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Keia Cole, Head of Digital Experience at MassMutual, illustrates how diversity, inclusion, and a digital focus fuel their innovation initiatives.
What makes your company truly innovative?
MassMutual is innovative because we push the envelope every day when it comes to exceeding our customers’ expectations. Whether it’s providing an exceptional digital experience, providing new channels for customers to interact with us, or developing new products and solutions to meet their needs, the customer is at the center of all we do. We have embraced elements of start-up culture within aspects of our business to allow innovation and creativity to shine, by backing their efforts with the resources and reputation of our 160+ year old company. Together, we aspire to provide the kind of experience that turns customers into advocates because they are confident in our ability to help them secure their financial future and protect the ones they love.
What are the major goals and results obtained from your ongoing innovation strategy?
A clear example of the success of our innovation strategy is the launch of MassMutual HealthBridge, a free life insurance program for eligible healthcare workers and volunteers on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic. This new product was conceived and brought to market in record time, highlighting the ability we have to create change in a historically conservative industry when we think innovatively and work together to make things happen. As a result, we are able to serve our customers who need it most, when they need it most.
How is a culture of innovation achieved across your company?
One key way MassMutual builds a culture of innovation is through diversity and inclusion. By ensuring our workforce reflects the diversity of our customers, we are better able to meet their needs. MassMutual has several Business Resource Groups (BRGs) which add value to the company by uniting around aspects of our employee identities including LGBTQ, young professionals, women leaders, employees and individuals with disabilities, and different ethnic backgrounds. By promoting the value of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of the company, we ensure unique voices and perspectives are heard and can spark innovation.
How does your company manage the overall innovation process?
Innovation does not live in any one area of the company, rather it is a culture and mindset that permeates through all levels and departments. Specific departments have unique ways to foster innovation within their teams. For example, the digital experience organization is home to a research and development team which gives a group of employees 6-9 months to dedicate their time to exploring innovative ways to bring new value to our customers. The R&D team has already spawned new ideas for exploration in the realms of voice technology and Covid-19 response, and will continue to do so on other topics into the future.
Download the full paper "Innovation in insurance: The end of insurance as we know it" and read the other exclusive interviews.