April 06, 2023

DDKS CEO, Dean Newton, Recognized by the Wichita Business Journal as an Innovator of the Year

Delta Dental of Kansas’ (DDKS) President & CEO, Dean Newton, has been named an Innovator of the Year by the Wichita Business Journal.

Under Dean’s leadership, the company has a successful track record of innovation, including introducing new products and services, transforming the company’s culture, creating innovative marketing campaigns, enhancing technology to improve operations and services and new and innovative sales strategies.

“We work hard to provide an innovative culture, dream big, and build trust in our employees” said Dean Newton, President & CEO of Delta Dental of Kansas. “I want to thank our amazing employees, it’s your accomplishments that led to this incredible recognition, so this award belongs to you!”

Dean has created a culture of innovation by following four key principles including:

  1. Define Success: The company works with employees regularly to develop clear, well-defined strategy and goals.

  2. Eliminate Innovation Killers: The company steers away from positional authority—the best ideas win regardless of title. Dean created a structure that eliminates bureaucracy (which stifles progress) and encourages open communication up, down and sideways. Hierarchical chains of command are innovation killers--often preventing the best ideas from bubbling to the top.

  3. Listen to Employees: The company regularly solicits employee feedback and created a culture where people are comfortable speaking their mind, thinking differently, trying new experiments and offering new ideas to dream the future together.

  4. Celebrate Success: The company regularly celebrates success, where everyone gives ideas, dreams big, strives for excellence and celebrates a shared future.

In addition to his work at DDKS, Dean serves in various community leadership roles. His service includes Board member for the Wichita and Greater Kansas City Chambers of Commerce, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, and the KU Health System. He also serves as a Guest Lecturer for the KU School of Business where he discusses leadership, culture, and innovation.

He has been recognized as nationally as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Executives in Insurance, Executive of the Year, Excellence in Healthcare, 50 Kansans You Should Know, YLS Lawyer of the Year and the Marshall Fellowship. Dean graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Kansas and received his law degree from NYU School of Law.


About Delta Dental of Kansas

Delta Dental of Kansas' mission is to expand healthcare access for everyone by offering affordable, consumer-focused benefits, reduced healthcare costs and exceptional service to employers and individuals. Our focus has led to an industry-leading 98%+ satisfaction rating among consumers, employers and brokers as measured by an independent third party.

The foundation of our success is our incredible employees who work hard every day to provide exceptional service to our stakeholders. We strive to provide a positive company culture through employee empowerment, transparent communication, encouraged collaboration, a focus on overall wellbeing, and connection opportunities. We have been recognized nationally and locally as a Best Places to Work, as National Company of the Year for insurance, as a No. 1 Healthiest Employer and Innovative Company of the Year.

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