Debbie Brackeen: CSAA Insurance

Every successful business needs a strategy, and every business will need to innovate to survive. Strategy, of course, sets out long-term direction and intentionality, while innovation, by definition deals with new things, which naturally can be disruptive. So how do you moderate the two? Which of them informs the other more, and how?

My guest today is Debbie Brackeen, who is perfectly, you might even say uniquely, placed to answer that question. As chief strategy and innovation officer at CSAA Insurance, her role seeks to find harmony between these two elements that – while not necessarily in opposition to each other – can certainly butt heads.

Brackeen’s prolific career has seen her wear many hats at some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world, and turning new ideas into reality has been a common thread throughout. We talk about what inspired her passion for innovation, how CSAA established its venture building strategy which has led to the success of ventures like its mobility insurance platform Mobilitas, how companies are running the risk of limiting themselves if they don’t use all the tools in the innovation toolbox, and much more.

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