Positioning your professional service firm:: offering the right value is key


If you are as smart as you think you are then you will understand that clients don’t just need more and better service, they demand it. The tools to provide it are widely available so, if you really care about them (and the income they provide you…in that order), then you will apply this simple logic your business!

Alternatively, don’t respond to your clients’ needs, carry on competing (without differentiating) on price and leave an existing competitor, or new entrant, to show you where you have gone wrong.

As choices go this shouldn’t be too difficult…but, apparently, it is. Duh!

It’s true that when value is increased you will gain a potential increase in fee-earning ability. However, it needs to be the appropriate value as not all your clients will be interested in what you have on offer. They will only be motivated to buy from you at a premium to the extent the value on offer gives them some return. So it’s important for you to offer value based on your clients requirements

Warren Buffett urges more insurance underwriting discipline…


There isn’t much I could add to the words of “the Oracle”…

“At bottom, a sound insurance operation requires four disciplines:

(1) An understanding of all exposures that might cause a policy to incur losses

(2) A conservative evaluation of the likelihood of any exposure actually causing a loss and the probable cost if it does

(3) The setting of a premium that will deliver a profit, on average, after both prospective loss costs and operating expenses are covered

(4) The willingness to walk away if the appropriate premium can’t be obtained,”

the letter states. “Many insurers pass the first three tests and flunk the fourth. The urgings of Wall Street, pressures from the agency force and brokers, or simply a refusal by a testosterone-driven CEO to accept shrinking volumes has led too many insurers to write business at inadequate prices. ‘The other guy is doing it so we must as well’ spells trouble in any business, but none more so than insurance.”

via Warren Buffett urges more insurance underwriting discipline… « Get “fit for randomness” [with Ontonix UK].

Stakeholders and Complexity in the project management environment


Project management writings of the last few years suggest that ‘people skills’ and leadership are important attributes of a successful Project Manager and effective stakeholder management is definitely seen as a major item in delivering project success[2]. Within this emerging people centric paradigm, complexity theory helps us to understand the social behaviours of teams and the networks of people involved in and around a project. The idea of complexity applies equally to small in-house projects and large complicated programs; in this regard, ‘complexity’ is not a synonym for ‘complicated’ or ‘large’.

Link

It IS a VUCA world…and we aren’t helping:: Kevin Roberts [Saatchi & Saatchi]


Perhaps it is going to require a declaration from such as the Pope , Obama, Dalai Lama, Lady Gaga or some “celebrity” enjoying 15 minutes of fame before we, finally, take on board that we don’t know what we are doing! The tools and techniques of the last century topped-up with any amount of talking will change little, if anything and, in all probability, the scale and pace of change will not be sufficient…

“So in the UK, first, we don’t have the dream, second, we don’t have the appetite to win – the Chinese are going to eat our lunch. We’ve lost the desire to win because winning has been ugly in the last economic environment. And the third thing Britain’s getting wrong is execution. We live in a ‘Vuca’ world – a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous but British companies keep having strategy meetings! What the f***? We have no strategic plans at Saatchi – instead we have 10 things to do in 100 days. Have a dream, get on with it and if you fail then fail fast, learn fast, fix fast.

via Leadership | Kevin Roberts.

PwC:: insurance companies must adapt to changing market dynamics – Insurance Age


PwC insuranceI could not agree more with these words of wisdom from David Law. This isn’t the first time that PwC have tried to warn the industry about the need to “evolve” for survival in a rapidly changing risk environment.

Contrary to what some would have you believe, the lack of innovation – of the “creative destruction” variety – as evidenced in self-similar operations, culture, products, etc. IS all the confirmation that one should need to establish that “risk businesses” are still intent upon looking at the past for answers about the future instead of scanning their own risk horizon and creating resilient strategies for uncertainty!

risk horizonDavid Law, global insurance leader at PwC, said: “The immediate pressures of market volatility and regulatory upheaval have left little space in boardroom agendas for insurers to think about how to remain competitive in the years ahead. It is vital insurers do not get blinded by the current challenges and set a clear vision for the future.

“Growth opportunities exist, particularly in faster growing economies and from new technology developments, and those insurers that are able to respond to this changing risk landscape with innovative solutions will be rewarded by the way they are valued by customers and investors.”

He added: “Insurers who are too slow to respond to the changing market dynamics could find themselves on the back foot competitively and struggling to secure sufficient capital.

via Pwc: companies must adapt to changing market dynamics Insurance Age.