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

Assurant-KivettSeriously, can getting employees to play a board game actually get them to better understand the company’s strategy — and the need for innovation and growth?

That was the hope at Assurant, the Manhattan-based firm that insures everything from boats to homes to smartphones. With about $30 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue, the company has been adjusting its strategy and focus as it sells off certain businesses, like health insurance and employee benefits.

Among the goals behind the company’s Strategy Learning Game:

    • Helping employees understand the direction the company is going and “how they fit in”
    • Welcoming a diversity of perspectives to promote innovation and growth
    • Drive a cultural shift to urgency, adaptive thinking, agility, and accountability
    • Increase engagement with enterprise business goals, plans, results and their own personal contribution

Melissa Kivett, Assurant’s Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy, explained the thinking behind the company’s game; how it was developed, and why they didn’t avoid touchy topics; how Assurant rolled it out to more than 13,000 employees in 2015; and the impact it has had.

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