What does it take – and what do you do – to lead in the New Normal? PeopleStory spoke with Trevor Davis, vastly experienced Managing Director, COO and CEO who has led transformation at major international insurance and technology corporations – and now the global insurance software platform, INSTANDA.
In this fascinating blog, Trevor reveals the main imperatives that need addressing at this time of deep change…
“Organisations large and small, well-established or starting-up are only just beginning to emerge from the impacts of the lock down. This is giving rise to a number of key challenges for businesses and leaders, but at a simple level they can be boiled down to a limited set of priority areas:
- What do I need to do to get my business up and running again safely for my employees and customers?
- What immediate actions do I need to take to maintain financial viability for my business?
- Does the Covid experience present new opportunities to:
– Give better value and solutions to my customers, including attracting new markets?
– Enable my business to be more digital and thereby improve my efficiency and reduce costs?
- What does the future shape of my business need to look like both in the short term and over the coming 12-36 months?
Whilst it is very difficult to predict exactly what direction the economy will take over the coming months, it is critical to lead on all these points and to have open dialogue with your workforce and clients.
Having worked in large corporates and now as a director with INSTANDA leading rapid growth for our digital InsureTech platform, it’s clear that leadership now is more important than ever and ‘how’ you operate is as important as what you do.
LEADERSHIP NOW IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER AND HOW YOU OPERATE IS AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU DO.
In addition to addressing the key business priorities, the challenges we face give an opportunity to look at how we lead and the teams we put in place. There are a number of areas to work through:
Communication. This is not a “HR Thing” but needs to come from the top, addressing employee health and return to work;
and leading directly to communicate difficult messages and make what could be difficult decisions.
Team. Is your team fit for purpose going forward? Do you have the capability to address the “new norm” of digital in terms of communication, customer service, operations and IT? Think about adding capability to your team, your board and practical expertise from external advisors.
Capability. Traditionally this would be a strategy over several months, but do you have the luxury of time to do that? Are there obvious areas you can automate quickly and cheaply with partners and partnered solutions? Do you need to upskill your teams to deliver such changes? And do you understand your existing skillsets, giving you the ability to identify key people throughout the organisation who could be upskilled and even add value by helping you identify the optimum changes?
Starting out. You, your Channel and Product leads, Marketing, Ops and Finance all have a good understanding of where the challenges have been and where clients have given feedback (good and bad) during this time. Look to prioritise these against the following criteria:
- An opportunity to improve customer service
- An opportunity to improve efficiency and remove cost
- Areas where you can leverage your core systems/processes and skills with partners.
THE WINNERS WILL BE THOSE WHO LEAD FROM THE FRONT AND TACKLE THE BUSINESS NEEDS, CLIENT NEEDS AND EMPLOYEE NEEDS IN TANDEM.
Do & Learn. Traditionally our culture, processes, structures and IT systems mean we take an elongated approach to making changes. Assuming you know your business and key priority areas – and can enhance your leadership and delivery capability – you should look to faster timeframes for making change:
- Focus on key areas only; discard nice to have programmes
- Put your best people on it from across the business
- Personally lead
- Find solutions that can work and have been used elsewhere – partners and advisors will help here
- Select based on POC’s rather than paper RFI’s and presentations.
And finally, in every challenging time there are Winners and Losers. The winners will be those who lead from the front and tackle the business needs, client needs and employee needs in tandem.
Trevor Davis, Managing Director
Life & Health, INSTANDA
Thank you Trevor for those valuable insights into responding to the current challenges. If you would like to enhance your skills and expertise to meet your own organisational challenges, find out more about our Managing, Leading and Landing Change, Leadership Development, Talent Development and Proposition Development workshops.