The Future of Insurance Podcast – Angela Noble

VP of Innovation, EMC Insurance

Season 2, Episode 7, December 6, 2021

Guest Bio

Angela Noble, VP of Innovation at EMC Insurance, joins the show to talk about what it takes to be successful as a leader, as an innovator, and what the future of innovation looks like.  While we may think about new technologies and trends, Angela focuses on the values, culture and ways to build trust with customers, colleagues and partners as the keys to being successful innovators.

After all, as Angela sees it, innovation does not sit with a particular person or function. For a company to be truly successful at innovating, everyone needs to be involved.

Highlights from the Show

    • Angela is the VP of Innovation at EMC Insurance
    • Angela started in Claims, and feels that’s a great place for everyone to spend time in to really understand and appreciate what insurance is really about
    • She also spent time in Underwriting, which is also a valuable and critical place to understand first hand
    • Angela feels having a chance to work in different functional parts of the industry has been so valuable to her work in innovation
    • Angela believes everyone should be an innovator throughout the organization
    • Innovation takes varied people who aren’t exactly like us and will approach problems very different
    • For Angela, that means her role is really to elevate others on the team rather than setting the answers to all the questions they face
    • We talked about what it takes to be successful in innovation
      • Patience and respect for what the business or individuals are going through and what their priorities are, even if they don’t make sense to you
      • Be curious and ask questions rather than assume answers
    • The only non-negotiable for innovation success is leadership buy-in, which AM Best calls out in their innovation rating and framework
      • Are leaders engaging in innovation, going to workshops, attending demos and presentation, etc
      • This helps keep the Why behind what you’re innovating on clear
    • Communication is an art, and it’s important to listen and learn what the person needs before you start talking at them or pushing a solution
      • “Don’t guess what someone else is dealing with – you’re going to be wrong”
    • You have to truly care about the people you with as human beings to be a great leader and mentor
      • A great compliment as a leader is when one of your people gets promoted or poached by someone else in the org
      • Angela also shares genuinely about herself, including her goals and objectives
    • We’re at an interesting moment where companies are being reminded to focus on people, what our employees really want and need and how do we meet that
    • We need to have trust for the people we work with to do what’s expected, and then have conversations on how it’s going and helping them deliver to that
    • Leadership is hard. You have your own role and you have to be there for the people who depend on you, and you need to be able to do both equally well
    • The definition of Innovation will change to be less about tech and more about culture and ideas and including everyone
    • Technology is also changing – what consumers want, what our distribution partners want

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