Simon Sinek, the New York Times best-selling author of Start with Why, says it best when he says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” For leaders within the insurance industry that are looking to facilitate a new core platform implementation, this is key to understand.
At its core, a new piece of technology is helping displace the current process around “what” is done within the business. Maybe it was the need for a streamlined portal experience for your insureds/agents, a modern claims management solution that enables your adjusters to get employees back to work faster, or total accessibility to your programs data for comprehensive reporting, that led your organization to evaluate a new solution. Although these functional requirements are important, it’s the impacts of implementing these solutions that insurance companies care about: Driving Premium, Reducing Combined Ratios, or Providing Greater Services. As leaders of the business, connecting the dots is simple – this is where the opportunity for facilitating change begins.
The first step in executing on a new core system implementation, is articulating a clear message about the purpose of the change with the rest of their employees. Importantly, this begins when the company decides to evaluate solutions, not when the vendor contract is signed. What is it that will make this project a success to the business? How will the organization prosper due to this change? What does it mean for all the employees moving forward? The business should be able to answer all these questions before an implementation begins and you owe the team members on the frontlines the opportunity to share in this perspective. Their day-to-day is being disrupted, and by understanding the value these disruptions bring the business, they are more likely to rise to the occasion. Don’t forget that communication is a two-way street. Listening to your team can help you identify additional obstacles to project success as well as additional reasons why they are committed to the success of the project.
This open dialogue about the value of the project shouldn’t be a singular event either. At every stage of the process, the purpose of the project should be reiterated to every team member and new feedback should be provided and received. When milestones are completed, teams should celebrate these accomplishments and why they are so important to the business. The more these impacts are communicated to the team, the stickier the ideas will be, and the greater the adoption of the new system. It also promotes influential people within the business to help lead the change from the frontlines – another critical element to successfully facilitating change.