Canadian Underwriter

Skills to promote change

August 9, 2020   by Greg Meckbach, Associate Editor

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Andy Taylor, Gore Mutual Insurance Company’s newly-minted president and CEO, reveals the soft skills required for a successful business transformation — and how to find them.

– As told to Greg Meckbach


To recruit talent capable of shepherding a major business transformation, Gore Mutual is getting the word out about its ongoing changes while it develops a new hybrid business model.

Historically, office staff were physically at work for eight hours a day. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, people are now working remotely and digitally full time.

Gore is developing a hybrid model of work combining both a virtual and physical presence. This is intended to be permanent after the pandemic. It will have a combination of office space and a virtual workforce across the country. Many employees we are trying to attract enjoy the benefits of working remotely and virtually, but they also want the opportunity to interact with people and work in an office when and where it makes sense.

Gore is looking for industry skills, but we are also willing to look outside the industry to get the right soft skills. Examples include business and strategic leadership, judgement, communications, relationship management, leadership, ownership, and accountability. Ownership and accountability are especially important because of our business transformation. Part of that transformation includes growing beyond Ontario and British Columbia to become a digitally-led national insurer. In addition, we are rethinking the approach to technology, data, products, and pricing.

At the moment, the property and casualty insurance industry tends to be very focussed on technical skills. Now Gore is looking for softer skills to overlay on top of that.

While technical experts often follow what their analysis tells them, we are also looking for people who can overlay strategic and business judgement on top of the analysis, taking into consideration both the analytical factors and also the market dynamics and competitive dynamics.

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