We work in an industry in desperate need of innovation. Thanks to forces beyond our control, transformation is already happening all around us – and to us. The unfortunate thing is that it was not driven by us, but rather by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and all its intended and unintended consequences.

For enterprising companies, however, there is still opportunity to take the reins, rather than being dragged behind the horse.

To better understand where to focus our attention, we must first consider that our definition of "client" will be altered over the next three to five years. Brokers will no longer target just employers; we'll work through them to advise employees. It's the most profound structural revolution ever to face the employee benefits sector. This is the territory that's ripe for innovation, because we have to rethink the way we do business, expand capabilities and modify how we staff our organizations, and reconfigure our approach to the marketplace. Right now, there's a lack of widespread investment in solutions that will support this sea change. But the opportunity is tremendous – neither employers nor employees can navigate our marketplace complexity without people and tools to do so. At this nexus, innovation will thrive.

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