ReSource PRO TIPS: Operations Consultant Stephanie Houston

ReSource PRO TIPS is an interview series where we ask insurance experts for their personal and organizational productivity hacks.

When looking for productivity experts in ReSource Pro, we turned first to our Operations Advisory practice. This team of consultants is passionate about Lean practices and eliminating workflow waste. They know what drives productivity.

So we spoke with Stephanie Houston, who joined the Operations Advisory team in 2019 after 10 years in the property and casualty insurance industry. She’s held a number of different roles in sales, underwriting, and operations. Along the way, she’s built up her own best practices for getting more done.

How do you typically start your workday?

I’m up at 5 in the morning and start off looking at my emails for urgent requests. Most of my input comes in the morning from ReSource Pro’s overseas teams. I’ll handle urgent requests, file the rest, then walk away. Then I take a morning walk, have breakfast, and at 7:30 I start to respond.

What’s one tech solution you’ve started using for your own productivity?

I use OneNote for everything. I have a running to-do list for my job as well as password-protected notebooks for each client I work with. It’s a really collaborative space. If working on all-hands-on-deck project, you have a more efficient way of sharing the details and files than Outlook.

One tech you’ve cut out for your own productivity?

I stopped using self-view on Zoom calls this year. In a situation where I’m working in a group, I’m a better listener with it off because I’m not noticing my quirks or fixing my hair. I can read the room better.

Inbox zero or 4,000?

Inbox zero! It’s part of my routine. If I’m slipping on that, it’s a key indicator that I’m stuck or falling behind.

What book has inspired you lately?

I read Restore Yourself by Dr. Edy Greenblatt. She puts into perspective that you need to discover what activities at work fill you up [versus what leaves you feeling drained]. For me, I love quick wins. Doing anything where I can check off a box is going to be restorative.

What keeps insurance organizations from being more productive?

Taking on too many initiatives at one time. Change is hard and even harder when it is compounded by multiple initiatives with competing priorities. 

Future of insurance is…

Forever changing and ripe for innovation.

Productivity is…

Working smarter and not longer. I ask myself, “Is there someone better than me to do this?” If so, then let’s delegate it. Productivity is about collaboration and maximizing the talents of those around me.