In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, host and Chief Transformation Strategist David Saltzman sits down with cognitive neuroscientist Gleb Tsipursky to talk about why “trusting your gut” could be the worst business advice you could follow.

Gleb starts with breaking down the SWOT analysis and how this popular business tool actually feeds into cognitive biases and might not be producing the results you thought it would. He also gives tips on how to avoid personal cognitive biases and introduces 5 questions to ask yourself before a sale or another big decision.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 02:06 Business advice
  • 05:37 Flaws of the SWOT Analysis
  • 07:58 Bias blind spots
  • 09:39 Dealing with your own cognitive biases
  • 14:14 Measuring probabilities of success
  • 17:11 5 questions to avoid decision disasters

Quotes:

07:02 “The SWOT Analysis involves listing your strengths, your weaknesses, your opportunities, and threats. And the people who are optimistic and overconfident: sales people, sales and so on, tend to list way too many strengths, way too many opportunities, not nearly enough weaknesses, not nearly enough [sic] threats.”

08:56 “The critical thing into bias, which is the practice of addressing dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases, is to develop healthy mental habits. So right now, a lot of the mental habits we have are unhealthy. Excessive optimism is a big problem.”

15:30 “There was a study of a thousand eighty-seven board members which fired their chief executive officers and we looked at, asked them, why they fired them. What were the reasons? One of the top five reasons was the nihilism where these leaders were completely denying negative reality about what was happening outside the company and inside their company.”

17:39 “There’s the small short technique that takes you a couple of minutes, you can use it before any sale or an important email to a client or anything like that. There’s another eight-step technique that you want to use for more serious projects, more serious sale, something that’s really important to you and other strategies if you want to lay out your plan.”

18:08 “First, what important information do I not yet fully consider? So what important evidence didn’t you take into account? This is critical because we tend to look for information and believe information with which we’re comfortable. We tend to look for information with a client who’ll agree to a sale. We tend to ignore information that the client is not responding to our emails.”

20:25 “How have you addressed all the ways this sale could fail or whatever project you’re working on? Imagine that the sale completely failed. Completely utterly failed. Now think about all the reasons why it failed. Maybe you haven’t addressed all the client’s concerns. Maybe you missed some of the client’s concerns that you actually could’ve taken a look at.”

Resources:

Never Go With Your Gut” by Gleb Tsipursky

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In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, host and Chief Transformation Strategist David Saltzman chats with Lisa Rehburg, President of Rehburg Life Insurance Settlements. Lisa explains what a life insurance settlement is and how policy owners can actually sell their life insurance policies for cash.

Lisa goes on an in-depth discussion where she discusses the benefits to agents who will offer this, the legalities of life insurance settlements, and the growing appeal of this type of settlement to boomers who are now approaching senior age.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 01:50 Life insurance settlement defined
  • 06:13 Benefits and roles of agents
  • 12:11 Case studies and opportunities for clients
  • 15:34 Carrier feedback to life insurance settlements
  • 18:19 Growing interest and appeal to boomers

Quotes:

01:54 “So basically, a life insurance settlement is the ability for a client to sell their life insurance policy for a lump sum of cash. There are investor groups who are willing to buy those policies, and clearly they’re obviously doing it for investment purposes, and they’re saying is that obviously the returns are good. The other thing though it’s a diversification tool for them.”

03:16 “So what we’re talking about is, in a settlement, client sells the policy. They receive lump sum of cash. The investor groups now become the new owner of the policy, the new payer of the premium and they receive the death benefit when the client passes.”

06:48 “It’s a very simple question to ask when you’re talking to them: do you have a life insurance policy you no longer want or need? Because I would like to go on a limb and say there’s probably a really good chance that one of those 500,000 seniors is probably an insurance agent’s client.”

08:41 “The shorter the life expectancy, the more money they’re willing to pay. The lower the premium, the more money they’re willing to pay. And like I said, it’s just a true numbers game.”

16:49 “I think life insurance is really important. I am not badmouthing life insurance companies at all because I think it’s very important for financial planning purposes. But I also believe that when a policy is no longer wanted or needed, a client should have the opportunity to sell that.”

Resources:

Grigsby v Russell – https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/222/149/

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In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, host and Chief Transformation Strategist David Saltzman chats with Ryan Sachtjen, Co-Founder at WatchTower to discuss some 21st-century technological innovations that help advisors use more of their time facing clients and selling.

Ryan goes into intricate detail on common RFP issues today and how automating workflows of companies can positively affect the bottom line. He also discusses what the future holds for brokerage firms that could lead to significant shifts in industry.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 02:03 Figure out scalability issue to maintain levels of customization
  • 05:18 Looking for the right technological solutions (SMB vs mid to large market)
  • 06:57 Brokerage firms: Investigating workflow problems
  • 08:52 RFP issues and automating workflows of larger companies
  • 13:39 Finding technology that fits the firm
  • 17:30 Technology to sell more and affect the bottom line
  • 22:10 The future of brokerage firms

Quotes:

05:17 “And what we see brokers doing, at least initially, is trying to figure out alignment within their own organization which has been very key of driving a level of success of specializing in different areas. And then looking for, once you’ve done that effectively, looking for the right technology solutions that fit their needs, right? And so they can be different.”

06:24 “Because at the end of the day, the solutions that they want to be using are the ones that allow for them to spend the most amount of their time advising. That is the purpose. That is utilities which they serve. That is what they’re really good at. And so for them to be able to offload some of this other stuff and use technology to help leverage that, I think is a real difference. And you’re seeing a real shift in the market.”

09:30 “The pain points that we’re hearing from them really correlate to helping solve sort of their RFP problem. I have this obligation to my customer at some frequency of cadence which typically is in a renewal cycle of ‘I need to go make sure that what we have in place with the current insurance carrier is the right fit.’ And so my core function at this moment is to make sure that is true. And that typically results in RFP event, in RFP activity for these firms.”

15:52 “The challenge is, like you said, you don’t have necessarily the revenue to be as loose with our spent as you maybe could 10 or 15 years ago. And so, what I think those firms need to do is figure out what are those big impact technology items that they can implement reasonably speaking within their firm that really helps drive those efficiencies. And that’s a key and it’s a very sort of north star element that we have here is how do we help build technology that helps facilitate and be helpful to all of the parties because when that occurs, again, the outcome for the customer is improved.”

20:13 “I’m seeing there is a lot more urgency on actually the carrier side because a big issue here of what needs to happen is, there needs to be some investment on the carrier side to help optimize for this outcome of having things be sort of shared and communicated in more of a digital environment. And I would bet that, if you went to the leadership conference of a number of these carriers, one of the pillars of the four pillars of success for 2020 would be something along the lines of digital fill in the blank.”

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In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, host and Chief Transformation Strategist David Saltzman sits down with Richard Turrin, independent fintech, AI consultant, and author of “Innovation Lab Excellence: Digital Transformation from Within” to discuss what an “Innovation Lab” is and how it creates significant impact to companies which embrace it.

He goes into further detail by discussing Skunk Works at Lockheed Martin and how this team is an example of a successful innovation lab. Richard also shares the basic tools of innovation and how companies, especially insurance companies, can apply them to their own systems. He finally talks about the strides China has made in terms of digitizing its own systems.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 01:44 Introduction and struggles of an “Innovation Lab”
  • 05:19 Appealing to senior management
  • 07:09 Case study: Skunk Works (Lockheed Martin)
  • 11:00 Tools for innovation
  • 17:41 Implications on insurance
  • 20:45 Digitization in Shanghai

Quotes:

01:45 “An innovation lab is usually in a relatively large company and what it strives to do is to bring digital products to life within the company. And it’s a team, a specialized team of people that are all digitally savvy… people that can bring new digital technology into an existing business and make it flourish.”

03:32 “The first catch or the first problem for digital transformation is of course, getting management to accept it and to bring that digital culture into the institution. The second obvious problem is who’s going to do it. And this is again a place where real battles are fought between people like the chief information officer who’s head of IT and somebody who might be the chief innovation officer who’s the head of innovation and wants to change the IT.”

04:51 “There are… these three primary stakeholders: the senior management, the IT or the the innovation departments, and then the users. These are the three stakeholders and they’re all in some slight level of conflict with one another on what direction to go and how best to bring innovation to the company.”

12:35 “So the spanners, the tools… in most toolboxes are really simple: social, analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. That’s what goes into most of the digital transformation technology that you’ll see put to work at any of the financial institutions.”

16:39 “The goal of much of our digital technology is to digitalize the IP of a company. Well, where does that IP reside? That IP resides in the brains of the workers. So if you’re going to build some new fabulous digital product that’s really innovative, and you’re an innovation team, you can’t build it alone. It’s never going to happen. You have to work directly with the people who are on the field, understand the business, because they have the IP that you’re going to digitalize.”

18:27 “If you’re trying to do more with less, digital is your best friend. No question about it. And most of the major insurance companies now have innovation labs. Now the question is, are the labs working on something or can they help you in a meaningful manner to help you solve the problem of drilling a hole in the right spot?”

Resources:

Innovation Lab Excellence: Digital Transformation from Within” by Richard Turrin

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In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, Host and Chief Transformation Strategist David Saltzman features Peter Nieves, Chief Commercial Officer at WINFertility, as he explains what Family Building is and how it is different from in vitro fertilization.

Peter explains the driving factors behind Family Building and how there is a surge in demand in recent years. He also explains how this service, which can be provided by a company, can reap a significant ROI from happier employees.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 02:40 Drivers behind Family Building
  • 07:51 ROI to Family Building
  • 13:35 Explaining WINFertility’s process
  • 17:46 Genetic testing
  • 19:38 Future of Family Building

Quotes:

04:33 “Family building is kind of a newer term different than just fertility services or even infertility or fertility because it’s inclusive of of the idea that a single limit provided by an employer would include the opportunity for the LGBTQ community, even singles, to have access to a benefit that otherwise would only be available to only heterosexual couples. And so family building as a single limit would allow for adoption and surrogacy.”

07:09 “The employer would then contract with an organization like mine to essentially provide the clinical oversight and integrate in with the health plan to ultimately provide what is a very highly specialized clinical advocacy and clinical governance over the process, resulting in significant savings for the employer, which so there is an ROI to it, as well as dramatically improved outcomes, which as you can imagine, leads to happier employees, bigger families and overall greater loyalty even to the employer, which is one of their motivations for offering this program.”

09:51 “Some of the technology available today, in freezing the eggs and allowing for single embryo transfer, is safer for the patient. It’s better for the future children and overall saves money for the employer because you’re not now paying having a $400,000 NICU claim. And so all around, what can happen by improving outcomes and reducing NICU stays, is that small PEPM for management results in, and as we’ve seen, some million dollar babies being avoided.”

14:26 “Our model is one of using reproductive endocrinologist-trained nurses, minimum of five years in working in a clinic, and they’re assigned to the patient from the onset of their journey. That nurse stays with the individual. We also assign a behavioral therapist to work with that patient as well as their significant other. Very difficult time, as you can imagine, that they’re going through emotionally. And that nurse will help them.”

18:07 “What I do know and our clinicians here share and they follow ASRM guidelines, ASRM is kind of the governing body in for reproductive endocrinologists in the country, we follow their guidelines that essentially suggests that there’s certain situations when it’s appropriate to do genetic testing and other times where it’s not proven to have any benefit. And so in some cases, you want to use genetic testing to screen for certain genetic disorders and other times you’re using it to essentially identify those embryos that are best to utilize or transfer.”

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In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, Host and Chief Transformation Strategist David Saltzman features Craig Gussin, President at Retire with Renewals (among many other positions), and is widely considered an insurance expert with decades of experience.

Today he talks about safeguarding your family in the sudden and unexpected event that something happens to you or your business. From highlighting the value of incorporation, to partnering up with other licensed agents, to discussing a “continuation of commission plan”, Craig provides valuable insight to the many options available to agents when planning for the future.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 02:20 The value of incorporating
  • 05:28 Partnering up with other agents
  • 11:55 Continuation of commission plans
  • 19:11 Safeguarding clients
  • 21:36 Predictions for agents in the near future

Quotes:

02:31 “Take away the tax advantage of it. You know, that’s the reason why I got incorporated years ago was purely because, I paid all my quarterly taxes and the CPA said you owe 13,000 in self-employment tax. I said, what would I owe if I incorporated? He said actually you get a refund.”

02:49 “But after the fact, I then realized that every insurance company is going to stop paying you the month you pass away, or pay your family a lot less, if not incorporated because you no longer are in the business. There’s no licensed agent. If you’re a medicare agent and you’re not certified, you’re not going to get paid.”

08:36″If I’m the consumer, I need help. And if you’re not there, well, I got to find somebody. And what’s that new agent going to do? He’s going to get a broker’s record. He’s going to take over your books, that client. And he or she is going to get paid commission instead of you. That’s why I like an agreement set up because we have no control over what happens today or tomorrow to us. But if you have something in place, you can do that.”

09:54 “You need to look long-term. We talk to our clients about that. Let’s look at long-term planning. Let’s look at long-term care insurance. Let’s think about medicare you’re going to need when you turn 65 in the next year or two. Let’s talk about life insurance, protect the family. We do that everyday but, as you said in the very beginning of our conversation, we don’t do it for ourselves. We do it for everybody else.”

22:32 “I think agents have to really, I hate to say, wake up, but they got to think about this and say, okay, even if you incorporate it, who’s going to take over? And if there is no licensed agent, you’re not going to get paid. So think about that. Think about what you want and spend some time. Talk to your family. Talk to other people you work with and find somebody that you’re comfortable with working with so that this transition is in place. And also that your team knows it.”

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In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, David welcomes Kornelius Bankston. Kornelius is managing partner at techPLUG, an innovation firm that integrates tech and healthcare for diverse populations.

David and Kornelius discuss the determinants of healthcare such as location transportation, prescription availability and food security. Kornelius explains what marginalized communities are and what they need. He explains how techPLUG came about and what technological solutions they offer to health problems many underserved people face today.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 1:46 techPLUG and marginalized communities
  • 5:40 Finding and implementing solutions
  • 12:19 Kornelius’ background
  • 17:00 The future and historical problems

Quotes:

“We identify an ambassador in a city, and typically it’s the department of health, to partner with to bring these innovative solutions to the community.”

“As supposed to developing solutions in a vacuum, we’re able to bring real data, real time, quantitative and qualitative information back to the companies within our portfolio so they can provide the best possible solution to these populations.”

“I really don’t think a lot of companies that have innovative health solutions are really conscientiously having their innovation addressing the population.”

“There’s a lot of distrust within the healthcare system.”

“In tech, there’s this whole idea around privacy and data security and a lot of populations of underserved and marginalized communities really don’t understand where the data is going and who’s keeping data and how they get empowered by the data.”

Resources:

https://www.techplug.tech/

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In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, David talks to Hugh O’Toole. Hugh is CEO of Innovu, a company that offers analysis services and well-designed products to help companies seamlessly integrate data across all programs. David and Hugh discuss the use of data to help advise companies.

Hugh explains the process of cleaning data sets to set them up for proper analytics. He demonstrates how to utilize data sets to monitor and predict healthcare for employees, organize worker’s compensation, and identify fraud within a system. Hugh talks about particular insights gained after data analysis and how reconciling different perspectives generates the right modeling, reports and predictions.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 3:02 Cleaning data
  • 6:05 Healthcare and workers’ compensation
  • 12:52 Different lenses and views
  • 16:32 Real time data and transparency
  • 19:59 Accessibility of data services

Quotes:

“Big data that doesn’t create answers, in our opinion, is not very useful.”

“One of the things that’s really important when you get a data set in, you’re going to need to clean that data, you’re going to make sure that it’s accurate.”

“From our perspective, if you want market share, if you want to retain your business, if you’re not running something that creates transparency, accountability, ROI for your clients, I believe you’re already behind.”

Resources:

www.innovu.com

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In this episode of the ShiftShapers Podcast, David talks to Vicky Westra. Vicky is the Founder and Chief Executive of Artistas Café and Javamo Art for Autism, both social enterprises supporting individuals diagnosed with Autism. She’s a board member of Autism Shifts, a program and community of parents, educators and employers dedicated to understanding autism on multiple levels.

David and Vicky talk about understanding autism and its diagnosis. They discuss how people with varying degrees of autism can integrate into the typical society. Vicky explains how normal people and people with autism can learn from one another in the “real world”. She talks about the benefits of employing autistic persons and shares her personal experience.

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 2:18 Understanding autism and its challenges to parents
  •  5:31 Vicky’s calling
  •  7:10 Employing people with autism
  •  12:24 Educating employees and employers
  •  17:05 Getting the word out

Quotes:

“As you looked up autism, everything that was related to the diagnosis was really surrounded with challenges with the diagnosis.”

“My personal belief is that every person that wants to be employed has the opportunity to be employed at whatever level that is and sometimes, what makes autism so hard to understand is because it is so broad..”

“People with autism think differently, they process information differently, they see the world differently, so part of it is helping them understand what the typical world expectations are and how it operates..”

“What they bring is of course, a lot of focus. they’re very focused which translates to productivity. They think differently which means they could bring new perspectives to businesses.”

“We have to feel to good about autism, our students have to feel good about autism, our families do before we can really go out there and say ‘hey, we have the same rights as everyone else to live our lives on purpose.’”

Resources:

https://autismshifts.org/

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In this episode of the ShapeShifters Podcast, Host and Chief Transformation Strategist David Saltzman features Kev Coleman, President and Founder of AssociationHealthPlans.Com to explain what AHP’s are all about and how small businesses can benefit from them.

Kev is a consumer advocate, researcher, and published writer whose works have appeared on The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Consumer Reports, USA Today. He has published a book as well called “Association Health Plans & The Future of American Health Insurance.”

What You’ll Learn From this Episode:

  • 2:05 Nurses in other fields
  • 02:07 AHP vs MEWA
  • 05:03 New regulations: Regionally-defined associations
  • 10:04 AHP benefits to smaller firms
  • 15:29 Short term health insurance
  • 20:30 Politics, Pathway 1& Pathway 2

Quotes:

03:15 “Every AHP is a MEWA but not every MEWA is an AHP. Association health plans have very specific rules regarding the bonafide nature of the association that’s sponsoring etc. MEWA’s however have a narrower set of requirements and you can sponsor a MEWA that is not an AHP.”

06:10 “A regionally-defined association is one where the group of employers sponsoring the health plan just have a common geography among them. They don’t have to belong to the same industry or the same profession and that obviously expanded the possibilities for association health plans in terms of who could sponsor them.”

13:50 “So if you’re a small business and you want to retain as well as attract good talent, finding ways to be able to offer compelling health insurance is really a critical issue strategically for them.”

17:57 “One of the things that people should understand though about short term health insurance is that it’s a unique type of health insurance that was created to address a specific need. A very specific need which is temporary health coverage.”

18:26 “What insurers were starting to find is that there was a small segment of the market that would go through buy health insurance and only keep it for six months, nine months, etc. Maybe someone was in between jobs or they were doing some other new activity maybe school, etc. where they didn’t have their traditional health coverage. And that was the environment that short term health insurance from which it was birthed.”

Resources:

https://www.associationhealthplans.com

Association Health Plans & The Future of American Health Insurance” by Kev Coleman

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