The greatest risk in the era of digital transformation? Staying still.
Davide Dattoli – co-founder of Talent Garden, Europe’s largest digital innovation networking and training platform, and recently included in Forbes’ prestigious 30 under 30 list of the most influential under 30s in Europe – knows this well.
The 28-year-old from Brescia, Italy, the son of restaurateurs, gambled on the power of innovation before others did and, in 2016, got over 12 million euros of financing with his platform, which now has 28 offices in 8 different European countries. A “case” that has become a symbol of a changing world that requires everyone, workers and companies alike, to re-examine themselves … Insurers included.
Over recent years, investments in Insurtech have more than doubled internationally, going from over €800 million in 2014 to almost €2 billion in 2016. This trend has also involved traditional companies engaged in creating startup incubators or funds to finance new initiatives. The 2018 report of the Fintech & Insurtech Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano’s School of Management showed that over 11 million people use fintech and insurtech services in Italy, i.e. 25% of the population between the ages of 18 and 74, 54% more than in 2017. A rapid, disruptive change, comprising Analytics, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and a raft of other new technologies.
“Digital has infiltrated all areas of our everyday life and it is hard to imagine any professions or sectors that will not need to be reassessed sooner or later”, asserts Giulia Amico Di Meane, Director of the Talent Garden Innovation School Italia, founded by Dattoli to train students, professionals and companies in the digital areas in greatest demand. “The only way to keep up with the times is to embark on a process of continuous learning that can’t only take place in the places and times traditionally used for knowledge, but must consciously become part and parcel of people’s everyday lives.”
What does this mean?
“Skills and attitudes have to be trained rather than simply learning concepts that are likely to become obsolete very quickly”, explains the Director. But care must be taken: the essential element that allows a company to embark on the path to innovation is people. And people can also be the greatest obstacle to change. “Beware of passively accepting innovation without at the same time investing in the real capital that is human capital”, warns the expert. “In order to ‘train in innovation’, there must be full commitment on the part of the company’s CEO. It is not enough to set up an Innovation Unit: it is essential to incorporate digital transformation into the company’s priorities. If you don’t do this, you can’t even start talking about truly transformative processes.”
In short, the driver of innovation is the person who can see the potential in change. “Let’s learn to be curious and work on our ‘baggage’ to face this journey into the future, which is already here and now. This is the only way not to be afraid of the waves (sometimes totally unexpected!) of today’s liquid society”, concludes the Director.