Mission-Driven Management: Don’t Trust Autopilot

May 31, 2018 / by ReSource Pro Editorial Team

 

Today we’re going to walk you through the steps that will turn off autopilot and put you behind the wheel, allowing you to become a driving force in your organization’s success.

How does your insurance organization align itself and move toward more effective mission-driven management? Let’s remind ourselves why this is so important: it enables businesses to achieve their goals and, ultimately, fulfill their defined mission and vision. With this strategy, everyone wins!

 

STEP #1 – DEFINE YOUR MISSION AND VISION (and what the difference is)

While this seems simple, it usually isn’t. It often doesn’t get done, and even if it does, it’s not done well…likely because it isn’t that easy. Generally speaking, your mission is your organization’s reason for existence, and your vision is the future state of what that would look like if you fulfill your mission consistently..

In order to achieve your mission, you’ll need to understand what the critical success factors are – what is imperative to ensure your mission is actionable?

Our fictitious company, Southwest Retail Brokers, has defined their mission to “Become the largest retail broker in the Southwest, known for deep insurance expertise and for providing an extraordinary customer experience.” Now that they know what they’re working towards, they need to have a clear understanding of the critical success factors to achieve this.

 

STEP #2 – IDENTIFY CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS

Here’s where you’ll identify the areas that are critical to the execution of your strategy over the next three to five years.

At a minimum, you’ll need to be able to answer these questions:

  • What domain expertise do we need to develop?
  • What capabilities do we have and which do we need to acquire?
  • How will we differentiate our company?
  • What infrastructure will we need to have in place?
  • What kind of customer experience do we want to provide?
  • Are the needs of tomorrow met by the organizational structure of today?
  • Are the right people in the right roles?

Based on Southwest Retail Brokers mission, they’ve defined their critical success factors as the following:

  1. Acquisitions in California, Nevada and Arizona to increase our footprint.
  2. Successful conversion to a new Agency Management System that will provide clean data
  3. Optimized and streamlined processes that deliver the best customer experience while ensuring efficiency and reduced expenses.

These critical success factors are converted into goals that everyone in the organization can work towards. Leaders, departments and individuals aligns their goals to these critical success factors, thereby aligning them to the company’s mission.

With this information at hand, it’s time to put it into a three-to-five-year plan.

 

STEP #3 — CREATE YOUR THREE-TO-FIVE-YEAR PLAN

 You don’t need to recreate the wheel when trying to figure out how your plans should be structured. Below you’ll find an easy and effective framework that can cascade throughout the organization. The plan is divided into three time periods, with focused objectives for each.  If five years feels too long, you can shorten it to meet your needs.  Maybe a one-to-three year plan is more manageable?

YEAR 1 – This is your foundational year, where you deal with things like due diligence, gaining capabilities and developing expertise. During this time, you are building the foundation you need in order to be able to take action in years two and three. Tasks should be prioritized by what is urgent or necessary to make real progress.

YEARS 2&3 – Once you’ve dealt with foundational issues in year one, the real work of deployment and implementation begins to get you to your goals.

YEARS 4&5 – Years four and five are where you are achieving your goals.

Below is a (simplified) example of a three-to-five-year plan at the company level:

 

Southwest Retail Brokers

Mission: Become the largest retail broker in the Southwest, known for deep insurance expertise and for providing an extraordinary customer experiences.

Critical Success Factors:

  • Acquire retail brokerages in California, Nevada and Arizona to increase our footprint.
  • Successful conversion to a new Agency Management System that will provide clean data
  • Optimized and streamlined processes that deliver the best customer experience while ensuring efficiency and reduced expenses.

 

STEP #4 – CASCADE YOUR PLAN THROUGHOUT THE ORGANIZATION

At a high level, Southwest knows where they are going and how they are going to get there. Now it’s time to cascade the plan (goals) throughout the organization. Essentially every person in the organization should be working to a plan that aligns the company’s mission with their position and performance goals.

To create those individual plans, you repeat the steps listed above – define goals, identify critical success factors, develop a three-to-five-year plan – aligned to one’s position. Below is an example of what Southwest’s VP of Operations might look like.

This individual plan is aligned to the company’s mission. The way you would cascade that further is to break down each of these goals. If Southwest had three Operations Managers, each one might lead in a specific critical success factor: Acquisition Integration; AMS; Customer Experience, or all three. They would then further cascade goals and action plans for their direct reports until everyone in the organization was aligned to achieve the company’s strategic mission and vision.

That’s Mission-Driven Management.

 

If you’d like more information on how ReSource Pro can help your organization, contact us!

About Resource Pro

ReSource Pro helps organizations align their operations to their business strategy. Our holistic approach brings together best practices around strategy, process, people, and analytics in order to supercharge your business performance.

Learn more