Leveraging your practical and creative people in a crisis

Leveraging your practical and creative people in a crisis | Insurance Business

Leveraging your practical and creative people in a crisis

In a time of crisis, understanding your team and leveraging its strengths is vital for a large organisation trying to preserve its future.

According to one leader, a business will likely have an array of creative, practical and experienced people within its ranks, and utilising each of those skills in the right way will make a significant difference to how an organisation emerges. GB’s executive vice president Jon Winsbury says that in order to succeed, your most practical people should be put in charge of the ‘immediate response’ - but the creative people will need to innovate and think about the future.

“In a catastrophe environment, I usually put people into two categories,” Winsbury explained.

“Those who are pragmatic, the practical solution-finders and technical people who can create things quickly, and your creative people. They can see the future and think through what might be coming, and what we might have missed.

“I suggest segmenting your team and utilising those skillsets as well as possible.”

“I tend to have the pragmatic people who have been through this before doing the managing in terms of immediate response, and the creative people working on how we get out of this, what the forecasts looks like and how we need to change our business model,” he explained.

“Understanding your team and leveraging them is really important.”

Winsbury says there is also a lot of value in approaching the business ‘veterans’ who have experienced previous downturns, and asking them what your response might be missing. He says ‘reversing the pressure’ is also an important step in recovery - that is, ensuring you are reaching out to major clients rather than waiting for them to call on you for help.

“In any catastrophe environment, things tend to come in waves,” Winsbury said.

“Really efficient and effective brokers are in charge of their portfolio - they’re the ones making the phone calls, and in this environment, that’s really important.”

“Ask yourself and your team if you’ve reached out to major clients and spoken to them personally, and that’s not for a sales pitch,” he added.

“It’s ringing them and saying: ‘You’re affected by this as we all are, what can we do to assist you?’ That reverses the pressure, because rather than waiting and worrying about how clients react, you’re actually engaging with them and offering to be a problem solver.”