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Spotlight on… Mark Cameron

Mark Cameron, ex Head of Lean for Zurich Global Corporate EMEA, tells us all about his experience at Lloyd’s, the key for success in this industry and how asking ‘why?’ is the most important question.

  1. What is your role since leaving corporate life?

A mixture of working for myself and fixed term contracting – I am currently working with Mphasis. I am co-director of The Marketing Detective Agency, focused on helping businesses define a clear, actionable marketing strategy

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

3+ years! Almost since the beginning I think!

  1. Have you been a panel expert on any Road Tests?

I have been a panel expert at both of the Road Tests with Netcall. I really enjoyed how “up for the challenge” they are and how they can deliver something so tangible very quickly via low-code development. 
I was also on the panel for Emma3D, this was interesting! How to vision your organisation in 3D, watching how information flows across levels rather than via a standard 2D map.

  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 am a member of the Claims Think Tank, London Market Think Tank, and the Customer Experience and Transformation Think Tank. 

I enjoy being part of these groups very much! It gives us all a chance to delve into topics, share ideas and challenge the current thinking (the sessions are also a little bit longer than the standard Zoom networking breakout rooms). 

I love the way I am able to participate in these, despite not having expertise in a few of the subject areas – my alternative, non-technical views always seem listened to. 

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

Continuous improvement.

  1. Highest/proudest most recognisable previous role?

Head of Lean for Zurich Global Corporate EMEA

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

All my life! Since I was a child I have been asking my Mother ‘why? And I haven’t stopped – the only difference is that now I ask ‘why?’ to other people and I have given my mum a rest! 

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

Workday implementation in HR at Lloyd’s of London in 2020 was a great project I worked on.  I had always dreamt of working at Lloyd’s. I started as a continuous improvement expert and managed to move myself into a position in HR to help on this project. 

I worked with Accenture and EY, as well as some fabulous Lloyd’s staff. We had to find ways to adapt our current processes so that we could adopt ‘Workday’, which isn’t an easy task in such a complex company.

Asking ‘why?’ helped a lot, we always found a way and the project was successfully delivered on time.

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

I keep things simple, speak a language and use terms everyone understands so that we can all collaborate and contribute towards successful outcomes. Someone once said to me “working with you is easy”, I like to think that’s why.

I’m not an industry expert, I’m a
continuous improvement / Lean expert,
and I think we need to talk about
things less and listen more.
Mark Cameron
  1. Can you name one professional high point from the last 12 months and what made it so good?

Walking into the Lloyd’s building on my first day, through the reception and trading floors, I felt like a kid again, excited and scared about my first day at school.

I always said to my wife I’d never commute into London again unless I found somewhere I’d be proud to show a photo of to my mum, like a parent sharing a picture of their newborn. That’s exactly how I felt.

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

I’m not an industry expert, I’m a continuous improvement / Lean expert, and I think we need to talk about things less and listen more. 

What is the voice of the customer telling us? What is their customer experience like? And how do we compare to these expectations?

Other tech service providers have raised the bar, insurance seems to be sadly lagging. I don’t think we need to worry about Google providing insurance, we should worry more about Amazon providing a trading platform.

  1. Please describe a challenging work scenario and how you resolved it?

A continuous improvement expert walks into the Paris office of a French Chief Operating Officer (COO)/ Chief Claims Officer (CCO), and the first words he says is “I’m here to fix your problems”. The COO/CCO took this personally, “what do you mean, fix my problems? How do you know I even have any? I suggest you leave”.

Biggest problem I ever created, and then fixed, 10 years on and now working for different companies we still have regular catch ups.

  1. What should everyone be reading/listening to?

 A classic is The Goal by Eli Goldratt. It’s a very easy to read story about continuous improvement and bottlenecks.

Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn. I’m a running addict but I believe even running has become over-complicated. This book is about Finn, who moves to Kenya to learn how the Kenyans were so successful, and the answer was…they kept it simple.

I guarantee there’s many others thinking why but never asking – how will you ever learn if you don’t do this?
Mark Cameron
  1. Do you have any words of wisdom for us or a short phrase that sums up your ethos?

Don’t be afraid to keep things simple. People hide behind big words and technical phrases like an invisible cloak protecting them from people like me who ask ‘why? (a lot)’. 

I guarantee there’s many others thinking why but never asking – how will you ever learn if you don’t do this?

  1. Do you have a Favourite quote?

“Run fast, run alone, run far, run together” – (African proverb).

This quote sums up everything that was wrong with my life, and what is now the secret to my success.

  1. Any professional goals for the upcoming year?

I am working with Rakesh Krishnan, setting up a consultancy business – ‘MERU’, I’d love to see this become successful.  

I am excited about this for many reasons! I’m excited by the values of Rakesh, the word MERU (high point), and the logo (mountains) are all aligned very much to what I love.

Follow our LinkedIn page for updates later this year Meru Consulting Limited.

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

Because I care about the customer, I don’t get bogged down in technical stuff, the customer doesn’t care about that.

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

Customers are becoming more demanding; they want flexible products, quicker and cheaper – and the insurance world isn’t keeping up

  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 adds value not just to my business but to my life. 

I really appreciate the diversity of views, expertise and experience within the network, the stimulating discussions we have, the learnings I take away, and the support I get during harder times. 

I love the fact that I’m able to come up with some strange ideas and never feel I’m laughed at – people will see these ideas as opportunities and build on them, creating outcomes very quickly which I’m proud to say I’ve been part of.”

Mark Cameron

Further reading

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