Corporate Practice 44 | Developing Leaders Issue 27: 2017 The Unexpected Lessons of Music City USA Executive Education, Nashville Style: Chubb Insurance and Owen Graduate School of Management N ashville, Tennessee, would never have become the world-famous Music City USA were it not for the innovation, courage and ahead-of-his-time thinking of Edwin Craig. Craig, however, was not a musician, nor a music producer, nor even a recording engineer; he was a life insurance company executive. In the 1920s, Craig’s National Life and Accident Insurance Company started a radio station in Nashville to serve as a marketing tool. One of its weekly programs was called the Grand Ole Opry… At Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, a custom executive education program developed in collaboration with the Chubb Insurance Company builds on the innovation and creativity lessons drawn from the history of the National Life and Accident Insurance Company and the radio station that would launch Nashville’s rise to music world prominence. The two-day Music City program, first held in 2015, combines city tours, songwriting, lectures and breakout group work for Chubb managers and agents. The custom program was developed in large part through the collaboration of Owen professor David Owens, Nashville historian Craig Havighurst, and Kathleen Overlin, a Tennessee-based Agency Education Manager for Chubb. Challenges in the Insurance Industry As an Agency Education Manager, Overlin works on external training programs for Chubb managers and appointed agents. Chubb serves a customer base that is 80% commercial and 20% private, with the private side of the business focused on very high net worth individuals. Chubb’s distribution structure begins with the carrier side of Chubb, which develops (often in collaboration with its agency partners) the products. As a carrier, Chubb then works with appointed insurance agencies — agencies that can work directly with Chubb after successfully completing the rigorous appointment process — to sell its products. Some of these agencies are well-known chains, others are independently owned. By Chris Murray