4 ways to lead a brokerage through change
The insurance industry has undergone more changes in the past decade than at any other time in history. This includes changes in the technology used by brokers, carrier partners and customers to address the evolving health care needs of those living throughout the nation. The result is a continued evolution of the diverse benefits industry to prepare for any market fluctuations that lie ahead.
Case in point: The Affordable Care Act has shaken up what was once business as usual for insurers, brokers and general agents, along with individual and business customers. Acquisitions and attempted mergers by some of the biggest names in the insurance field have become the norm, while carriers are forging new partnerships that explore administrating and delivering care in new and innovative ways.
In this environment, it is essential that C-level executives and other company leaders understand how to best prepare and lead their organizations through change. After all, as entrepreneur Mark Sanborn, author of the best-selling book, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, states, “Success in life isn’t based on [the] ability to simply change. It is based on the executive’s ability to change faster than the competition, customers and business.” So, lack of preparation can result in being left behind.
Strategy to succeed
The organizations that will dominate their markets (and competition) will be those that adopt these strategies for success:
1) Remain focused – and purpose driven: It’s important, regardless of what is happening in Washington, D.C., or at the state level, that executives remain focused on the overall purpose-driven mission. If leaders lose focus, it becomes difficult to expect others in the larger organization to remain focused and on target.
2) Provide guidance – and take questions: Critical to a C-suite executive’s role is to provide guidance and direction to the overall team. Constant communication is key – lack of it is one reason why some leaders and organizations fail.
Also see: “The biggest benefit business moves of 2017.”
Setting aside time for questions, either on a daily or weekly basis, is an opportunity for leaders to provide feedback and mentoring on a one-on-one or small group basis. Not having an answer is OK – listening to what the team is concerned about or is experiencing challenges with is much more important.
3) Follow (but stay ahead of) legislation: There is a fair amount of legislative uncertainty when it comes to healthcare and insurance these days. Even if the ACA stays in place, there are proposals at the state level that could cause a seismic shift in our industry. Single-payer is back on the table again, which could cause more changes in the future. It’s important to follow local, regional and national legislation to best prepare for what comes next.
4) Share information: Keeping the leadership team and employees at every organization level informed and engaged is mandatory. Increased correspondence helps build better organizations. Like an athletic team must work together to win, it’s essential to communicate to help staff stay focused, engaged and working collaboratively to carry out and achieve the organizational vision and mission.
All industries face change. The most important thing is to not let it become overwhelming or distracting for organizations large and small.