New ways of operating were discussed
The different levels of expectation of customers and how that changes the way businesses need to respond was also a key factor for Simon Guest, CEO, Generali Vitality GmbH.
“They expect a more personalised experience, and they expect to get some value out of the relationship that they have with any company they are buying a product from, even something like life and health insurance,” Guest said.
Vitality is still responding to this shift and learning how to make it work.
“It is about reimagining the relationship with our customer and what is our purpose and offer?” he said. “It is time — and we have been doing it for five-six years — to stop talking about death and sickness, and to start talking about life and health and wellbeing and the positive future for customers.”
For Bijoy Sagar, EVP and CIDO at Bayer AG, it’s all about how ecosystems are built, how they work and about instilling resilience. That means making sure the “last mile” of the ecosystem is included, and for Bayer this means farmers, growers, patients, and healthcare providers.
“In many cases we have recognised we have built a good foundation with data and analytics but now we have to think about the basics,” Sagar said. “Things like edge computing: have we built infrastructure that is resilient?”
When thinking about resilience, the core business must be kept front of mind, said Krishnan. Just surviving is not enough, technology and purpose-led ecosystems must lead change — and that means constantly thinking about the jobs your customers may ask you to do in the future. Experimenting with these basic building blocks will help bring about effective change in the core business and help to make it futureproof.
“It has to be successful and deliver what it is supposed to deliver,” he told delegates. “That is non-negotiable. That means continuous improving.”
Alongside that there is what the panel called “blue-sky thinking” about wider issues such as sustainability and climate change. All these elements should be run in parallel: for example, 50% of time spent on the operating model and the core business, 20% on technology, 20% on ecosystems and 10% on blue sky challenges.
What the panelists had in common was that their operating models are constantly evolving, their ecosystems are expanding and they are adapting for the future.
Collaboration for regeneration and working together
The second panel of the day covered ‘Ecosystems for a Regenerative World’ with Barbara Karuth-Zelle, COO and Member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE, Tony Kassimiotis, Group Chief Operating Officer of The Phoenix Group and NG Subramaniam, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director, TCS.
The speakers concluded that in collaborating for regeneration, companies and sectors must work together and share information in the most seamless way possible. Sustainability is defined very broadly as a large agenda and as being about doing less harm.
“We need to be inspiring people and we need to get inspired,” said Subramaniam. “We all need inspiration.”
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Businesses have a duty to consider climate change, nature and biodiversity, and pollution, he said. Action is mandated now by all stakeholders, and an example of this is customers asking questions about diversity and inclusivity and about carbon footprints, as well as about price and delivery times. These big themes need to be considered at the very top of the organization.
Collaboration was a thread running through the whole Summit and it was also a theme for this panel.
“If there is one good thing in a pandemic, it is that it taught us to really collaborate,” said Barbara Karuth-Zelle. “To go across the globe and outside of company boundaries.”