Yorck Reuber joined Allianz Malaysia as Chief Information Technology Officer in June 2020, during the pandemic’s first major global lockdown. Having built a career by working at companies like AXA, IBM, Verizon and T-Mobile, always internationally, he moved to Malaysia in 2018. What drew him to change jobs during such uncertain times? The answer is simple: the opportunity to make a difference. “I strongly felt that I wanted to work closer with customers and make a positive impact. Allianz provided me with the perfect chance to do just that.”
Holding a degree in Ships Engineering, it's safe to say that Reuber has an expert grasp on the technical aspect of his work. However, when asked what transferable skills he has brought to Allianz, he chooses to emphasise the importance of his approach to leadership and the dedication to “cultural change” that he has cultivated. “As a company, we may buy technology but the real impact is making a genuine change in the way people think and work,” Reuber explains. “My day-to-day role consists of working with the business on product development - determining which insurance offerings we want to bring to the market.” His perspective complements what is now a generally accepted truth regarding digital transformation, namely that it is as much about people as it is about systems or technology.
Interestingly, Reuber. “All companies say how important their customers are. Personally, I believe we can put much more focus on them. Insurers still develop products in isolation according to what they believe the customer might want, but are they really interacting closely with customers to find out what they really need? I believe not.”
This answer also hints at Reuber’s people-centric perspective on leadership: “Leadership works by considering diversity and inclusion and building trust. All three of these build a high-functioning team. The distinction should be ‘leadership,’ not just ‘management.’ That's a big change for older companies like those in insurance, but micromanagement is only really helpful during crisis situations. Instead, we have to get into the mindset of setting up our team and then trusting them.”
Therefore, as Allianz continues on its transformation journey, Reuber is determined to instill the digital mentality in its employees as the company pushes for further growth and superior market performance. “Digital is the future,” he poignantly concludes. “It's more than just buying hardware or software; it's changing the way people think and the way we cooperate with each other. At the end of the day, it's enabling Allianz to do things faster and closer to the customer than ever before.
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