Turning the impossible into reality takes a dreamer.
Whether it’s on the macro level of space exploration or on the slightly more attainable level of innovation among insurance brokers here on earth, imagination is important to survive in a world fraught with new risks demanding new solutions.
Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, encouraged brokers at Gore Mutual’s Fast Forward conference to dream big.
“If you give people a high enough bar, they will rise to it. They will do something that is on the edge of impossible. We really need it within the fabric of society,” Hadfield said. “See. Think. Act. That’s how we change - on a personal level, at the collective level and as a species.”
This visionary attitude is something Thomas Accardo, co-founder of the cloud-based platform Broker Lift, said he already sees in a new wave of brokers. He advises persistence in the face of failure.
“Start small, scale fast, think long term, you have to find innovative ways to solve problems,” he said. “I think brokers too often try too few things and give up too quickly and just say ‘it can’t be done’. Find something you can try to solve and go solve that.”
A major stumbling block Accardo identified was brokers stuck in the mindset that face-to-face interaction was the only way of making a connection.
“A lot of brokers need to figure out what a relationship means in the digital world,” he suggested. “Too many of them feel that a relationship has to be a physical thing, but it doesn’t. Younger generations will prove that to you 10 times over - relationships are built over text, they’re built over emails, they’re built over phone calls.
“There are lots of channels to build relationships on and to figure out how to build trust with a customer if you’re not even talking to them. It’s absolutely doable, but they’re not doing it yet.”
However, Accardo said he was optimistic about what he’s seeing from the crop of brokers pushing boundaries and thinking differently.
“There is a new breed of entrepreneurial brokers with a lot of hustle in them and they’re leveraging technology in new products,” he said. “They’re identifying new opportunities for things to insure. They’re going after it: they’re soliciting insurance companies to help them supply products to help consumers.
“From our perspective those are the ones that we’re quite keen to support because we’re seeing that they are going to change and they’re getting there first. The ones that get there first are going to be the ones that get the strongest value proposition.”
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