Enabling Innovation, Vol. 4: More Lessons from Silicon Valley

Report Summary

Enabling Innovation, Vol. 4: More Lessons from Silicon Valley

Robert McIsaac
Head of Life Insurance, Annuities, & Benefits
Eric Weisburg
Senior Principal

September 2018 - Novarica recently concluded its fourth semi-annual Silicon Valley Innovation Tour, which included the opportunity to lead a delegation of senior leaders through a series of on-site visits to luminary companies in the Bay Area. These visits provide an “immersion” experience into the inner workings of one of the world’s preeminent centers for innovation; they explore incubators, accelerators, venture capital firms, early stage startups, and mature companies that have managed to retain innovation as a central element of their corporate DNA.

This report captures key themes that emerged from our discussions during the visit in the third quarter of 2018.

Key Topics

  • Culture is the foundation for innovation. And culture can be driven by technology.
  • Innovation must be driven from the top. Corporations develop “immune systems” which must be overcome.
  • Innovation is fueled by passion. The best and the brightest want to be inspired by a great mission.
  • Talent acquisition is key, even in Silicon Valley. Retention also can’t be ignored. Technology can enhance internal environments to promote both.
  • Collaboration is key to innovation. Great minds need to work together to innovate, but collaboration may not be consistent with virtualization. As remote work capabilities increase, carriers should make sure to preserve face-to-face interactions.
  • Even in Silicon Valley, hot spots for talent are emerging. The Valley’s unique geography means that innovators align their locations with the talent they seek to cultivate.


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