Pandemic features strongly at InsureTalk16

InsureTalk16 took place on 30 September 2021, drawing more than 1400 delegates to the latest instalment of this popular monthly insurance webinar. Our host, SHA’s Nonnie Mhlungu, was on point as ever, keeping proceedings moving along nicely throughout the session.

The theme of the event was “The Workforce of the Future”. It was headline sponsored by Santam, with CIB and Global Choices stepping in as event partners. Big thanks to the IISA for once again assisting with CPD accreditation for the webinar, which carries 2.5 CPD hours.

Darrel Dawson, head of Echelon Private Client Insurance (a division of Santam) was up first. He spoke on the ever-changing risk landscape and provided some simple lessons from Covid. His talk focused on a number of top emerging risks, outlined in the slide below…

… in the context of economic, environmental, climate change, geopolitical, technological and societal risks (including the Covid-19 pandemic).

Wimpie van der Merwe, executive director of Global Choices Lifestyle, challenged delegates to “Evolve. Change. Disrupt.”

“The only constant is change,” he said. “If you are not constantly changing and adapting in business, you are risking your survival.”

His presentation focused on trends shaping the insurance industry and how digital technologies are driving change. He told the story of a proactive receptionist who improved her skill set to such an extent that visitors to the company tried to headhunt her. He told another story of a young man with Down syndrome who worked as a packer at a supermarket and found a novel way to add a little extra touch to customer service.

It all comes down to empathy, he said.

IISA CEO, Thokozile Mahlangu, was up next with her traditional insurance industry update.

The institute is celebrating 55 years in its current guise, having evolved over the years from a purely educational institution to a professional body for the insurance industry. She introduced a number of competitions for members and non-members where some fantastic prizes will be up for grabs. She encouraged delegates to visit the IISA website daily to check out the competitions and to sign up for membership if they hadn’t already done so.

Cover Publications editor-in-chief, Tony van Niekerk, provided the latest insurance media update, covering digital transformation in Africa. He referred to the continent as “leapfrog specialists”, lagging behind the rest of the world… until we don’t, at which point we overtake them. He used phone connectivity, mobile money, crypto users and micro-insurance as examples of this phenomenon.

The entertainment slot saw quizmaster supreme, Duane Rockwell, hosting a fun and informative quiz, sponsored by CIB. The quiz focused on uplifting and positive facts about South Africa in line with CIB’s #SAfacts campaign. (Check out more about the campaign on the CIB website.)

Congrats to quiz winner Khanyisa Gogela from SW Insurance Brokers, who won a R1000 Takealot voucher and a South African flag, compliments of CIB.

Odyssey Talent Management MD, Kevin Distiller, spoke about hiring right for a future-fit workforce. His talk was anchored in the concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how these concepts are used to facilitate the hiring process.

He spoke about the skills and attributes required to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution, pointing out that the jobs that can most easily be automated are the ones that are most under threat.

Christelle Frost, chief of people at Genasys, covered employee engagement and success in the new world of work. Her talk centred around the impact on productivity measurement in the non-traditional workplace.

“A 2020 Mercer study showed that employers are reporting the same levels of productivity during remote working as before – and in some cases even increased productivity,” she said.

Employees are increasingly requesting more flexibility in their roles, from full time in the office, to hybrid models, to complete remote work. Christelle discussed the key considerations, benefits and risks of each of these models.

Nonnie closed the proceedings with her traditional quote. This month’s quote is by Deepak Chopra: “All the greatest changes are preceded by chaos.”

InsureTalk 17 will take place on 28 October 2021.  Registration is now open. Click here to sign up for free!

And if you would like to watch the recording of InsureTalk16, click here or on the video link below: