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Innovation Research Advisor in Lansing, MI at AF Group

Date Posted: 6/26/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description


This role is responsible for proactive identification and assessment of new business value through seeing beyond the way business is currently conducted, and identifying opportunities to create value in adjacent areas. You will deliver both tactical and strategic research to accelerate insights into emerging business models, products, and technologies which will enable Innovation to rapidly deliver capabilities for our customers.

You will be responsible for developing and carrying out AF Groups proactive market intelligence, competitive Intelligence, and Emerging Trend research activities. The role includes but is not limited to proactive research, exploration, and implementation of new business models, product innovation, go to market strategies and internal initiatives within the innovation department at AF Group. You will leverage internal and external data, develop reports to convert into actionable insights, while providing solutions to meet the needs of our customers and distribution partners. You will play a key role in the discovery and implementation of new revenue generating opportunities in support of profitable growth for the enterprise.

Your research will help identify market opportunities through strong alignment with AF Groups core value proposition. This role will operate in close collaboration with a variety of stakeholders across the enterprise, as well as external partners. This role will help to define the focus of innovation efforts to determine the best fit for the organization. Through the proactive research, you will help Innovation stay current on late breaking trends within the insurance industry identifying threats, opportunities, and impending business model disruption. Exercise broad discretion and judgment in the acquisition and dissemination of such information. Push the limits of the business and our engagement with customers by thinking out of the box and challenging the business norm.


  • Design, develop and perform the proactive research agenda of Innovation based on key priorities identified by leadership.
  • Identify research partners, tools, and frameworks to engage, define key priority research questions, identify new product opportunities based on research framework employed.
  • Design shared research frameworks for use by Innovation, Strategy, and the broader enterprise.
  • Write research reports and take lead on identifying opportunities to operationalize with AF Group.
  • Build profile and thought leadership of Innovation at AF Group through writing and ensuring relevant research is represented in key industry forums for distribution.
  • Drive overall business impact through conducted research, and collaboration across the enterprise.
  • Gradually grow the research and emerging trend analysis/portfolio and capabilities of AF Group
  • Align and engage executive leadership on innovation activities that may impact their brand
  • Manage the selection, maintenance and evaluation of new business models and revenue generating opportunities to determine the best fit for the organization, currently and strategically.
  • Develop and maintain relevant procedures and protocols for establishing new businesses and investments.
  • Participate in developing department goals, objectives, processes, procedures, and systems.
  • Serve as a member of any relevant advisory groups providing project guidance and innovation updates.
  • Work with minimum supervision and exercise sufficient discretion and independent judgment.
  • Maintain confidentiality of innovation research and work efforts.

    This position description identifies the responsibilities and tasks typically associated with the performance of the position. Other relevant essential functions may be required.




    Bachelor's Degree in insurance, business, finance, or related field required. Masters degree preferred. Combination of relevant education and experience may be considered in lieu of a degree. Continuous learning, as defined by the Company's learning philosophy, is required. Certification or progress toward certification is highly preferred and encouraged.


    Minimum seven years of progressive multi-faceted experience in research, evaluating and planning strategies to solve management and business problems, including researching and developing P&C products, operational and strategic plans. Four years proven innovation and/or proactive Insurance product development experience. Experience in a property casualty underwriting, product management, or business development role highly desirable.


  • Experience in Insurance product management, development, and identifying and creating new products, go to markets and business model opportunities.
  • Experience in Insurance, InsurTech or Consulting, providing thought leadership and high-quality research and analysis and, presenting findings and recommendations to key stakeholders.
  • Experience in Innovation, commissioning and managing contracts with third party researchers.
  • Ability to organize, analyze and interpret financial and management data to solve business problems.
  • Demonstrated experience developing business, operational and strategic plans.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with others at all levels of the organization, to build alignment and get decisions implemented.
  • Superior written, oral and interpersonal communication, including strong presentation, briefing reports, and delivery skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand business needs and conceptualize and implement processes and products that support those business strategies across multiple entities.
  • Track record of successful research report creation as well as peer-reviewed research in Insurance or a related field highly desirable.
  • Evaluates the costs and benefits of market opportunities and Innovation Initiatives.
  • Demonstrated ability to comprehend the consequences of various problem situations and seek creative and innovative new solutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a team in the research, planning, development and implementation of innovation projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively exchange information clearly and concisely, and present ideas, report facts and other information, and respond to questions as appropriate.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish rapport and maintain customer satisfaction without compromising priorities.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities.
  • Thorough knowledge of project management principles and practices, including planning and coordination, with the ability to complete strategic projects involving multiple resources and entities.
  • Ability to effectively interact with senior executive leadership, innovation team members and brand planning resources.
  • Ability to effectively manage and facilitate multi-functional employee teams that may not be direct reports.
  • Ability to establish workflows, manages multiple projects, and meets necessary deadlines.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Ability to perform other assignments at locations outside the office.


    Work is performed in an office setting with no unusual hazards. Regular travel is required to visit with the brands and to attend conferences or seminars. Travel volume may fluctuate depending upon the individual project or urgency of the deliverable. At a minimum, the employee can expect to be traveling at least once a quarter for no longer than a week at a time.

    The qualifications listed above are intended to represent the minimum education, experience, skills, knowledge and ability levels associated with performing the duties and responsibilities contained in this job description.

    We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. Diversity is valued and we will not tolerate discrimination or harassment in any form. Candidates for the position stated above are hired on an "at will" basis. Nothing herein is intended to create a contract.

    Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Protected Veterans/Disabled

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