Who or what has influenced you as your career has progressed through the years? There have been times that people around me have said something or I have read the work of authors that have impacted me and have stayed with me through the years. These influencers provided me different or new perspectives to consider how I view society, the insurance industry or both.
Who has influenced you?
For me, some of the people that have had a persistent impact on me include:
- Marshall McLuhan – much more than being a repository of wonderful sound-bites, he was a visionary who understood and clearly articulated the impact of media (e.g. technology) on society
- Alan Kay – particularly his idea that technology is something that wasn’t around when you were born. Similar to one of Marshall McLuhan’s sound bites that “he didn’t know who discovered water, but it wasn’t a fish.”
- Ted Levitt – Marketing Myopia but more…. I liked his idea that corporations had only two major processes: getting and keeping customers. Every business process you can think of is a subset of one of those two or a subset of the combination of the two
- Lewis Carroll – both “Through the Looking Glass” and “Alice in Wonderland” should be required reading in any business school program
- Joe Pine – his concepts around Dynamic Stability are worth a re-read
- Clayton Christensen – The “rock-and-hard-place” dynamic continues
- Geoffrey Moore – so will crossing the chasm ever get easier or quicker?
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb – we must develop the ability to be able to respond to Black Swans even if we can not readily identify them beforehand
The Fun Part
The fun part, of course, is applying the concepts of these people to my efforts as an insurance industry analyst (and before that, as a management consultant).
No industry, insurance or other, is an island onto itself. I have firmly believed that learning what people in other disciplines discuss and believe, can add value to my own ideas and insights.
Who has influenced you? How have you applied their insights to your own work?