TEXT MAPFRE | ILLUSTRATION ALFREDO GARCÍA-ALMONACID
Every day, over 35,000 people are constructing MAPFRE in the 45 countries in which the company is present, making it a leading global insurer. For this reason, who better than the employees themselves to seek solutions for its strategic challenges? With its firm commitment to innovation in all its facets, the company focuses especially on those ideas born within the organization itself.
In MAPFRE we have been committed to innovation for over 85 years. Solely from this perspective, and thanks to the work of many people committed to the organization, can we comprehend the evolution that has led that small agricultural mutual insurance company to become a major global insurer today. The company has always approached every change as an opportunity and this remains the case in today’s digital environment, in which transformation is an ongoing process.
In an increasingly globalized, competitive world, every company must adopt dynamics that not only guarantee the positive development of its current business, but also its strength in the future. To this end, it is essential to develop entrepreneurial activity within the organization, with the focus on innovation, so as to contribute to the business model or its reformulation at any given time.
Back in 1985 the researcher Gifford Pinchot coined the term intrapreneurship to define the attitude of “those people who are capable of developing an entrepreneurial spirit, with the support of the company, by means of discovering, assessing and exploiting new business opportunities.” While we are talking about a concept that has been around for many years, it is now, in this current environment with the facilities of the digital era, that it is really taking hold.
Innovation is no longer something exclusive to one particular area. That is why, in order to ensure that all MAPFRE employees can develop their creative potential in this field and contribute ideas linked to the company’s strategy, we embarked just a few months ago on a project that has surpassed all expectations
The era of geniuses
October 9 saw the launch of Innova, MAPFRE’s intrapreneurship program, with this first edition targeting employees of the insurance units and corporate areas located in Spain, Peru and the USA. For six weeks, people working in these countries had the opportunity to form teams and present ideas related to the challenges put forward by the company: small and medium-sized enterprises; auto accidents; and young people and savings.
A group of experts evaluated the 443 ideas submitted by our geniuses (more than 750 brilliant minds divided into teams of two or three people) in order to select those with the greatest potential for development. The quality of the projects made it very difficult to choose nine ideas for the final (three from each participating country). These were the finalist teams:
- RideAdvise, StratageM and RideSafe in the United States
- SAVE COIN, P.E.P.E and MAPFRE Emprende in Peru
- Go Saving, Tinvert and B-bites in Spain
9 finalist ideas, 80 people in action
In the month of January our finalists embarked on their bootcamp experience. In innovation, this concept refers to environments where, by accelerating ideas and with the help of experts, projects can literally be taken to the next level. Inspired by the Design Sprint methodology at Google Ventures, the Innova bootcamps (which were held simultaneously over four days in Madrid, Boston and Lima) followed a work dynamic in which participants were able to develop their value proposition; they designed the business and operational model; they built a prototype; and they validated it with a group of potential clients to gather their impressions. Jim Gow, from the Talent and Development Management area at MAPFRE USA, views this dynamic as a new way of doing things in our company: “We brought these teams together with people from other areas to question the very foundations of their idea and jointly create something greater. We also Proud of reaching the final, the teams from the United States, Ride Advance and StratageM, and those from Peru, P.E.P.E and MAPFRE Emprende, defended their projects with great verve. THE WORLD OF MAPFRE#103 55 invited potential clients to learn their opinion before embarking on a major investment. These should be the principles, not just of innovation, but of any initiative in MAPFRE.”
Although the participants were subjected to a lot of pressure, they all gave their very best. Belén Fernández- Quevedo, head of innovation at MAPFRE IBERIA, underscores “the chemistry that was in the air and the amount of positive energy emanating from the teams throughout the four days.” Accompanying them in this adventure were both local and corporate experts who, from a critical perspective, added value to each proposition. For Eugenia Villalobos, Strategic Planning manager at MAPFRE PERU and coordinator of the program in that country, “Clients played a decisive role when it came to taking the ideas to the next level. They were so enthusiastic as they left the interviews, asking us when we were going to launch the product!” The teams were also supported by a facilitator and a designer.
The grand final
After each team finished their prototype and prepared the presentation of their propositions with the support of specialist consultants, the big moment arrived: the grand final in each country. Each team had to pitch the defense of their proposition (with a limited amount of time and in a clear, yet creative manner) in front of a jury made up of members of MAPFRE’s senior management.
The idea that took the trophy in the United States was RideSafe, a navigation application that will help people to reach their destination in a more effective, safer fashion. In their value proposition, this team opted for safety, committed to reducing the accident rate of our policyholders. During the ceremony at which the winning project was revealed, Jaime Tamayo, CEO of the International Territorial Area, stressed the high level of the three ideas and gave a special mention to the propositions from the other teams, StratageM and RideAdvise.
In Peru, the proposition that came through to win the local final was Save Coin, gamification of savings aimed at millennials. Renzo Calda, CEO of MAPFRE PERU, congratulated all the participants for their ideas and the great effort made.
Finally, in Spain, the winning idea from the B-bites team also responds to a social demand that many young people have yet to contemplate – savings. The Territorial CEO of MAPFRE IBERIA, José Manuel Inchausti, who handed over the award, reminded everyone that “today’s innovation is the company’s competitiveness tomorrow.”
All the participants in this experience are an example of the internal talent we possess in this organization. Now, in coordination with the company’s business areas, the time has come to convert these projects into reality, in many cases incorporating additional ideas sourced from other teams throughout the process and with the help of the organization as a whole. Today, more than ever, between all of us we are building innovation in MAPFRE.