On November 5th, the Center hosted an online workshop on Innovation, Customers and Jobs-to-be-done theory with the center’s corporate partners

To lead and inspire this discussion we invited a global expert in the topic, Zia Zaman, the Founder and CEO of Beaver Lake Capital, an ESG advisory and investment firm. From 2014-2020, Zia was the Chief Innovation Officer for the company’s Asia region and Chief Executive Officer of LumenLab, an industry-first innovation center, based in Singapore. As a member of MetLife’s Asia Leadership Group, he has delivered over 70 projects and won many awards addressing the health, ageing, and wealth needs of Asia based consumers.

Zia is a frequent keynote speaker on matters relating to inclusion, insurtech, and innovation. Zia has spoken at WEF Davos, IIF, Global Summit for Women, Milken, InsurTech Connect, RISE, Digital Hollywood, Consumer Electronics Show, and UN Women.

As an idea-starter Zia shared with us his view on “Innovation”, affirming that Innovation is not an option and clearly, it starts with the customer:

“Disruption happens when companies overshoot customer demand for performance”

According to Zia, disruption is easy to dismiss and he proposes four key principles to follow:

  1. Focus on the customer and their lives: Fall in love with the problem you want to solve for your customer, not the solution
  2. Find inspiration, get creative and think different: Challenge conventions and look for inspiration far away from your ‘home’ industry
  3. Adopt a beta mindset to test & learn quickly: Recognize the assumptions around an idea, start small, fail fast, and scale only as uncertainty reduces
  4. Behaviors matter as much as process: Process & tools are great, but how you & others behave is crucial for innovation

After Zia’s inspiring presentation, the participants engaged in a rich conversation on innovation processes in different sectors while putting the theory into practice by doing some exercises according to each company’s situation and market.