A window on the future
A predictive model on relevant topics for the sector
The idea of the Unipol Group to create a Reputational & Emerging Risk Observatory was a response to the objective of adopting a strategic and proactive approach to the management of reputational and emerging risks, i.e. a holistic approach aimed at considering not just the risks but also the opportunities. This holistic approach aims to protect Group reputation and strategy, while contributing at the same time to the creation and strengthening of reputational assets and strategic positioning, generating a competitive advantage and anticipating future trends so as to seize new business opportunities.
As underlined by the principles of Integrated Reporting and Integrated Thinking, Group value creation embraces all business departments as a united entity, involving stakeholders and the external environment in a dynamic relationship.
The value of the Observatory is to promote “integrated thinking” both in the interpretation of the external environment, by analysing not only technological but also social, environmental and political changes and their interconnections, and in the analysis of the Company’s internal response that encompasses the various business areas and phases of the value chain.
For this purpose, the Observatory makes use of a consolidated predictive model based on the Meeting Point methodology, in collaboration with Ms. Egeria Di Nallo, former Head of the Sociology Department at the University of Bologna.
The Observatory guarantees the Group a window on the future, to be understood as openness to signs of change in the various aspects of the external context – i.e. social, technological, environmental, political and regulatory aspects – as well as the competitive environment, providing a 360-degree view of emerging trends in order to ensure adequate protection from related threats and, at the same time, seize new opportunities in advance.
In fact, it is more and more important for companies to anticipate changes because the speed of change has increased significantly. To quote the effective image given by the French philosopher Gaston Berger, founder of Foresight magazine:
“The faster a car goes, the farther its headlights must illuminate”.
Anticipating change is essential not only for the purpose of accurately predicting what the world of tomorrow will be like, but also for making informed decisions today, illuminating current action in light of future changes and preparing for the risks and opportunities of tomorrow.
The strategic value
The strategic value of the Observatory for the Group consists in providing a systematic and structured approach to the integration of external perspectives in the internal vision, in order to prevent self-reference. If indeed, on the one hand, it opens the Group up to the external context allowing it to rapidly identify any signs of change, on the other hand, it brings these trends closer the business of the insurance sector and the Group by specifying the impacts for each phase of the value chain and each functional area.
The Observatory is proposed as a tool for reflection and a stimulus for the various Group departments in identifying and preparing for the challenges of the external environment during strategic planning and subsequent monitoring, so as to provide responses increasingly in line with stakeholder needs and to develop and promote resilience.
The Observatory is the expression of a Group that continues to consolidate its prominent position on an international scale and that intends to play a leading role by anticipating and guiding the upcoming developments of future society.