I was recently invited to sit on a panel with two talented designers and innovators; Jason Crane of Tricky Jigsaw and Steve Brown of UsTwo at Academy Xi to discuss ‘Design for Innovation: How design helps the world’s largest companies innovate’. It was a pleasure to share the progress we’re making at MetLife Australia, using design methods to better understand our customer journey to define a customer-centric future experience through collaboration with our business partners and their customers.

We discussed the design tools being adopted by large organisations to accelerate innovation such as customer-centred design and agile. At MetLife, we have a global Customer Experience Community of Practice which provides a framework for undertaking design projects to understand our various customer journeys, create new solutions through design thinking workshops, and continuously iterate and validate through test and learn activity.

The audience questioned the role of design in large organisations, especially in the wake of the Royal Commission. At MetLife, we are committed to leading change in the industry by obtaining an in-depth understanding of our customers’ needs and aligning our internal operations to meet them.

The panel debated the challenges and limitations of design approaches in business, including the difficulty in maintaining change, transforming services and implementing even the most exceptional idea. At MetLife Australia, we consider the supporting structures to overcome this, for example, by ensuring the employee experience, culture and metrics are aligned to the desired customer outcome and that there are customer and financial metrics in place to track effectiveness and incorporate feedback to enable continuous improvement.

Finally, we discussed what the future of design might look like, especially with the increased availability of technology and data to help us understand our customers’ needs faster than ever before. The panel agreed that there’s an increased focus on long-term value creation and the consideration of sustainability in design. Global design firm IDEO has partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to publish the next generation of human-centred design, Circular Design which provides tools anyone can reference to help innovate with a long-term, cyclical mindset.  

As the design capability at MetLife Australia continues to grow, we’re excited to share with you more examples of how we are innovating our service to be the fastest, easiest and most caring life insurer.

Frances McClelland
Customer Experience Designer