Five Management Imperatives
1) You must continually grow the business – While technological advances make it more feasible for smaller companies to compete with larger ones, scale in the financial services business is still important. Standing pat or slowly losing members/policyholders is not a recipe for success.
2) You need to be more technologically savvy – You don’t have to become a computer geek, but you’d better be familiar with how the consumers of your product use technology and how you can make it work for you.
3) You need to take a more quantitative approach to business due to the sheer explosion of data – Prospective members have access to more data about you, your company, and your products than ever before in history. That changes the balance of power in the sales process. Likewise, you have access to more information about your members and can utilize that to enhance the type of products and member service experience you provide. If you don’t, someone else will.
4) You need to be more efficient – Make sure you are running the company for the benefit of the members, not the board, the delegates, the employees, or anyone else.
5) You need to understand your customers better than ever and better than anyone else – This is the bedrock advantage of the fraternal “common bond.” We should have a built-in affinity that provides us a competitive advantage with prospective members who share our organizations’ values.It seems to me that if you accomplish numbers 2-5 you will almost inevitably accomplish the number 1 goal – membership/policyholder growth. This “growth problem” is not unique to the fraternal community. Every life insurer is struggling to find the solution to steady growth. And interestingly, most large U.S. life insurers view “emerging markets” – those very same areas where most ICMIF members do business – as their best growth opportunity. But since fraternals are virtually landlocked in North America, let me ask you once again: What is your society’s emerging market? Share your thoughts here or in an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.