Allstate exec on strategic alignment, metrics, innovation team survival

Moises Norena is Director of Strategic Innovation at Allstate, the $34 billion insurer based in Illinois. He was previously Global Director of Innovation at Whirlpool Corp., and he runs the website ideasaboutideas.

In our latest Innovation Leader Live call, we talked with Norena about:


  • How innovation is different in a product company like Whirlpool versus a services company like Allstate
  • Four ways Allstate is measuring its innovation program
  • Some of the highest-impact initiatives and product launches from his time at Whirlpool
  • Why innovation can be a tough sell in a services business
  • Open innovation, including a new partnership between Allstate and the home improvement website Angie’s List
  • Why a top-down approach to innovation, or a grassroots approach, can’t work on its own
  • How innovation teams can survive despite changes in top management, or new leaders in the business units

On that last topic — survival — here’s what Norena says:

It comes down to value that the team can provide. One thing that I learned at Whirlpool and am trying to apply here is that not all of the people in the organization are thinking about innovation 365 days a year. The innovation teams have to be the ones that are pushing the boundaries, that are [developing the] best practices, that people look to when they have questions.

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