Goal-setting and strategizing are year-round pursuits for most insurance executives. New Year’s resolutions are unnecessary when you’re already motivated by an unwavering drive toward continuous growth and improvement.
However, as we enter 2020 - a pivotal year for the insurance industry - sustainable success will hinge upon a steadfast commitment to grand transformation.
Why Insurers Don’t Rely on New Year’s Resolutions
The Vicious Cycle
January is commonly considered the month of resolve. A symbolic clean slate upon which to renew efforts of weight loss, debt reduction, and other seemingly elusive end-goals. Despite the fact that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by the second week of February, the remaining one-in-five chance of success is nevertheless enough to inspire hope en masse.
Enter the insurance executive.
The Executive Personality
It’s no secret that some personality types are more goal-oriented than others. On the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, executives frequently identify as ESTJ personalities (Extroversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging). These individuals are described as active organizers, logical, assertive, fact-minded, decisive, practical, results-oriented, analytical, systematic, concrete, critical, responsible, and take-charge.
For insurance executives, January 1st marks the beginning of a new year and a new quarter. A time to reflect and measure progress, and a convenient launching point for new company-wide initiatives. Rather than a catalyst for temporary inspiration, the new year is a strategic mile-marker in a much larger plan.
Not Your Average New Year
The “Roaring Twenties” 2.0
Not only are we embarking upon a new calendar and fiscal year, we’re stepping into an entirely new decade. The massive technological advancement and institutional reform that characterized the 2010s is now the starting point for the 2020s. And the momentum continues to grow at unprecedented speed.
This will be no ordinary decade.
The New Consumer
Until recently, customers gave their financial institutions a bit of wiggle-room in the digital development department. After all, how can one expect an Amazon-like experience from an insurance provider?
Tech-savvy market newcomers and well-established organizations have reset the bar for the entire industry. No longer exempt, insurers must meet modern digital demands to succeed in the twenties.
Not Your Average Resolution
In insurance, there's no room for whimsical, inspiration-based promises tied to an annual, passing event. However, in addition to your meticulously crafted competitive strategy for the upcoming year, this is also the time to look ahead at the next 5 or 10 years.
In 2020, we're on a completely new playing field. And the rules have changed.
The Insurer's Resolution
While an overnight renovation would be impossible, creating a realistic upgrade schedule is imperative for the long-term success of your organization. Here are a few ideas to kick off your digital strategy for the new decade.
1) Update Your Technology
- Audit your current technology and compare to market resources.
- Update processes that have the greatest impact on your internal operations as well as your customers.
- If a complete systems replacement is not currently feasible, choose flexible solutions that are designed to integrate with future upgrades.
2) Refresh Your Company Culture
- Update your company mission and values to reflect modern expectations and culture.
- Implement environmental initiatives and support causes that are important to your employees and community.
- Improve work-life balance through wellness programs, ample PTO, and flexible working options.
3) Prioritize the Customer Experience
- Invite feedback from your customer service team, as well as customers themselves to learn what areas of the business need the most work.
- Perform a competitive analysis on other successful companies - including insurance and non-insurance industries - to gauge modern consumer expectations.
- Implement digital engagement capabilities, allowing policyholders to choose their preferences from multiple options.
As you resolve to future-proof your business, begin with an agile digital strategy that prepares your organization for certain disruption and the consumer-driven revolution. The above resolutions simply offer a high-level starting point from which to dive deeper and create a plan that meets the needs of your own company and customers, now and into the future.
Wishing you, your team, and your company a Happy New Year, filled with much success and prosperity!
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