Strategic Management for Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers: Positive Change for Sustained Excellence

Friday, October 29, 2010

Share Your Vision

Times are tough. To achieve the best results, everyone on your team has to be working together. But they can't read your mind. It's up to you to make sure that all employees know what your plan is and how they fit into it.

For sustained performance, you need employees that are committed to your vision, not just hunkered down doing what's required to get by. For this you need 'shared vision.' To commit to your success, employees must be able to commit to their own success. Creating a shared vision is all about understanding that people do things for their own reasons
Read more about sharing your vision here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Planning to Plan

How about some different perspective on the whole broad subject of planning?
For those of you who are less than enthusiastic about planning, you might relate to Mike Tyson, the boxer.  He said, "Everyone has a plan - until they get punched in the face."
I think that's exactly why Dwight Eisenhower said, "Plans are worthless, but planning is everything."   He went on to explain this seeming contradiction. "There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of 'emergency' is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning." What are you expecting if you are going in to a fight with Mike Tyson?
This from Tom Landry: "Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan."
Another football coach, Bear Bryant, said, "Have a plan. ...a plan for everything. A plan for practice, a plan for the game. A plan for being ahead, and a plan for being behind 20-0 at half, with your quarterback hurt and the phones dead, with it raining cats and dogs and no rain gear because the equipment man left it at home."
Bryant also said, "Follow the plan, and you'll be surprised how successful you can be. Most people don't have a plan. That's why it's easy to beat most folks."

And, finally, this from Henry David Thoreau. "In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had netter aim at something high." 

Do you have a solid plan for coming year and beyond? Let's have a conversation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Planning to Succeed

Let’s talk about what’s keeping you up at night.

We’re going into the fourth quarter and we’re not achieving any of the goals we set at the beginning of the year. Our plan was worthless. In this market and this economy, what good is planning anyway?”

This quote is fairly representative of what I'm hearing from many agents. There are really two parts to this question. First, when you plan, your efforts are never wasted. No plan, no matter how well it is developed, will ever work out exactly as conceived – even in a stable economy and a hard market. President Dwight Eisenhower said that plans are useless but that planning is everything. The planning process prepares you to meet challenges and find opportunities when things change. And things always change.
The hidden question here is what can you do when you’re not achieving your goals. It’s time to look at your plan again. It’s not too late to make adjustments to both your expectations and your results.
Identify two things you can do for rest of the year that will have a positive effect on your results. And do them!
If you need help with your planning or your results, let's talk. No strings and no charge. Call me or send an email.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Planning to Succeed

In spite of a tough economy and continued soft pricing, Investors Service Industry Scorecard reported that property/casualty insurance brokers were profitable in 2009. Further, those same brokers have maintained profitability into 2010, again, in spite of marginal or even negative organic growth.  How about your agency? Did you plan for a tough year? Are you exceeding your expectations, or struggling to stay even. As we move into the fourth quarter, are you clear about where you are and where you want to be?
Often, people fail because they lack the persistence to create new plans when plans fail. Your Strategic Plan should always be in a state of evaluation and adjustment. It’s not too late to make this a successful year. And 2011 is just around the corner.