The THiNK Blog

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Nick Durie


Recent Posts

3 Ways to Re-energize Your Underwriting Team

Jul 4, 2018 11:16:00 AM / by Nick Durie posted in underwriting training

Has your team ever experienced a lull in energy? You know, that feeling of 'something' (whether it is motivation, inspiration or drive) just isn't present. And unfortunately is probably impacting team productivity or happiness. If you can relate, not to worry, it happens to the best of us. The good thing is, once you've hit this lull, the only way to go is up.

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7 Major Trends In Online Learning: How Does Our Program Stack Up?

Jun 27, 2018 11:15:00 AM / by Nick Durie posted in Training, E-Learning / Training


In a recent article posted on HRM Canada, Koreen Pagano, the Product Management Director at D2L identified “seven major trends dictating the online learning space”.  Naturally, we were intrigued not only to learn, but to shamelessly see how our Underwriting Training Program  stacked up !

Before we delve into the seven online learning trends and rate ourselves (shamelessly, remember), it’s important to consider what type of learning we are discussing. Usually when we think of learning, we harken back to grade school (awkward), high school (totally not awkward acid-washed jeans), or post-secondary (Frisbee in the quad!!).

This type of learning is fundamentally the same as it’s been for 3000 years - the “sage on the stage” model. One expert/teacher/professor lecturing to students. The benefits of this style are well documented (it’s been around for over 3000 years for a reason!!), but it’s important to note how vastly different learning experiences have become with the advent of modern technology. In fact, most would argue we don’t even truly know how we all learn online given how relatively new we are to it.

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How Behavioral Metrics Can Help You Build the Ultimate Team of Life Underwriters

Apr 23, 2018 7:32:28 PM / by Nick Durie posted in Life Underwriting

Building your ideal team of life underwriters can be intimidating but with the right tools and partners who understand the unique considerations of the industry, it becomes a lot easier. Straightforward yet powerful tools like behavioral metrics are available for managers who are looking to support their team’s career development at the individual level while driving progress toward broader organizational goals. Behavioral metrics also offer actionable insights that can be leveraged to turn your ‘gut feeling’ during hiring or ‘best guess’ in leadership approaches into strategic decision-making and planning that is backed by data about your team members’ motivations, stressors, and communication styles.

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How to Detect Knowledge Gaps in Your Life Underwriting Team

Oct 23, 2017 5:58:04 PM / by Nick Durie

Winter is here its time to tighten the bootstraps. I mean that both literally and figuratively.

Literally because if you live in the northern hemisphere, you know what’s coming. And figuratively, if you’re a Life Underwriting Manager, the combined pressure to finish year end strong and plan for the following year is always an uber-laid back and relaxing time.

Just kidding, of course. This sprint to the end of the year is always fraught with balancing competing priorities and business pressures including:

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How Low Stakes Activities Result in High-Impact Learning for Underwriters

Jun 27, 2017 3:11:29 PM / by Nick Durie posted in Underwriting, E-Learning / Training

At a recent talk I did at the CIU in Ottawa (How’s Bragging Camp? It’s going very well, thank you), my goal was to illustrate that when training is complete for a new underwriting hire, it does not mark the end of learning. Does an existing or seasoned underwriter require less knowledge acquisition or skills training once on the job? Of course not! With changes in medical advances, industry policy changes, and new products on the market, the very nature of the underwriting profession requires learning to be ongoing. Unfortunately there are some challenges and barriers that get in the way. However, as you'll discover by the end of this article, you can create high impact learning experiences by implementing low stakes activities. Let's first explore the challenges... 

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How do I get my first job without having experience?

Dec 6, 2016 10:04:00 AM / by Nick Durie posted in Underwriting

Does the meme below hit a little too close to home for you? It is perhaps the most Catch-22 reality out there. This meme has gone viral online, which means it is still something millennials relate to when entering the workforce. So how exactly are you supposed to break into your first career and solve this seemingly unsolvable roadblock? Find out below.

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Building Competencies. Why The Underwriting Training Program is an Attractive Opportunity for New Students.

Nov 18, 2016 3:22:33 PM / by Nick Durie posted in Underwriting

Specialization. It’s a term that both excites and sparks curiosity in students, recent graduates, or those considering a career change. In an ever-increasing competitive job market, simply graduating with a certificate/diploma/degree alongside a pool of similar graduates, how do you stand out and show an employer how valuable you are? How do you prove to someone you are capable, employable, and a worthy investment? To do so effectively, you would have to take it a few steps further, by building your Competency. The underwriting industry offers the chance to do exactly that and I’ll explain why below.

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What’s so funny about learning to become an Underwriter?

Aug 25, 2016 4:46:23 PM / by Nick Durie posted in Underwriting, E-Learning / Training

I will freely admit; I wrote that title before I even started writing this post. I know, that’s the opposite way of doing things, but I was really excited because I was given the opportunity to try and write a blog post that combines my work with my other passion. By day, I am an E-Learning Product Manager, responsible for ensuring the best, most successful learning experience for students of LOGiQ3’s online Underwriting Training Program. By night, I am an amateur stand-up comic, performing mostly at open mics while I hone that very difficult art, mostly in front of few audience members.

I was excited to try and draw parallels between the two - some quips about the nature of Underwriters; clever puns on the insurance industry (I hate puns); maybe even a self-deprecating take on my job.

But the truth is, there is nothing funny about learning to become an Underwriter. It’s serious work, which demands attention, focus, and energy. 

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