Message From the Chair
Winds of Change
As we enter 2016, it's impossible not to feel the winds of change. We're living in a world where speed and agility are valued attributes. Weather patterns (what a crazy winter!), technological advancements and the massive amount of available information that’s growing at warp speed means that our industry must not sit still. Companies are being challenged to navigate through much uncertainty and to re-invent their products and services quickly in order to keep pace. Ultimately, this benefits the insurance consumer by providing more convenient options and tailored solutions.
A time like this creates huge opportunities for those who are prepared to jump into the unknown and take some risk. I personally find it exciting and scary at the same time. One thing is clear to me; to be successful in the future, different skills will be needed than in the past. My advice for people working in the industry is to continue to invest in yourself so that you are prepared to take on new challenges as they arise. To be successful, it's critical to build skills such as effective communication in a technology-based economy, or an adaptive leadership style to engage a diverse workforce. Whether you are working as a broker, in claims, underwriting or any number of support roles in the industry, it's also important to stay on top of issues impacting areas of the business that you don't regularly work in.
The Insurance Institute offers a number of opportunities to stretch your capacity and learn about other areas of the business. The newly launched Advanced CIP is geared towards extending the insurance-specific technical knowledge you learned through the CIP program by focusing on general business principles. The skills and knowledge you'll gain from this program will be helpful currently, in the many different types of roles you might take on in your career, and if you are considering pursuing the FCIP designation.
If you are currently in a management role, or have career goals that include a management track, then you may want to consider the Institute’s Professional Development Curriculum to learn the essential skills of managing a team (see back cover) and/or the FCIP program to learn the strategic leadership needed to address the emerging risks affecting the insurance industry today and into the future.
There are also many seminars, webinars and events that provide the opportunity to hear from experts within, and outside the industry, on topics that impact us both personally and professionally. I particularly enjoy the Symposium and the Annual Trends Breakfast – both presented by the CIP Society in the GTA. The Trends breakfast is interesting and thought provoking, as we hear a perspective on where the industry is headed. This year, presenter Phil Cook will also be presenting for other chapters in Ontario.
[For our non-Ontario members, we asked Phil Cook to write about his 2016 projections for our January trends papers, so that members in other provinces can also learn about the interesting and thought-provoking trends of 2016.]
The Institute is also adapting by offering many learning opportunities by webinar. We recognized that we needed to enhance our delivery options to meet the needs of our busy membership across the country. The popularity of these webinars is increasing because our members are recognizing the value of the engaging and current topics and the high-calibre presenters. Whether it’s about the newly emerging risk of drones or advancing your effectiveness in the use of social media, you can join the discussion and learn from your own desk!
For those who prefer to pick up general knowledge from reading and self-study, we have enhanced the wealth of information available to you by making our ADVANTAGE Monthly trends papers more accessible online and mobile-friendly. These well-researched and easy-to-read papers provide an overview of an emerging topic in the insurance industry. Browse through our ever-growing library!
For a more in-depth analysis on a popular topic, our annual Emerging Issues Research Report takes readers deep into a topic that is supported by conclusions and recommendations. Hopefully you’ve read “Cyber Risks: Implications for the Insurance Industry in Canada.” Stay tuned for 2016’s upcoming report on ‘autonomous vehicles’, which is expected to be published in April. Click here to read the Cyber Risks report,
As an insurance professional, adaptability to change will be a critical skill to successfully forging ahead into the changing business world. Preparing through ongoing education and lifelong learning will enable you to adapt as you move through your career. I hope you take advantage of all the benefits that are available to you as a CIP Society member as you continue in your quest for ongoing education and learning.