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8 Highlights from 2017 User Group [Part 2]

May 17, 2017 / User Group, Software, Reinsurance, InsurTech

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You know that feeling you get at the end of a conference?  The energetic burst of inspiration and readiness to implement everything you learned into your everyday work? But then you get back to the office and unfortunately,  allow other priorities to get in the way of implementing new learnings. 

While writing this blog and reflecting on my takeaways, I also thought about how we can make time for new learnings instead of putting them on the back burner. So in addition to the User Group highlights I shared in Part I and below, I'll also discuss how to keep the momentum going post conference. 

For now, let's dive back into highlights from the 2017 User Group.

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#6 | A new perspective on leadership

Keynote Tim Arnold, led an interactive session on leadership. Perhaps the most entertaining lesson from his presentation was on changing a leader’s perspective when delivering team instructions. He emphasized the importance of understanding that everyone has a different perspective.

To learn this lesson, Tim had us pair up and ‘fence’ each other using our fingers. He provided simple instructions and left everyone to interpret finger fencing how they wished. The moral of the fencing activity … everyone takes instructions differently, including your team.

To overcome misinterpretation, get to know the learning styles of your team and engage in continuous feedback. This ensures they understand the project at hand and their roles in it. As strange as finger fencing sounds (and looks - according to videos on our Twitter feed), the point was clear.

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#7 | Open collaboration can change an industry

During our second annual TAP member lunch, we were thrilled to invite Cookhouse Lab to facilitate a Speed Innovation Challenge. Forty of our TAP members were introduced to open collaboration and co-creation, then split into smaller groups to engage in rapid fire innovation.

Each team was made up of people from different companies – a key component of open collaboration at Cookhouse Lab. They were asked to forget about the company they came from and decide on a company name for the startup they would be part of for the hour. It was amazing to see everyone break down barriers so quickly and really work together to own their innovation project. 

Congrats to Purple Skies for winning the challenge!

#8 | New TAI features introduced

Announcing new features of our software is always a highlight of the User Group. This year, Laura and Pete shared the following:

  • New claims features can streamline and improve reinsurance claims processing
  • Reinsurance annuities are now a core offering with the TAI product portfolio
  • System security is critical
  • TAI upgrades follow a clear defined process

Stay tuned as we explore these features more in depth in blogs to come.

As you can see from my roundup, User Group was once again an action packed meeting. No matter what you took from the conference, the important question now is how can you keep the momentum going? My advice, stay curious. To explain, I'll refer to the story of the Holy Grail.

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Stay curious

Do you remember the story of the Holy Grail? Long story short, Perceval, the protagonist of the story, goes out into the world to make a difference. He ends up staying at a castle along the way to rest. When invited to join the owner and other guests for dinner, he is surprised to find a somber, joyless dinner despite the abundance of food and good company.

Perceval thinks to ask what is wrong, but talks himself out of it.  He leaves the next day but ends up regretting not asking his question, since he had no valid reason not to ask.  Perceval is determined to go back to the castle and ask.

After 20 years of wandering to find the castle again, he finally comes across it and attends dinner. Perceval asks the owner what happened to cause the somber mood that permeates the castle and the dinner.  At the utterance of the question the “Holy Grail” is revealed and the mood changes to one of joy. 

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What does this story teach us about staying curious?

As I mentioned in the introduction, after a conference we leave feeling inspired to implement new strategies, tactics, tips and tricks. However, with an onslaught of emails, projects and regular work, it can feel overwhelming to make time to leverage what you learned. The story of the Holy Grail reminds us to take action on curiousity.

Things that you learned at User Group may already be happening at your company and you can be a part of it by asking questions and offering your thoughts.  No idea/project is perfect at the start. Great results come from people being curious and sharing their curiosity. Don’t wait to ask your questions, be curious now. Make it a priority – you never know where it can lead.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Arizona for another successful User Group. Stay tuned as we strive to help you stay curious and implement new learnings into your everyday work through this blog. Join our community of subscribers to get new articles straight to your inbox.  

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Written by
Tom Freitas