Project Management

Transforming Life Insurance: A 7-Stage Journey Just to Get Started

This article is a case study on what it took to get a comprehensive business transformation program for life insurance started, and shares some of the insights drawn from this four-year journey.

Intending to transform the established life insurance business of a leading insurer is a multi-dimensional challenge. It is also a story of the level of adaptability and perseverance that may be needed to achieve a funding decision for a major investment in a challenged business line within a large organization and a global group.

Disclaimer: All descriptions are from the first-hand experience of the author leading this process, and are specific to the unique situation and project, and of the time it took place. By no means is this to be understood as indicative to the company as a whole, nor necessarily its current practices, governance, or decision-making processes.

What have I learned from leading a four-year journey toward a large-scale transformation program for the Individual Life business of AXA in Switzerland? And why does it make sense, in hindsight, to have taken four years to achieve the implementation decision for this transformation?

The four years can be considered as two quite different phases of about two years each. The first two years were about understanding the problem, establishing a long-term perspective, and exploring innovation…

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"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."

- Albert Einstein