Innovation is equal to Ideation plus Implementation. With this small and powerful equation written on the board Professor Werwath started his Business Process Change course last winter. This explanation of Innovation may sound trivial, but it reveals the importance of understanding two concepts that usually grow in opposite directions. Examples of this are found in the corporate world. Some of the business processes are sub-optimized because they are designed to meet the corporation needs instead of true needs of a customer. This is why, for our final project course, professor Werwath allowed us to apply all the knowledge acquired in his lectures to redesign a process for a real-world situation.
Among all the processes offered in the class with Rogelio Reina, my teammate, we decided to bring to the class the Catastrophe Modeling process of Willis Re. Willis Re is one of the world’s top leading reinsurance advisors. They offer several services such as the estimation of a loss if an earthquake occurs; also known as Cat Modeling process.
The challenge was to identify change-enablers in order to increase the efficiency, maintaining data privacy standards. After several interviews with the Willis Re staff, we understood the entire process and started to conceive the Ideation part. Combining the basis of the course with Rogelio’s expertise in manufacturing and my background in risk management, we formulated an initial idea to the class.
Under the collaborative environment that characterizes MEM Northwestern classes, we started the iteration process with the cross-functional knowledge of our classmates, Charlie Guild’s know-how, Professor Werwath’s pragmatism and the Willis Re staff, honing the idea for two months. The result, a set of quick-wins aligned with a new process. This idea was welcomed by the Willis Re staff, to the point that I will be able to Implement it next summer during my internship with them.
With this, I am positive that the Northwestern Innovation approach
will be materialized!
This is a special collaboration to the MEM Blog by Enrique Moreno: