– March 25, 2014
In Leadership: The Change Process In Claims Requires A Different Approach, I put forth the position that changing a claims organization needs a new brand of leadership skill that does not usually exist in the traditional claims organization. In Part 2 on Leadership: Developing a Strategic Transformation Team, I addressed how to break from existing management process to achieve effective strategic results. In the final installment, I discuss how challenges around leading change make it beneficial to bring in strategic support to help achieve the desired success.
Additional Challenges in Leading Transformational Change
Oftentimes, managers are too close to individual problems to have the necessary perspective to see what needs to be done to benefit the whole organization. As a result, many fail to achieve true Strategic Transformation.
There are three main reasons why building Strategic Transformation can be such a challenge:
- Lack of Independence – Management has political ties and history within an organization and are not always free to ask the sometimes difficult questions and make recommendations that are truly in the best interests of the organization.
- No Objectivity – Often companies are attached to their existing organizational and procedural structure. Despite very good intentions, it is human nature for individuals to get emotionally connected to a particular method of doing things. Management can be entrenched with emotional or political agendas as to how things are being done. Change requires an objective, fresh viewpoint–without worrying about what people in the organization might think about the results and how they are achieved.
- Limited Experience –Strategic Transformation requires a set of skills that combines project management with a strategic sense of determination. Managers have experience and skills on how to execute what has been done but lack the depth of knowledge to execute change that transforms their organization. Most claim managers come from a purely technical claims handling role and may lack experience addressing organizational problems, thus failing to grasp all the process concerns of their own operations.
Facilitated Strategic Transformation to Achieve Success
Bringing in an expert from outside the organization is one way to jump-start the Strategic Transformation process. Independent, objective experts can help facilitate the building of teams and focus the organization on successful, rapid implementations. In addition, the best facilitators will have specific capabilities in managing large scale project management, and insurance industry specific knowledge with proven methodologies in management. Such facilitators can:
- Identify Problems – Sometimes employees are too close to a problem inside an organization to identify them. Facilitated sessions can help draw out what many in the company already know but could not see.
- Supplement The Staff and Minimize Disruptions – Getting staff to focus on problems is difficult when the call of everyday business comes. Having a dedicated independent resource helps to balance those situations and ensure projects move forward on time and on budget. Delays can have disastrous effects down the chain and across other projects. Supplementing staff can help avoid these pit falls.
- Objectivity Allows 3rd Parties to Act as a Catalyst- Most employees resist change. Regardless, change is needed, and an independent may be brought in to “get the ball rolling.” In other words, the facilitator can do things without worrying about the corporate culture, employee morale or other issues that get in the way when an organization is trying to institute change. They can also be there as the independent voice to validate how the change will help improve the organization.
- Inject New Ideas – A fresh set of eyes can bring experiences from other transformation projects to inject new change ideas. At one time or another, most businesses need someone to administer “first aid” to get things rolling again.
The Time to Change is Now
In today’s market it is harder for insurance companies to distinguish themselves from competitors. For companies to gain an advantage, carriers must adapt to changing market conditions, embrace technology and further expand their use of data analytics. Moving rapidly to manage change requires new ways to manage multiple initiatives. Strategic Transformation is a method for meeting these challenges and ensuring that projects are rapidly deployed on time and on budget.
How Have You Tried to Move Your Organization Through the Change Proccess?