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Spotlight on… Harvey Wade

Harvey Wade is a long-standing member of The Camelot Network and leader of the Innovation Think Tank.

Harvey has over 25 years of business experience and is ‘delivering impact through innovation’.

With 20+ years industry Read Harvey’s Member Spotlight here…

  1. What is your role since leaving corporate life?

Previously, I was Ex-Innovation Lead at Allianz & Cisco, now I am Founder and Managing Director of Innovate21

  1. How long have you been a member of Camelot?

Two and a half years.

  1. Have you been an expert on any Road Test panels? If so, which & can you remember what the themes were & how you enjoyed helping them?

Yes! LogicLayer’s Road Test. It was fascinating to get insight into a new concept and how the feedback really helped the organisation understand their next steps.

  1. Are you a leader or a member of a Think Tank? If so, why and what do you get out of it? Or hope the industry gets out of it?

I lead the Innovation Think Tank, a diverse group of experts who have a passion for making innovation successful in the insurance industry. 

Our Think Tank has researched the state of innovation in the industry, run a live event, and have recently started to invite insurance innovation execs to focus on their challenges.

  1. Area of expertise (in 1 or 2 words)?  

Strategic Innovation

  1. Highest/proudest most recognisable previous role?

Innovation Lead at Allianz, and then Cisco

  1. How long have you been doing this subject/area?

Insurance for the first 10 years, and then innovation for the last 15 years

  1. Please can you provide some examples of recent projects that you’ve worked on?

My company, Innovate21, works across many industries, not just insurance. We are currently enabling the World Health Organization to build innovative capabilities, coaching and training their internal innovators, leading to a pitch event hosted by the WHO’s Director General.

We partnered with a Water Utility to review their current innovation performance using our unique diagnostic and identified key ways to improve the impact from their innovation program and activities.

With our new WFH world, we run many virtual workshops. We recently designed and ran an on-line idea hackathon for a technology company. 50 people, 9 teams, 5 problems to solve; lots of fun!

Another fun project was making a podcast series on workplace innovation for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) to increase their members’ understanding of innovation. Learned lots about echo, production and getting used to the sound of my voice!

  1. What is your unique selling point? What makes your business approach unique?

Our purpose is to make innovation better. Our approach to innovation is strategically practical, enabling businesses and organisations to embed innovation within their plans and strategies, to help them deliver clear and consistent results.

  1. Can you name one professional high point from the last 12 months and what made it so good?

Working with the WHO during this current time has been rewarding and fascinating. It’s fabulous to help such a crucial organisation innovate at such a crucial time. I am very privileged to get involved with some fantastic organisations to help them make the world better.

  1. We need to talk about…? What is, or what should be, hot on the industry’s lips in your view?

I believe that insurance will always be needed in some form, however, I do not believe that all the current incumbents are needed. 

The insurance industry needs to look beyond the insurance boundaries to see what is coming (big tech) and what insurance needs to be in the future. Too many focus on solving today’s problems and not enough time exploring the future.

  1. Please describe a challenging work scenario (no names) and how you resolved it?

Innovation is always challenging because it’s never been done before. If it was easy no one would need my services! 

The biggest challenge over the last year has been moving to a virtual experience – it’s been a big learning experience for clients and myself. The virtual world actually allows us to do some very interesting activities that are just not possible in-person…having said that, it will be great to be face-to-face soon!

  1. What should everyone be reading/listening to?

I love the book “Be Less Zombie” by Elvin Turner. I’ve worked with Elvin for many years; his book nails why and, more importantly, how organisations can change.

  1. Do you have any words of wisdom for us or a short phrase that sums up your ethos?

Always ask why, stay curious and don’t be afraid of the unknown.

  1. Do you have a favourite quote?

“Fall in love with the problem, not your solution” – Ash Maurya

  1. Any professional goals for the upcoming year?

More clients, more innovation, more exploration!

  1. Why are you such an asset to the industry & the network?

There are not many people who understand insurance, have an experience of many diverse industries, know how to enable organisations to innovate and can enable leaders to create the environment needed for innovation.

  1. Why does your area of expertise need to be spotlighted?

There’s never been a more urgent time for innovation…

  1. Any stats/results to show off your proud moments?

If you’re into podcasts, you can check out the mini-series series here:  Love to know what people think!

  1. Most importantly, what are 2 or 3 tips or giveaways that you can give to 1 or more of the following types of businesses

Solution providers to the insurance industries – be clear on the problem that you are solving and why it needs to be solved. Being clear on the outcome created as a result makes it easier to buy-in.

Insurance businesses – startup/scale ups – insurance needs you more than ever. Keep pushing the boundaries to create better customer experiences.

Insurance businesses – established – don’t get comfortable, spend at least 50% of your time exploring what the future could be and then invest in that future. Can the Camelot Innovation Think Tank help you explore that future?

Other consultants – be clear on your “why” – your clear value proposition to your target customers. Having that clear purpose makes you more interesting and stand out.

  1. And… Last but not least, how does being a member of The Camelot Network help you/or add value to your business?

The Camelot Network keeps me focused and connected to the insurance world. The connections are very valuable and the breadth of knowledge and experience is incredible

Harvey Wade

Further reading

To find out more about our members and how we can create your perfect solution, contact David Clamp: