As Chief Innovation Officer at Humana, Chris Kay says innovation begins when you truly understand your customer.
His passion for anticipating consumer needs began while he was working in the retail sector.
“I’ve always been curious by nature,” explained Kay. “As an M&A lawyer who moved into a retail career, I was interested in understanding how Target had such deep insights about what customers would shop for. It was then I started to dig into unmet consumer needs. If you’re a retailer who wants to deliver value to consumers, you really have to understand them. You have to know them and know what their needs are."
Kay’s career has focused on efforts to simplify people’s lives and improve the customer experience.
Before he joined Humana, Kay pioneered efforts to streamline the retail banking experience as CEO of Citi Ventures. He graduated magna cum laude with a J.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in French and economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Kay now designs products and services for Louisville-based insurer Humana to help improve people’s health and reduce costs of healthcare.
“Fundamentally, disruptive innovation is rooted in new customer experience or in meeting an unmet customer need,” said Kay. “Studies show 90 percent of the dollars spent on innovation are spent on process, systems and product innovation, but they only create 10 percent of the value. The 10 percent of innovation investment in new customer experiences and unmet consumer needs results in 90 percent of the value. That’s business model innovation.”