Updated: Feb 2
Because incremental managers can only generate incremental change.
I got started in the worker's comp business in the mid-80s. So I've been around this rodeo more than a few times. We are amidst a significant change, which I've described in my prior blogs. Let's face it, not everyone will make it through, and there will be some new logos climbing up the workers' comp leader boards soon. But I can tell you a few things consistent with those who will make it through to thrive in the new world.
In this environment, incrementalism equates to a slow and painful death of your company and your career. Time is running out faster than you think. Based on what is being reported, you are wasting too much time worrying about too many priorities... and trust me, the end comes harder for the losers than they thought it would.
I've explained the situation in my previous blogs. Those who succeed will focus on the foundation of their business. They will identify how the market is shifting and how and why their ability to deliver value to their client is changing. And then, they will follow their gut and provide a management approach based on common sense that meets the current demand.
My question is simple and direct. Do you want to lose what you have spent the past 15, 20, or 30 years building? Or do you want to create a foundation for the next generation to drive your legacy into the future?
Who cares about the top 10 issues 500 people at some conference thought were going to be issues that must be faced in the next year. Most of those respondents were likely sales folks who spend more time talking to one another over a drink rather than tracking the qualified prospects they should be chasing.
Here's the critical point of all this... The market voice that will drive your business forward is that of the injured worker. They are the employees of the employers that pay your fees. Those employees are no longer willing to deal with substandard treatment by vendors. They are connected, they are a community, they have a voice, and they are increasingly being heard by the people who sign your checks. Those employees carry as much weight in their organization as your employees do in yours. Thus, you should pay attention to what they are saying about the service they are getting from your business, and respond with speed and urgency.
It's time you think differently about your current situation. It's time you create a new vision for your team. It's time you organize to free your employees from the 21st-century factory mentality they find themselves. There are tools today that can quickly eliminate the hundreds of outdated and disconnected procedures they must follow in their robotic jobs. This could be your lowest-risk, highest-return investment. What is stopping you from implementing such a change today?
Those old-school management controls keep your claims teams from discovering autonomy, mastery, and purpose as professionals. Those three qualities are the key elements the upcoming educated generation expects and demands to find in their jobs. If you desire to succeed, create an environment where your professional team can see, feel, and breathe the value they deliver to your primary market -- the injured workers.
This means you will need to break some glass. Kick down some doors. Change some rules. And call bullshit for what it is. It's the stuff that is killing your organization.
Now here's the best thing... it's not that expensive, nor does it need to take months/years to begin. Most of the beginning work involves housekeeping and redeploying existing resources. You achieve this by recognizing the current social/cultural shift has moved your cheese, and you need to find it. How does the new market identify and measure value from a claims organization? Trust me, it is most likely different than you will first assume. But you will likely find it quickly once you force yourself to ignore the nonsense distracting you today. This effort will also serve another primary objective most claims organizations face: identifying where you can trim costs and improve margins.
My companies have never sought to be the loudest or flashiest marketers. My goal has always been to help innovative leaders recognize an alternative direction that can offer newfound hope to resolving complex social, cultural, and management issues. To help them create a vision of success, not just follow an incremental path leading to only an incremental gain...
I've always found it best to keep things simple, measurable, and deliverable. Why? Because the simpler you begin, the less risk you have to assume and the quicker you can start. The more measurable you are, the easier it is to explain your gain and mobilize support for what you are building. Finally, the more broadly deliverable your strategies and systems are, the more broadly your vision will be accepted by the larger organization. This will allow you to advance your larger vision even more quickly.
Are you ready to create and lead your team with a vision? Or are you going to remain stuck on the path of the incrementalist? Before you make any decision, please check out some of the outcomes we've delivered for our clients. You can also listen to what one of our clients, a VP of Claims, reported about working with us as he discusses six short topics in 1-minute video clips. CLICK HERE
Thank you. I appreciate your time and attention. And please know my sincerest wish is for you to succeed in this ever-changing environment we are dealing with. Good luck.