Articles & Case Studies by Industry


Aflac Exec on Growing a Venture Capital Fund

Bharat Rajaram of Aflac discusses how the company grew its venture fund in a year and the role of Aflac Venture Labs. “The initial…months [and] even the first year…was all about trying to prove out the model,” he says. “[Y]ou want to take your time and prove that you can do something well.”

Inside AXA Next’s Innovation Avenues

AXA Next unites the French Insurance company’s innovation initiatives under one arm. Learn more about AXA’s different innovation funds and how the company explores the insurtech ecosystem.

25 Corporate Innovation Hubs in London: An Annotated Map

London remains one of the world’s thriving financial centers. Explore our interactive map to see the key players in the ecosystem, from corporate innovation labs to venture capital to accelerators run by organizations like Visa, Barclays, Johnson & Johnson, and the BBC.

With Venture Investments and New Incentives, CSAA Insurance Preps for the Future of Transportation

How does the staid world of car insurance not only survive, but find opportunities for new growth? $3.5 billion CSAA Insurance Group believes it will happen by upgrading its technology infrastructure, creating new programs for employees and leaders, and investing in innovation both inside and outside the company’s walls. Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Debbie Brackeen explains…

Why Innovators Can’t Afford to Ignore Politics, Relationships, and Internal Conflicts

Ace Moghimi, an experienced insurance industry innovator, offers his tips for creating significant change in large organizations.

What New York Life Has Learned from Six Years in Corporate Venture Capital

In recent years, New York Life’s Ventures unit has been amping up its investments in “frontier technologies” that may be able to improve the client experience, streamline its own internal operations, and help grow the business for the future.

The Three Roles That USAA Labs Plays

Chief Innovation Officer Zachary Gipson explains how his USAA Labs team engages employees and members; experiments with new technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence; and works to build new businesses.

Slides: How One Company Thinks About Innovation Structures, Investment Levels, Timeframes

Two slides lay out the way David Crean of Anthem’s Innovation Studio views the different innovation options, or “flavors of innovation,” that a company might pursue. Each one has different levels of risk, different funding requirements, and different potential outcomes.

Video: Healthcare Exec Robin Glasco on ‘Going Where the Love Is’

Robin Glasco of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts says that in business school, you’re taught to focus on areas with the biggest problems and toughest challenges. For internal innovation groups like hers, though, that isn’t always the smartest first move.

How MetLife Asia is Building New Ventures and Finding Startups Focused on Its Challenges

The entire insurance industry, argues Zia Zaman, has “lost its way by not focusing on the customer.” Here’s how Zaman, the Chief Innovation Officer for MetLife Asia since 2014, is working to change the status quo.

Connecting corporate venture capital to the business at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Tuoyo Louis has a very clear objective at Zaffre Investments, a corporate venture team that is part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts: Finding healthcare startups that can solve a problem for someone in the insurance company’s ecosystem, whether that’s a patient, an employer, or an administrator sitting behind a doctor’s front desk. Louis explains how he works with business-side leaders inside Blue Cross Blue Shield to get pilot tests underway that leverage new technologies from the startups.

How Aon Health invites business leaders to help set the innovation agenda

Jim Winkler, Global Chief Innovation Officer at Aon Health, explains the meetings and process that his team uses to set the innovation agenda, and determine priorities, in collaboration with line of business executives.

InsurTech: Execs from AIG and John Hancock talk startups, sensors, more

How can insurance companies innovate effectively — in the face of strict regulatory oversight, customer concerns about privacy, and decades of ingrained thinking about “the way things are done”? Execs from AIG and John Hancock discussed those issues at a recent event. Includes profiles of startups working in the insurance sector.

Achieving innovation balance: Advice from Cambia Health’s chief innovation officer

Five years after starting the innovation team at Cambia Health Solutions, a family of healthcare businesses in the Pacific Northwest, Chief Innovation Officer Mohan Nair shares what he has learned about different types of innovators — including some you may want to avoid — as well as delivering near-term and long-term impact.

Why insurance firm Assurant designed a strategy game for employees to play

Among the goals behind the company’s Strategy Learning Game: helping employees understand the direction the company is going and “how they fit in,” and driving a cultural shift to urgency, adaptive thinking, agility, and accountability. SVP Melissa Kivett explains how it worked…

Humana’s Chief Innovation Officer: ‘Co-creation is the new way’

Chris Kay of Humana discusses how the $48 billion health insurer is collaborating and co-creating with startups in the healthcare industry, and outlines his process for going from ideation to market.

Audio: Nondini Naqui on hiring for MassMutual’s Society of Grownups

Nondini Naqui, CEO of Society of Grownups, a “learning initiative” of the insurer MassMutual, talks a bit about how the new venture’s separate culture and separate office space has helped her attract the talent she needs — including software developers.

What Manulife’s senior tech execs want from new LOFT initiative

Executives at Manulife Financial knew they needed to play more offense when it came to exploring and experimenting with new technologies. To speed up the company’s tech metabolism, Manulife last month launched the Lab of Forward Thinking, or LOFT. We’ve got slides on their strategy, and their first big event…

Transamerica’s Aaron Proietti on what’s working — and what didn’t

On our latest Innovation Leader Live call, we spoke with Aaron Proietti of Transamerica about the evolution of the insurance company’s innovation program — including approaches that have worked, and those that haven’t.

How USAA moved fast to launch drone program

Last month, innovators at USAA were among the first in their industry to get federal approval to test unmanned aircraft. Their objective? Speeding up the claims process for USAA members after a natural disaster strikes.

Why it’s crucial to understand your company’s innovation DNA

Was your company born to disrupt established industries? Or is its heritage in marketing and distribution, building brands that are recognizable around the world? Maybe the way your company obtains new products is by acquiring small startups. Every company has different DNA, which means innovation approaches need to differ.

Allstate exec on strategic alignment, metrics, innovation team survival

In our latest Innovation Leader Live call, we talked with Allstate’s Moises Norena about how the $34 billion insurer is measuring innovation impact; why innovation can sometimes be a tough sell in a services business; and how innovation teams can survive corporate shake-ups and management changes. Includes 30-minutes of audio…

Cambia exec: Why we created healthcare collaboration space

Nicole Bell is executive director of the new Cambia Grove, a 9,000 square foot facility in downtown Seattle that brings together innovators and entrepreneurs with health plans, providers, businesses, government leaders, and academic minds from around the country. She talks about how and why her employer, Cambia Health Solutions, created the Grove. Includes audio, photos, and a video…

Inside MassMutual’s radical new learning initiative

Organizing supper clubs and offering classes on how to plan for the zombie apocalypse, a spin-out from $27 billion MassMutual tries to target the future consumer. Here’s how it works…

Changing culture at French insurer BNP Paribas Cardif

Héloïse Lauret, Head of Innovation at BNP Paribas Cardif, discusses the three main culture-change initiatives the French insurance firm has launched — and the importance of building trust.

Innovation matures at Transamerica from skunkworks to true partner

Chief Innovation Officer Aaron Proietti explains how his group’s mission has evolved, shifting from an isolated “skunkworks” responsible for developing its own projects to more of a consultancy to the business units. Here’s why that happened…

Chubb global innovation VP: ‘Stop the innovation carnival’

At too many companies, employees interact with the innovation team during sporadic “Innovation Days,” idea challenges, or off-site meetings. Chubb global innovation VP Gerry Myers explains how the insurer created a “social layer” for innovation and collaboration, to help weave innovation into employees’ daily activity. Includes slides.

Humana exec on the ups and downs of innovation programs

As staffing levels have risen and fallen, and reporting relationships have changed, $40 billion health insurer Humana has kept a commitment to innovation alive. Director of Consumer Innovation Nate Bellinger describes his current strategy, and some of the lessons from almost 15 years.

Time Warner & Blue Cross on why they started accelerators

Execs from Time Warner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and TechStars talk about the potential upside in starting or supporting accelerator programs for entrepreneurs. “If the customer is your greatest concern, some of the best ideas can always come from outside,” says Sandy Khaund of Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting division. “We may not find the next Facebook, but we’re looking for companies with that same kind of game-changing potential.” Should you follow suit?