Developing-Leaders-issue-27-2017

Corporate Practice Developing Leaders Issue 27: 2017 | 45 The insurance industry as a whole is facing several key challenges, according to Overlin. One of its major challenges is attracting people to the profession, notably millennials looking for meaning and purpose in their work. Unfortunately, says Overlin, “We’re often broad-brush painted as the big enemy when the reality is that we often help people put their lives back together when the unfortunate happens — so there’s a really wonderful opportunity to help.” The industry faces other challenges and changes as well, from the growing role of big data to changes in customer habits and preferences. For Overlin, innovation is key to the future success of the industry. And yet the view of many people even within the industry is that there is little room for innovation and creativity in insurance. Overlin approached Vanderbilt to review potential executive education programs on innovation. As she was flipping through various programs, she recalls, “they said, ‘Well, we’re thinking about doing something around Music City,’ and I said, ‘Wait a second. That sounds fascinating, let’s talk more about that.’” Soon, she says, she was on a call with historian Havighurst, “and the minute he mentioned that this ties back to a life insurance company, it was like a light bulb went off.” Ahead of His Time “National Life’s modus operandi,” explains Havighurst, one of the designers of the Music City executive education program and the author of Air Castle of the South: WSM and the Making of Music City , “was a field sales force of 2,000 to 3,000 men in fedoras with briefcases who went door to door, throughout the southeast and mid-west, in smaller towns, mill towns, industrial villages, and sold this insurance to working class and farming The two-day Music City Innovation program combines city tours, songwriting, lectures and breakout group work for all participants StockStudio / Shutterstock.com

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