At MarshBerry, there are compelling arguments for the virtues of building a sustainable growth engine that delivers consistent double-digit growth for stakeholders. While 25% of our readership begins, or continues this noble journey, far too many in leadership roles of independent insurance distribution will quickly rattle off a veritable cornucopia of reasons such as a lack of required time, strategies, assets or financial resources, for not taking the first steps of this endeavor.
Growing up, we make friends and find mentors to help us along the way. In business, we join associations and engage firms to help sherpa us through uncertain terrain until we eventually reach our goals. Partnering with someone to assess your growth acceleration plans may better prepare you to reach your intended outcomes faster and more predictably. A second set of eyes can help you avoid perils or amplify the vision of the mission. Ultimately, the strategies, key competencies and tactics you contemplated deploying to accelerate your firm’s growth should be both better understood and utilized by you and your team.
For some companies, growth acceleration is a critical, cultural underpinning. For others, finding the right guide to consistent double-digit growth is essential to the process. Regardless, consider these three keys to growth acceleration before you take another step forward.
The Courage to Execute. Based on MarshBerry data, firms that are the most successful at implementing growth accelerating strategies have one thing in common – the courage to execute. When taking on an initiative like growth acceleration, using a strongly connotative word like “execute” is both meaningful and intentional. How many times has a great plan failed because it was poorly executed by the talent in your firm? The courage to execute hinges on two critical components: clear communication surrounding the purpose of the goal(s); and the willingness of all stakeholders to be held accountable for their role in the initiative.
Accountability is Cultural. Neuroscientists agree that decisions are often made emotionally and then rationalize these same decisions intellectually. Hence, while using the term “accountability” possesses both negative and positive connotations, it provides tremendous value only when both the carrot and stick are expected outcomes to the participants. Clarity around self and team accountability needs to be addressed before moving any initiative forward. Only cultures that embrace the concept of “must management,” tasks that must get done tend to get done, can expect initiatives like growth acceleration to be achieved on a consistent and sustainable basis.
Constancy to Purpose. Ever work for a leader or manager who changes the focus every time they read a new sales or management book? We’ve all worked with the one-time superstar whose passion no longer shines bright. It’s sad to watch a key player relying on core competencies no longer mission critical to the role they have.
For example, after being notified of an Errors & Omissions claim for failure to provide coverage, leadership at a brokerage firm discussed how every commercial client at renewal must receive a quotation for that coverage. As each partnership option was explored, team members found reasons not to use that option. Finally, a firm principal exclaimed, “Will someone tell me what we CAN do to mitigate this exposure instead of bringing me all these cant’s?” Only when a team maintains a constancy to purpose (to both their customers and fellow stakeholders) can accountability be readily accepted – and its leadership have the courage to execute.
They say you’re only as good as your weakest link. Take stock, review the assets on your roster and have the courage to execute. You can’t expect your team to execute or remain accountable for their responsibilities if you and your culture do not practice accountability.
Some firms can honestly assess themselves. Others need someone by their side with different vantage points aimed at having a positive impact and purposeful intent to institutionalize best-in-class behavior. If you have questions about Today’s ViewPoint, or would like to learn more about how you can drive growth acceleration for your firm, email or call David Soforenko, Executive Vice President, at 440.220.4101.
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