Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Overcoming financial myths that inhibit innovation in insurance

While many in insurance realize innovation is imperative in the digital age, there are several myths that inhibit success, argues Martin Agather in this Insurance Thought Leadership piece. Key among these is that innovation efforts hurt financial performance. “Many insurers have multiple development efforts in flight at any time competing for resources, and the list always grows,” he writes. “Business unit managers will fight to protect their resources – they not only need to protect their people and initiatives, but the battle for resources also determines status and potential for career advancement.” Agather claims that innovation is not only for the largest carriers. “The assumption is that successful innovation requires dedicated labs, large staffs and huge budgets. This is understandable, given the nature of how our industry deals with change,” he writes. “The press is full of stories of how giant insurance brand Y built this amazing offsite lab with 30 full-time staff. The result of this multimillion-dollar investment? An amazing new product or process that is revolutionizing some aspect of the insurance ecosystem.” Yet according to Agather, the most successful innovation efforts are ones driven by small teams with limited resources; and with the right tools and processes, a few individuals working within well-chosen constraints can produce breakthrough innovations in insurance.

Three tips on retaining millennial talent

Millennials will make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, so it’s no wonder they continue to make the headlines in talent and organization news week after week. This TalentCulture piece offers three tips to retain millennials: 1. Rethink feedback. Instead of one annual performance review, offer employees ongoing, frequent feedback they can implement immediately. 2. Make learning and development a priority. Because they grew up in a rapidly changing digital landscape, millennials place a high value on growth opportunities. 3. Build a culture of flexible work. For millennials, work-life integration is key, whether working inside the office or remotely. “Traditional management styles fall flat for millennials. For employers, updating management practices isn’t just a nice thing to do – it’s absolutely necessary in order to develop and retain the next generation of leaders,” the article notes.

11 ways AI can revolutionize HR

Members of the Forbes Human Resources Council were recently asked what the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in HR might look like. This article sums up the top 11 ways in which AI is changing the human resources game, according to HR experts across industries: 1. Automate business processes, 2. Enhance efficiency, 3. Reduce bias, 4. Narrow the talent pipeline, 5. Replace administrative tasks, 6. Communicate candidate status, 7. Simplify sourcing, 8. Reduce administrative load, 9. Highlight better talent, 10. Enhance the human experience, 11. Stay compliant. “The answers all pointed to systems that were operating more smoothly and HR professionals getting a fighting chance at doing their jobs better instead of chasing a never-ending paper trail,” the article notes.

Workforce diversity is good for business

During a recent roundtable discussion held by The Yorkshire Post and Barclays, senior business leaders talked about how social mobility programs boost performance and make companies more agile. For one executive, diversifying the workforce enables companies to avoid “groupthink”. “There is a danger with anything related to social mobility that people just view it as a nice thing to do,” said Andrew Devonald, senior business development manager with Grant Thornton. “What we are finding is that this is making our business stronger. There is a business case for social mobility.” Diversity can also help build better customer relationships, according to another panelist. Paul Ayre, managing partner for law firm Gordons, told the discussion group that his firm’s apprentice program made them more in-tune and aligned with clients. “We act for a very entrepreneurial client base who may not have gone to university, so it makes us look a lot more like our clients which is no bad thing,” he said.

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