Message from the Chair

What does it mean to be a thought leader?

When I bring up ‘thought leadership,’ some people conjure up an image of an enthusiastic young professional giving a TED Talk, and others dismiss the term as just another example of business jargon.

Whether you identify with one reaction over the other, we can probably agree that thought leadership is being referenced increasingly in our circles. It’s being used to describe opinion leaders and subject matter experts, as well as professionals who don’t subscribe to “the way things have always been done.” Thought leaders revolutionize practices, methods, and approaches.

In the mainstream, thought leaders tend to stand out from the pack in their respective industries. They’re sought out by analysts, journalists, and event organizers as presenters and commentators – and yes, they give TED Talks!

But not all thought leaders need to take centre stage. Thought leaders are experts in their field of knowledge, sharing their wealth of information through good communication practices. They are positive influencers who find a way to challenge the status quo.

I bring up thought leadership because I am interested in the positive expression of the term and what it means for our industry. In a world that’s increasingly novel and complex, I would argue that visionary thinking is not only desired but required for the long-term viability of P&C insurance.

In fact, I think that some of the major strides we’ve made as an industry in product offerings, underwriting and claims – and we have made many in a short period of time – are directly related to someone breaking away from the pack and successfully convincing others that it can be done differently.

Products that we wouldn’t have imagined existing just some five years ago – in cyber and car-sharing for example – are now already on the market. We’re now using drones to gather information to underwrite a risk, and then to assess the scope of damage after a loss event.

This pace of change requires real thought leadership.

Did you know?
As an educational body for the industry, the Institute has been making strides to better position itself to keep up  – and ideally stay ahead  – of all the changes.

The program team has been busy redesigning content and design templates for the 30 courses in the CIP program to include the latest industry best practices and technological advancements, providing more case studies and scenarios to reflect what’s happening in the industry right now.

To date, ten of the CIP course textbooks have been updated with online tutorials enhanced with game-based learning – flash cards, quizzes, study summaries, trivia and practice exam questions – to help students better engage with the learning process. The new curriculum is set up to not just provide content, but to challenge students to think more critically about the information they are learning.

That critical thinking component is an essential part of the Institute’s Advanced CIP and FCIP programs, where students get to further develop their ability to make complicated evaluations of business situations, analyze underwriting and claims data, and interpret wider societal and economic factors and their influence on the industry. By the time FCIP candidates enter the last course in the program and prepare their capstone project, they are able to synthesize their learning and address a real leadership-level challenge – providing thought leadership on a particular issue to their employer and the wider industry.

The role of the CIP Society
As your CIP Society Chair, I envision a future where the Society plays an important role in bringing thought leadership to our graduate community, and shaping the way the industry responds to challenges. Through our research reports and papers on emerging trends, through our webinars and events, we want to provide you with information that inspires you in your day to day work and benefits your customers and employers.

To this end, we are currently reviewing some of our Society programs and information services to figure out how we can increase the value we provide to you and better support the industry. This will be the last issue of the ADVANTAGE Quarterly in its current format. Going forward, please look to the CIP Society corner in the Institute’s The Pace digital magazine for information about your CIP Society programs and benefits, or visit the CIP Society webpages at any time. The summer issue of The Pace will be out in August.

And as for me, I will be back in touch again this fall to announce the publication of updates to our research reports in three key areas: cyber risks, automated vehicles and the sharing economy. Our aim is to provide you with new insights and perspectives on these topics to help you shape effective responses to some of our industry’s biggest challenges. And as I mentioned to you in my last message, a new research report on climate risks and opportunities is forthcoming – climate change being perhaps the biggest challenge yet.

The CIP Society has aspired to be the premiere professional association in P&C, and for the last 20 years we have been advancing your education, experience, ethics and excellence through our programs and services. We recognize that in order to sustain the value of what we offer, we also have to do things a little differently and hopefully inspire you in the process. And so we plan to do just that.



Mike Kosturik, BA, FCIP
Chair, National CIP Society