EMC Insurance x Swae: Unleashing workforce creativity & crowdsourcing ideas to drive culture and strategic innovation initiatives

EMC Insurance x Swae: Unleashing workforce creativity & crowdsourcing ideas to drive culture and strategic innovation initiatives

Swae pilot program launched to help demonstrate that employee feedback and insights can drive business performance and that hearing all voices is an essential ingredient for an evolving culture and workplace.

EMC Insurance Companies was founded in 1911 and is built on more than 110 years of serving policyholders and independent insurance agents. EMC employs more than 2,400 employees in 19 locations across the United States and is in the top 60 property/casualty organizations and is one of the largest in Iowa, based on net written premium. (Source: https://www.emcins.com/)

Over the years, EMC developed a perspective about what innovation means to them: it is more than technology: innovation is about building a culture of trust and encouraging innovative thinking by empowering employees and discovering unique ways that strengthen the organization and serve customers in new ways.

To further these intentions, EMC and Swae will be working closely to leverage Swae’s platform and offline capabilities to help crowdsource ideas from a larger pool of employees, empower leadership across the enterprise to drive deeper collaboration efforts, and unleash more creativity for workplace improvement and innovation.

While there are a lot of ways to give employees a voice inside EMC currently — from engagement surveys to learning sessions and focus groups — there are gaps with these instruments in turning voice into action and potential decisions that lead to workplace improvement or innovation. Partnering with Swae is intended to fill these gaps by giving everyone a safe, formal, and merit-based process for expressing ideas, making decisions, and identifying potential solutions that can be prioritized efficiently with the help of the crowd and gain deeper engagement.

According to Mary Harvey, Business Innovation Specialist within EMC’s Innovation Team, “In this pilot, we are bringing team members together to shape the future of how we share ideas across EMC.”

Swae’s mission is to empower unheard voices within organizations to ensure that leaders can identify problems and hear about investable solutions quickly. Another driving goal is to help leaders hear the truth of what’s going on inside their organization so they can better prioritize and reduce the potential biases in important strategic decisions.

Swae’s driving goals is precisely what Angela Noble, Vice President of Innovation and Lead of EMC’s Innovation Team, is hoping the pilot program and platform will help EMC begin to achieve:

“We hope Swae will help us fill gaps by giving team members a voice and highlighting what’s most important to our people. This will also empower leadership to know what’s most important, respond to ideas and make decisions.

We know Swae can have a major impact in large companies like EMC on many levels — from encouraging deeper engagement, boosting morale and trust, to sourcing challenges and solutions to drive workplace improvement and the innovation strategy — all of which can truly transform the way leaders include others in sourcing challenges, finding solutions, and making better decisions faster. Some problems within large organizations can’t be discovered unless you have everyone’s input. From past implementations, by using Swae, leaders were able to hear problems they didn’t even know existed and unleashed the creativity of their own people to solve their organization’s problems.

EMC’s Innovation Leader Angela Noble has high expectations of Swae,

“We hope Swae is the platform that empowers team members to share ideas safely, enables leaders to understand team member priorities, and creates opportunities to respond and make decisions in an efficient, transparent way that supports the innovative culture we’re building at EMC. ”

We’re excited to help Angela, Mary, employees and the leadership at EMC achieve these results at the end of this pilot!

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Swae: the future benchmark of decision-making announces private beta

Swae: the future benchmark of decision-making announces private beta

Vancouver, Canada. For Immediate Release

Swae Inc, a Vancouver company, announces a new cloud based SaaS platform for 21st Century decision making. Using a proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI), Collective Intelligence and Anonymity, the system aims to revolutionise participation in the governance and decision-making process. Key benefits includes increased quality of ideation, improved diversity and inclusivity, minimised bias and a reduction in layers of hierarchy. The platform is suitable for almost any size and type of organisation, from startups and teams, to corporations and even governments. Swae is currently in private beta, with public access due for launch in early 2020.

The lack of voice or meaningful influence normal people seem to have in the big decisions institutions and organizations make that significantly impact our lives. Simply voting for candidates or filling out engagement surveys at work feels inconsequential, futile, and, well, insulting. These ‘participation’ options don’t seem to influence the dull, unoriginal, and incomplete solutions most leaders tend to develop in response to the uniquely complex business and social challenges of today’s world. They don’t help prevent abuse of power or keep leaders accountable to their promises. Instead, they provide us a false sense of agency. As consumers, we have so much influence over our life choices, but as employees or citizens, we have so little say in much more important decisions. So, why are these our only participation options?

Our modern day decision-making model is broken.

The root of this problem boils down to our organizational paradigm — how we make decisions and organize ourselves in society. Our modern day decision-making model is broken. It’s outdated, too centralized, too efficiency-obsessed (think factories and conveyor belts of the 19th century industrial era, when this decision-making model reigned supreme), too exclusionary; over-relying on hierarchies, representation, and delegated authority, andconfining stakeholders to strict parameters for participation based on status or function, when we live in a world where ideas, expertise, and genius are distributed and directly accessible through technologies and protocols.

As we move from crisis-to-crisis in our political systems — see first-hand the limitations of many democratic institutions to govern effectively and anticipate challenges — or witness the uninspiringunethical, and poor decisions made by leaders in large incumbent companies about how best to navigate complexity, we see how unfit our decision-making model is in today’s world.

About 2 years ago, I began exploring alternative decision-making models from today’s status-quo, to see how we can “upgrade” decision-making in organizations (both companies and democratic institutions)— consequently upgrading governance. I attended Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program to learn more about the problem and build a solution.

During my research, first-hand customer discovery and experience at SU, I became convinced that we’re in the middle of an irreversible social and cultural transformation, accelerated by new technologies and unreasonable entrepreneurs. We are transitioning from one strong set of operating assumptions about how to manage society, to a new, upgraded set. The transition we are undergoing will redefine how we organize institutions, how we create new companies, who has a voice, what’s an acceptable social-contract. But the path is murky.

Source: Frank Diana, Tata Consultancy Services

The combination of increased computing power, the rise of blockchain technology, demographic and cultural changes has made the idea of designing alternative organizational decision-making structures and governance models that are different from today’s status quo — models that are more participatorymore intelligent, less corruptible, less costly — a real possibility.

These are still the early days but the trajectory is clear.

More about Swae

Inspired by the pace of change, last year, I started a company to re-image organizational decision-making and build the operating system for future organizations. Our first product is Swae, an intelligent decision-making platform combining anonymity, artificial intelligence, and collective intelligence, to help organizations unleash the creativity of their stakeholders and make better quality decisions. Using Swae, individuals within organizations create great proposals anonymously with support of AI, then improve the quality of those proposals with crowd input. Proposals are debated on their merits, collectively evolved, and voted on. The proposals that receive the highest engagement (positive or negative) automatically percolate upwards to a decision (by management or the collective).

By providing the right mix of technology and process, Swae helps organizations efficiently tap into the wisdom of their stakeholders without reinventing the entire organizational structure. Swae’s process circumvents the blockages associated with traditional hierarchical organizational structures (cognitive bias, disengagement, fear of lost status and internal politics suffocating the expression of new ideas, etc.), to provide a more direct, transparent, and efficient pathway for ideas to go from the bottom to access management support. This helps decision-makers gather a greater level of truthful input, arguments, and data points to improve products, services, strategy and business models, without creating a tremendous burden of added work for management.

Swae intends to upgrade decision-making first in companies, then communities, then cities.

For more information on swae please contact the Swae press team here

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