Thread regarding State Farm Insurance layoffs

This is Why...

The implosion we see now is par for the course for a mature organization. State Farm has reached its pinnacle and is now following a classic pattern of organizational decline. They're trying to course correct, but as many others have said, haven't a clue how to do it.

For years, they've built up layers of hierarchy that have done nothing more than uphold the status quo...and that's fine when those processes/structures are working favorably toward expansion. But, when it's time to change direction, we're left with a bunch of people with titles (who I can't even call leaders) with no capacity to truly understand the core problems, much less be able to think creatively to solve them. They've been rewarded their entire CAREER for not causing problems, not taking risks, not making waves, not challenging, and not being independent thinkers. And now, they're going to miraculously become the intellectually curious, out of the box, visionary leaders we need? Sorry...not gonna happen.

I wish I could be more positive, but as someone who has spent 20 years trying to push change in a company that truly doesn't want to hear it, I'm done. Fortunately, I've kept up my skills, gotten a masters degree, and have plenty of non-insurance industry designations that will hopefully be a benefit somewhere else. My advice is to NOT let the dysfunction at State Farm make you feel like there is something wrong with you. It's not you...it's the systemic level of dysfunctional group think they've created. If you're smart, curious, believe in excellence, and your work demonstrates this...consider yourself a hero. Now, put on your superhero outfit, and fly on outta here. The future is bright!!

PS...if you're curious about the future of insurance/Systems...check out the company established by Allstate called Arity...pretty sure that's where we're headed.

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Heres a clue

Laying off 800 employees at one location and giving everyone a $1000 bonus, incentice merit bonuses AND raises!!!

And no one knows who gets to stay n who gets laid off

Bleeding red ink

Rome is burning and the little neroes are fiddling with their employees premiums

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There are Managers & Supervisors that attend meetings to go over what they will discuss in meetings. Waste of time. They are so out of touch with what an employee on the lines do and majority of them have no clue how to do a line job (CCC, CRC, BRC, ACC, BOC and any other crazy acronym I may have forgotten). It might help morale if they were required to get their b_tts on the phones and do some line work so many hours a week. I cannot tell you how often when someone asks to speak with a supervisor or manager they are actually passed off to a senior line worker OR a senior line worker has to first explain to the supervisor or manager how to handle and resolve the customer issue first. This happens in claims and the bank. There is a huge disconnect between managers, supervisors, and line workers.

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There are too many managers that have mindless meetings that don't add up to any work done. Some of these managers will keep their jobs (even felon drug offenders) just because they are in a "click". The good ones will either leave or be let go, a true shame.

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It’s not par for the course of a mature organization. It’s par for the course of an organization that DID NOT and DOES NOT know what the he** they are doing!

The only thing keeping SF in business is our investments. We are not profitable and haven’t been for some time.

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State Farm will do that to you.

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Someone's been hitting the egg nog.

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For those of you on the data side, Arity is hiring data people in Chicago. If you know something about State Farm's analytics, I imagine it might look good on a resume.

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While there are some very impressive things being done with AI these days (Google Deep Learning comes to mind), consulting firms have jumped on the bandwagon and are using the terms "AI" and "Machine Learning" to sell ideas that aren't even remotely realistic.

Beware any consulting firm (IBM, I'm looking at you) who comes in selling grand notions of Artificial Intelligence in a package that doesn't even function at the most rudimentary levels.

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I will say the OP is correct about Arity as a direction or vision. (In philosophy it’s a good vision, a great vision.)

However that vision will be nickel and dimed so tight to a point where it can NEVER be delivered. (Even big tech companies with 100x the budget still can’t get that right.) AI is a buzzword. It’s not magic. Programs sourcing input to other programs based on other programs who can provide statistically relevant information would be GREAT!!!! But the experimentation required would be soooooo far beyond what they want to fund it’s not even funny. Plus the initial gains will only be a fraction of the cost for years probably decades till the investment is recouped. Hence the nickel and dime failure. The ability to process all data that SF has to 400 orders of magnitude levels and permutations required simply does not exist with current technology… Or at least with the processing powers contained in existing and future data centers while knowing that they will still need to do other work like service the thousands of existing apps that make the place run today.

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I left because of "leadership" that seemed so afraid to foster a team with ideas. Ideas had to come down from the top and the top consisted of people who were the opposite of visionary. Leadership who just talk the talk and just trying to survive in their careers. Now that I've left the company I have a VP who is the definition of visionary, its an amazing difference.

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And for those who think things are going to get better, they're not. Technical teams are about to get dumped on managers who will live in constant fear for their jobs. Complete lack of any technical knowledge, coupled with all the problems mentioned in the OP, will create a very hostile work environment.

Time to jump.

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