In a complex and challenging area such as insurance, understanding contemporary viewpoints on a wide range of subjects is essential.
Leigh Ebzery, General Manager Underwritten and Distribution Workers Compensation for Allianz Australia, has gained a nuanced understanding of a range of subjects to support his knowledge of his field, the environment in which it operates and the emerging issues it is facing. He has achieved this in large part thanks to his studies with the AGSM @ UNSW Business School.
The insights Ebzery has gained during the AGSM Short Courses he has studied have allowed him to challenge ways of thinking in his field. His education is almost like a secret weapon he can rely on during turbulent times, such as the shift businesses are all facing away from fossil-fuel power to renewable energy sources.
“In Australia and globally, insurers are turning their mind to supporting organisations to transition to net zero, given most businesses now have very clear net zero targets to 2030 and 2050. We frequently talk about the insurer's role in supporting organisations through that period,” he says.
“It's not like you pull a switch and you become net zero. We are here to support all organisations from an insurance perspective.”.
AGSM’s Short Course on Harnessing Innovation for Growth is one of the programs Ebzery regularly turns to for insights into his work.
“It’s something I go back to when I’m looking at what’s impacting customers and their pain points. This helps me put myself in the customer’s shoes. Insurance is an enabler. We must have a deep understanding of the customer and their challenges to help them.”
With access to vast data banks, the insurance sector is uniquely equipped to draw insights about emerging risks. Their expertise benefits not only insurers, but all industries to develop a data-led response to these risks.
In recent years, workplace mental health has emerged as a key risk that, increasingly, the insurance sector is playing a leadership role in managing.
“This is a big one. There’s a growing prevalence of mental health issues in the workplace. Much of it involves burnout or workplace stress from bullying and harassment. But the law says employers have a responsibility to ensure their workplaces are safe, physically and mentally,” says Ebzery.
“Employees must have the ability to speak up and speak freely in the workplace and raise issues without fear of retribution. Making sure staff who work remotely are not feeling isolated or experiencing a lack of connection with the workplace should also be an area of focus,” he says
Ebzery says employees also now expect the environments in which they work to be free from psychological hazards.
“Employers must have programs in place to ensure their environments are safe. This is important because this is part of a potential new staff member’s decision around their preferred employer.”
Grasping the subtleties of all the issues facing businesses has been made easier thanks to the many courses Ebzery has completed at AGSM over many years.
“Learning is a cornerstone of my career, so investing in my development has always been a priority,” said Ebzery.
“AGSM’s programs are really contemporary, which I enjoy. I have been able to acquire different skills at different stages of my career and gained specific tools and knowledge across many different areas, including finance, customer service and data.
I've always found the programs to be flexible, which is really important for somebody who is busy with the demands of work and also trying to manage a personal life outside work.”
AGSM’s courses have equipped Ebzery with the tools and knowledge to face many different challenges within the work environment.
“They have given me really good insights around how we solve problems for customers. They have also helped me develop leadership skills. The opportunity to network with like-minded people from a range of industries has also been critical to my success,” he says.
As for the future, Ebzery plans to keep learning with AGSM @ UNSW Business School. This will stand him in good stead as he continues playing a leadership role in the insurance sector as it supports society to work through pressing challenges.
AGSM @ UNSW Business School has been developing Australia’s leaders for over 45 years. From our in-person and virtual short courses that run throughout the year for individuals and small teams, to our bespoke learning solutions designed for large public and private organisations, our purpose is to support you to face the challenges and realise the opportunities of 2023 and into the future.