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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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The A(I)-team

13 April 2017 | RICHARD PURCELL

Teamwork is important for us all to succeed at work. 
But what makes a team successful?

Richard-Purcell

Inclusivity is an imperative for firms to maintain a competitive advantage

Well, that’s not an easy question to answer. 

It is far easier to point to examples of unsuccessful teams. Paul Harwood holds up Wells Fargo as a firm where culture has ‘gone wrong’ due to incentivising the wrong behaviours (like mis-selling products) and not rewarding the right ones (such as reporting unethical behaviour). 

He argues that a robust commitment to professionalism and integrity can reduce cultural risks.

We also know that diverse and inclusive teams out-perform others. This month we hear from an illustrious panel, including Lord Hastings CBE and Angela Darlington, on how we can improve inclusivity in our workplace, reminding us that it’s imperative if businesses are to maintain a competitive advantage, not just a nice thing to have. Attracting and retaining a first-class, diverse team is important then. On the subject of recruitment, we are kicking off the process to find the next editor of The Actuary when my term ends later this year. Let us know if you would like the opportunity to work with and lead the dynamic and talented team that produces the magazine.

Looking to the future, we can’t really ignore the role technology will play in our teams either. Not when a third of UK workers are apparently at risk of being replaced by robots. Artificial intelligence may also replace a lot of what we currently do as actuaries, but Ben Pring says we should worry less about this, and instead focus our energies on how we use the extra time created to improve human and business performance. By working hard to improve diversity, maintain a professional culture and embrace the benefits of technology, we can create our own A(I)-teams that are fit for the future.


Richard Purcell

Editor, @richardpurcell