President’s Blog


22
May 2012

Here’s a smattering of items and articles I’ve come across during the last week or so that I thought you’d find interesting. Feel free to add your own comments or post an article you think people just have to read…

Quote of the week– “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

What have you done for me lately? – Businesses (especially publicly-traded companies) seem to focus exclusively on quarterly results.

 » Read more about: Five Must-Reads of the Week  »...

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14
May 2012

I had the privilege of attending the Canadian Section meeting last week in Montreal, Quebec. Not only was the meeting one of the best attended sessions in recent memory, the program was outstanding, the fellowship inspirational, and the city – which I’d never previously visited – was one-of-a-kind. Here’s my “Eleven Great” list from last week’s festivities:

1) Top Notch Program:  With sessions on everything from marketing our fraternal difference, to modernizing governance,

 » Read more about: 11 Reasons to Love the Canadian Section Meeting (especially when it's in Montreal)  »...

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08
May 2012

The Alliance’s financial reports for each member society are on their way to you.  These individual and confidential reports, prepared by Strohm-Ballweg and based on data provided by fraternals to the NAIC, provide society executives with a “fiscal snapshot” of their societies for eleven key ratios – from solvency to RBC to liquidity.  More importantly, the reports compare the individual society’s performance to those of comparable fraternal and commercial life insurers, so you can determine how you stack up against the competition.  

 » Read more about: The (Financial) Results Are In......

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01
May 2012

As participants of the recent series of Section Mid-Year Meetings know, the Alliance took another big, bold step in the public policy arena with the introduction of “The Promoting American Fraternalism Resolution” in Congress in late April.  The Resolution reaffirms the value and validity of the fraternal business model by recognizing the important contributions fraternals have made to “the private sector economic and societal support system” over the past century.

The Resolution has an impressive list of sponsors and co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle – providing a vivid demonstration......

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24
Apr 2012

1)   Overlapping the meetings really worked – This year we combined the Secretaries/HR, Presidents, and Investment Section meetings in an overlapping schedule at the same location. The cross-pollination really worked as member society executives took advantage of the deep discounts on registration fees to attend multiple Section meetings, compare notes with colleagues from other disciplines, and discuss a wide variety of issues with experts in communications skills to asset management, and everything in between.

2)   Every CEO could use media training – Hats off to Tim Kuzma,

 » Read more about:......

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11
Apr 2012

I wish I could take credit for coming up with that observation, but it was Bruce Springsteen who said it in a recent speech to the “South By Southwest” (SXSW) convocation in Austin, Texas. The Boss followed that up by saying “Today, authenticity is a house of mirrors.”

Think about that for a minute. In a world where so much of everything – conversations, meetings, music – is “virtual,” people are struggling to find something authentic;

 » Read more about: We live in a post-authentic world…  »...

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03
Apr 2012

A picture IS worth a thousand words and I’d like to share three videos that really drive home the message of what fraternals and cooperatives – our kissin’ cousins in the financial services sector outside North America – can be to their members, their agents, and the communities they serve.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I did…

The first video comes from Stan Hustad, the developer of “Belief Based Marketing” as the wave of the future and an idea perfectly suited to our fraternal mission and message…

This one provides a......

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28
Mar 2012

That’s right, folks. You’re reading my 200th blog post. And they said it wouldn’t last…

So what have I learned over the first 200 posts? Let me count the lessons:

1)   Be careful what you wish for – Writing these posts is harder than I thought it would be.

2)   An expert blogger told me early on in the process that the secret to a successful blog is “E-I-E-I-O”......

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21
Mar 2012

That’s what happened to an insurance agent in California recently.  There have been dozens of articles about this case recently, including THIS ONE from the March 18 Wall Street Journal.  The agent was convicted of selling a complex annuity to an 83-year-old woman who had shown signs of dementia.  And the shockwaves are reverberating through the agent and insurer community.  The bottom line for fraternals is that you – and your field force – need to make sure your products match members’ needs.  

 » Read more about: Sell an......

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13
Mar 2012

The number of skeptics and cynics in the U.S. and around the world seems to be increasing. This is especially true when it comes to consumer attitudes toward financial institutions. It’s hard for folks to believe that their really gives a hoot about their well-being when their television ads promise to treat you like family and then they get slapped with a $7 per month fee for the privilege of depositing their money at 0.005% interest.

 » Read......

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