At MetLife, innovation means reinvention, our process for continuously reimagining how we create and deliver new forms of value for our customers, employees, and business partners.
MetLife is committed to transforming the insurance industry through innovation.
By engaging as many associates as possible in the creative process and building a safe environment for experimentation, we are able to tackle the real challenges confronting our global enterprise —providing breakthrough solutions for our businesses and customers.
MetLife Innovation Office (Met.IO)
MetLife Innovation Office was launched in 2011 with a mission to drive innovation across the global enterprise. Met.IO acts as a catalyst for transformational ideas, driving innovation more deeply into the DNA of MetLife. To accomplish this, they have developed a set of tools and programs for associates to leverage.
In 2020, our Innovation group became a part of MetLife’s Financial Wellness & Engagement team, thus forming a truly integrated team of problem-solvers focused on employee engagement and delivering financial wellness solutions to meet the employee needs of today and tomorrow.
MetLife has created an integrated innovation ecosystem designed to surface new ideas and rapidly move them to market to improve customer experiences, generate new sales approaches and new products, and improve internal processes. We have an environment of continuous learning that provides MetLife ‘first mover’ advantage in identifying and capitalizing on emerging trends.
- We invest in top venture capital firms (currently 20), allowing us to interact with the venture capital firms daily to identify the best ideas from all industrial sectors.
- We forge strategic partnerships with leading tech companies such as Cisco, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Dell, AT&T, Guidewire, and others.
- We collaborate with universities such as Carnegie Mellon, UNC Chapel Hill, and, more recently, MIT’s Media Lab.
- We take a direct investment stake in startups via MetLife Digital Ventures.
- We identify and mentor startups in our MetLife Digital Accelerator powered by Techstars.
- More than 18,000 employees participate in our internal crowdsourcing ideation platform
MetHacks: Enhancing pet ownership
MetLife acquired PetFirst Healthcare in early 2020, which enjoys a strong track record of delivering outstanding service and maintaining trust through its emphasis on community and support of local humane societies and shelters. The pet insurance market is vast, and there is growing customer need, with two of every three households in the U.S. reporting having a pet and veterinary costs rising 22% annually. Two innovation challenges were run in 2020 asking employees to help differentiate the pet parent experience:
- 68 summer interns (rising university juniors and seniors) participated in the MetLife Technical University (MTU) program Intern Innovation Challenge whereby they developed Minimal Viable Products (MVPs) that showcased how technology can help MetLife become the partner of choice among U.S. Animal Welfare organizations. In June, the intern teams collaborated in a one-day facilitated innovation workshop using ideation techniques, like visualizing the future and storyboarding, to create an initial concept they further developed into prototypes over the course of 8 weeks. In July, the 12 innovation challenge teams presented virtually to a panel of judges, managers, mentors, coaches, and peers. The top three winning teams were selected to present their concepts to senior leadership for consumption, feedback, and experimentation.
- In October 2020, MetLife held a company-wide hackathon for employees to crowdsource solutions to help the new acquisition become the #1 provider of group pet insurance by 2025, through increased market share and customer persistency. MetLife associates from across the globe and diverse business functions participated in the business challenge as hackers or in supporting roles such as coaches and judges. As a result, 58 MetHacks solutions were developed ranging from business proposals, mobile & web applications, analytical models, chatbots and more. Winners were selected and multiple solutions are undergoing testing and further research.