Consultants' Corner

7 Characteristics of Successful Companies

Ben DiSylvester
Insurance Experts' Forum, May 17, 2012

Based on recent surveys and conversations, the companies that have proven successful—or given the economic crisis, least unsuccessful for the short duration—appear to share a number of leadership techniques, marketing efforts and operational tactics. In looking over the diversity of strategies and the resulting variances in product designs, distribution techniques and service center designs, the ones that seemed to have risen above the challenges and distinguished themselves seemed to all share a core set of seven characteristics. The shared characteristics found included:

1. Have consistent leadership. Everyone on the management team shares the same clear vision of where the company is headed and can articulate it to others.

2. Identify and exploit niche marketing opportunities. They develop an entrepreneurial mindset that finds ways to make something work, as opposed to a "why it won't work" attitude.

3. Have a pulse on the marketplace through superior customer intelligence. Be very careful when people in the company say they know what the marketplace needs without listening directly to customers and agents through surveys and other means.

4. Make targeted investments in technology. They target their investments in technology based on what is really needed. This starts with understanding and defining the business requirements and investing only in those technologies containing features that will deliver on those business requirements.

5. Achieve service excellence. "Easy to do business with" is not just a slogan; successful companies are easy to buy from and service is easily accessible for customers.

6. Nimble and quick to act. They minimize bureaucracy and have a culture of problem solving. There are many companies that once dominated their niche but became so entrenched in their ways that their competition overtook them.

7. Have organizational alignment. The structure should be aligned with the strategy, with rewards designed to support the attainment of the goals of the organization.

With the economy improving, now is the time to break the down-cycle thinking and confirm that your people, processes and technology are ready to deliver on what customers want from your organization.

Ben DiSylvester is executive director of The Robert E. Nolan Co., a management consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Ben using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

A Cure for Analysis Paralysis

“Adaptive” analytics can help insurers keep up with the flood of real-time data.

To Quantify or Not — That is the Question with Modernization (Part II)

While the quantitative business case may be ingrained in many insurance operations, it often offers little practical use.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Of Enterprise BI

When IT can't deliver, business users build their own applications focusing on agility, flexibility and reaction times.

The IT-Savvy 10%

IBM survey reveals best practices of IT leaders.

The Software-Defined Health Insurer: Radical But Realistic?

Can a tech startup digitally assemble the pieces of a comprehensive, employer-provided health plan?

Data Governance in Insurance Carriers

As the insurance industry moves into a more data-centric world, data governance becomes more critical for ensuring the data is consistent, reliable and usable for analysis.