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Embracing the f word

'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.' Samuel Beckett didn’t have today’s digital age in mind when he wrote those words, but being prepared to test new initiatives, and embrace failure, may be the best way to succeed in the new consumer marketplace.

Life insurance and pensions firms have become accustomed to long business planning cycles. The pursuit of fixed and certain targets. Executives set direction and stake their reputations on the success of its execution. Planning and design are seen as the critical implementation activities with a focus on rigour and detail. Life and pensions players have heavily invested in building industrialised IT and business change organisations that can plan and execute this large-scale, single-tracked change. 

But we now live in a digital age. No one can be certain as to what the winning strategies will be, and to do nothing is not an option. Customer expectations are constantly shifting and the time to respond is severely constrained. The market has moved on by the time most life insurers have made their decisions and put their new capabilities in place.