Ben Singer, Innovation Design Strategist at Humana, shares how he’s helped teams across the company embrace experimentation and overcome the challenges that innovators face at large organizations.
Humana is a $37 billion health insurance company with over 13 million customers in the United States. In an effort to become more consumer-centric, the company has committed to incorporating experimentation into its culture. However, running experiments at such a large organization, and in a highly regulated industry, is a daunting task. That’s where Ben Singer comes in.
When Ben began at Humana three years ago, there were only a few teams at the company that ran experiments on a regular basis. Most teams were jumping from a business challenge to a solution without examining the user need. Ben and his team created an educational program to give people better tools for building products and confidence to use them.
Teams at Humana had difficulty conducting user research because of federal regulations in the healthcare industry and the need for consumer safety. In addition, results at the company are tracked according to the calendar year, so everyone is always busy and in a rush. The combination of these two factors means that it seems about as expensive and time-consuming to test and iterate as it is to run a large scale market research study or launch a full-fledged product.
Ben turned to Alpha to make it quicker and easier for teams to get objective user insights and align to the actual wants and needs of the market. Teams can now reach users that they couldn’t previously reach because of medical confidentiality and other privacy concerns. They can now run experiments with people with specific medical histories and conditions, demographic criteria, and even geographies, without having to go through a months-long bureaucratic process.
You’ll learn a lot from this episode about experimentation, learning and development, and making organizational change.
Here are the highlights:
- How Ben started innovation education programming at Humana (4:50)
- How to cut through the red tape that inhibits innovation at large organizations (14:35)
- How Ben combines experimentation with market research (19:22)
- Ben discusses his plans for continuing to scale experimentation at Humana (22:07)