentially and rather than just continue to expect our old ways to work we’re adapting to change by getting ready for what’s next, delivering our strategic ambition to invest in the best.

The first investment we made is to get the right technology, one that allows us to build tailored insurance solutions at pace for brokers. We’re doing this through the largest infrastructure investment we’ve ever made, and this commitment means that we can operate in a fast, simple, and agile way, ultimately fuelling our proposition development, underwriting and pricing. Of course, it will also enable us to simplify insurance for customers, providing end-to-end digital-first experiences including the ability to seamlessly self-serve and allowing us to focus our efforts on offering brilliant service where it really matters. 

As well as undertaking this digital transformation we have also made real investment in data optimisation through machine learning, data science, and the use of artificial intelligence – something we’re already harnessing. We’re also proud to have recently partnered with several start-ups in these areas, including DataRobot, to advance our analytics capability, fuelling our renewal optimisation and pricing modelling.

Technology is not the only thing that’s changing, the skills we need to harness are changing too and so we are determined to invest in the best skills and capabilities, whether this is in how we manage claims, detect fraud, or deliver accurate pricing at speed.

This for us has come in the form of a new technical framework, often referred to internally as our “Technical Heroes” programme. Through this commitment to talent development, we’re enabling greater depth to technical knowledge across the business to encourage broader career paths for our people and to strengthen our ‘technical engine room’ – our underwriting, pricing, fraud and claims handling skills.

So, to go back to Mr Johnson’s much-loved text, we are actively working to notice small changes early and this is helping us adapt to the bigger changes that are to come, ultimately helping brokers and ourselves to continue to enjoy future success.


* Who Moved My Cheese? Dr Spencer Johnson

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