Archive for April, 2010

Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) releases social media policy template

It seems that the risks of social media avoidance are getting more and more attention.  The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) just released social media policy template.
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This week in the world of social media and risk management

I’m not sure I can sustain a blog post title like this every week, but this week. . .

The big “news” in the world of insurance, risk, and social media is that Chubb Group of Insurance Companies is hosting a social media discussion at this year’s Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Boston. The event is already in progress and will run through April 29.

I cannot attend in person, but I have registered to participate online in the social media discussion. I think it’s an interesting and symbolic approach to continuing the conversation on social media’s role in the realm of risk management.

Participants will be able to share and collaborate on ideas about social media risks, their impact on business and risk mitigation strategies via personal computers, BlackBerrys, iPhones and other smartphones. They will be joined by Chubb underwriting, loss control and claims staff with knowledge of social media risks, as well as special guest thought leaders from the legal, marketing, information technology, security and other fields.

Also noteworthy are some recent articles from several publications associated with RIMS. Risk Management Monitor, the blog of Risk Management magazine, recently launched a series on the risks of social media by Jared Wade. Jared also wrote a cover story for Risk Management magazine called The New Wild West in October 2009.

Our main goal was to introduce the topic of social media – and all of its many risks – to an audience that may not be as familiar with this emerging threat as it should be. Companies and risk managers are always racing to keep up with the latest tech risks, but preventing viruses and securing databases is generally a responsibility for IT. Well, even though social media exists in the digital domain, many of its risks are old-world issues. There are real compliance, legal, reputational, privacy and intellectual property concerns in addition to all the IT exposures.

The first post of the series also includes a video of panel discussion on the risks and rewards of social media. I found the video, blog posts, and Jared’s October 2009 article very interesting and informative. I encourage you to check them out as well.

Feel free to share your impressions and ideas in the comments. Have a great week.

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On the risks of insurers ignoring social media

Jennifer Overhulse-King (@stnickmedia) recently wrote an interesting article for National Underwriter called “Ignoring Social Media Growth Can Be Dangerous.” It’s a great article, and I would encourage you to check it out. As I’ve noted in previous posts, Jennifer points out that “your employees and your policyholders are likely already participating on an individual level.”

I’ve included a few snippets from Jennifer’s article in this post. . .

Perhaps the most dangerous myth swirling around about social media is that it’s just a fad. As we all know, fads run a predictable course and then fade away.

Those insurance organizations buying into the myth of social media as a fad could easily be tempted to turn a blind eye and not invest time, energy and talent into finding valuable ways to use social media, or to resist adopting a definitive social media policy to regulate it. That could have serious consequences.

I particularly agree with this sentiment:

When your firm chooses not to participate in social media on a corporate level, you limit the organization’s ability to take advantage of positive situations—but more importantly, you limit your ability to head off potential disaster.

In other words, the implicit decision to ignore social media carries its own degree of risk—potentially greater than the perils of confronting social media head-on.

Jennifer also describes some basic steps companies can take toward putting a social media policy in place and notes that:

Developing a definitive social media policy can help protect your brand’s integrity and limit your company’s liability for online actions. Even though it won’t be an easy process, by utilizing a team approach you can build a comprehensive corporate social media policy.

Does your company have a social media policy?

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More on social media use within the enterprise

Earlier this year, Insurance Canada wrote a summary of an IDC study on social media use. I’ve been meaning to post it here. I thought it would be a nice follow-up to my previous post on the riskiness of social media with the enterprise.

One interesting quote:

“If you look deep into the social business movement you will see that we are on the brink of a fundamental change in the way businesses interact with customers, partners, suppliers, and employees,” said Michael Fauscette, group vice president, Software Business Strategies. “Businesses today fall into three camps – the social ‘denyer’, the accidental socialite, and the socially aware. Regardless of where a company falls in these categories, customers expectations of technologies and the way they interact with suppliers have changed, driven greatly by the social Web.”

The study also underscores the fact that social media is about much more than just marketing. The concept of web-based social networks will affect organizations at all levels, as the following statistic points out:

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Being social in the enterprise is risky, but can we turn downside up?

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the final week of the Olympic Games in Vancouver earlier this year. I had an amazing time there with my wife and a friend of ours. We had a chance to ski, take in several great events, and interact with the the warm, friendly people of British Columbia.

We ended up learning a lesson or two about British Columbia weather, however. We did everything we could, given our knowledge of the area, in advance to prepare. We brought waterproof ski pants, waterproof shoes, and other gear. We planned to wear our waterproof clothing to each event during the week because we knew there would be a high chance of rain and snow. Expectations were met.

Our efforts were rewarded all week until the final event, men’s parallel giant slalom snowboarding. We arrived at the event in pouring rain. I don’t think I can describe the intensity of the rain in words. We also had to walk about one mile through a six-inch slush. Snow had accumulated on the ground, and all the footprints became mini reservoirs that held the rain fall in place.

We finally got to the grand stands and found a seat, but the rain kept coming. I mean, it felt like we were under a waterfall. We weren’t worried, though. We were wearing waterproof clothing. And it was waterproof, until it wasn’t.

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A prediction market primer

If there is any one aspect of the Web 2.0 era that I find most fascinating, it is the idea that groups or “crowds” can collectively offer more intelligence about current and future events than individuals–even experts.

No one describes the power of a crowd’s decision making ability more eloquently than James Surowiecki in his book The Wisdom of Crowds. As Surowiecki’s examples illustrate, this concept is not new; rather, it is a natural consequence of human behavior.

One way that this concept is being put to use in real-world applications is through prediction markets (sometimes called decision markets). Prediction markets have tremendous potential as a forecasting tool in the enterprise or for any entity that wants to make use of its single greatest source of intelligence—the individuals sitting within its walls.

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A simpler way to keep up with the dynamic web

One of the biggest shifts in the movement from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 is reversal of the information-seeking process. In 1.0, people sought information. But more and more in 2.0, information finds people.

One of the best examples of a technology enabling this shift is something called RSS (really simple syndication). RSS icons can now be found all over the web. Based on interactions I’ve had with Web users at all levels, I find that RSS is still a concept only a small percentage of Web users understand. If you want to know the technical details and history of RSS, I’ll refer you to Wikipedia. I’m going to focus on how RSS can benefit you and really simplify how you experience the Web 2.0 era.

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