Transparency – Trust – Trends – TRANSFORMATION
Tuesday, 2 March, 2010 Leave a comment
Even I am getting fed up listening to the messages that keep going around in my head and sometimes wonder how much EVIDENCE it will take to get the message across…THAT THE FINANCIAL SECTOR & PROFESSIONAL FIRMS THAT ARE “EARLY ADOPTERS” OF A NEWLY TRANSPARENT CULTURE WILL, NOT ONLY, SEIZE THE MORAL HIGH GROUND, BUT GRAB SOME (free) HEADLINES ALONG THE WAY AND GAIN A HUGE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.
OK, SO WHAT’S EVIDENCE?
These items are really only scratching the surface. And if you believe that this is solely related to “the credit crunch” you would be as well picking up a copy of The Sun or OK because the rest of this is way over your head!
If, like me, you take a view that the resistance to transparency is not just about the enormity of the task of changing cultures and the cost that goes along with it. The preference for “opacity” must [at least in part] be an admission of unfair, or unethical practices. The banks have been exposed and are re-grouping rather than changing! The hard sell is still on…but it must be getting harder…witness the change of direction: Away from “cheap this”, freely available that” and back to a more “relationship based” approach.
WHEN will they realise that that particular boat sailed when THEY ditched their experienced crews, cargo and passengers to go off to plunder riches for themselves in the promised land beyond treacherous and uncharted seas!?
They have made their mistakes, have been “outed” and are paying the price BUT they are not alone.
The insurance industry have also been the subject of some pretty damning criticism yet appear intent to ATTEMPT to ride out the storm! Perhaps they believe that they are immune because there is no chance of any of them being able to socialise losses in the manner and on the scale seen in US.
Time for some more evidence? I hoped you would say that!!!
As anyone who has read my blog over the last year will know I have dedicated a fair amount of time, space and brain cells to promoting the case for change…particularly am major move toward transparency and a deeper understanding of risk. Just when I was really feeling like a pretty lone voice hope arrived in January 2010.
A respected Insurance Consultancy recently released their research findings along with some pretty heavyweight commentary (below). PLEASE read this information, make your own mind up and let me know whether the insurance industry can continue as is. Patently there are many out there, including the authors of the findings, who believe that things can be “fixed” with some tinkering and, no doubt, a good dose of consultancy. I wish them well with that!
Running Blind: Price Waterhouse – “Strategy: General Insurance”
UK P&C Insurance: Asleep at the wheel: Citi have their say
The titles tell you plenty about the content but if you still find it hard to believe that things can be so bad as to merit the “headlines” just take a look. Once you have read the documents you will be astounded to learn that these findings have NOT been the subject of urgent and heated debate across industry press and insurance forums.
It’s not that we are such a dull bunch that we can’t come up with solutions. Just that, all too often, creative thinking that embraces the necessary level of change has been so discouraged as to have been almost “bred out”. Of course there is always ongoing product development but when it is undertaken within pre-determined parameters that are about achieving financial results (rather than strategy) instead of delivering sustainable customer value, too often, it amounts to little more than window dressing. If this weren’t the case then lack of trust (see above) would not be such an issue.
GETTING AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Serving shareholders by listening to and exceeding the expectations of stakeholders.
Financial services companies have been happy to embrace much of the selling techniques of other sectors but quick to dismiss the notion that they can learn a great deal more. Mistake! Here is a trend briefing that should be required reading for industry leaders: Transparency Triumph
But it isn’t just about the dreaded “T word”. The cultural change requires institutions, that many perceive as morally corrupt, to PROVE that they have are prepared to step up to the plate and contribute to society in a positive manner.
Accept that replaced GREED with GENEROSITY: “Giving is the new taking…sharing is the new giving”
These “wild notions” have been dismissed by many people I (we all) know who work within the financial sector as the domain of environmentalists “tree huggers” …. probably the same people that were quick to ridicule the “outrageous prophecies” of Nassim Taleb.
WHAT COMES AFTER…”W”?
W being the inevitable shape of our recovery. Enforced change of some sort and, probably, an undignified scramble to get fit enough for to satisfy customer demands.
I am ready, willing and able to share solutions with the enlightened.