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What to say in insurance M&A


In a recent post I wrote about why communication is important during mergers and acquisitions, especially for the insurance industry. In this post, the second in a three-part series, I’m going to discuss what specifically companies should communicate during M&A.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, all stakeholders need to know what’s going on when two businesses integrate their operations – employees, customers, suppliers and investors. Many insurance organizations, especially on the brokerage side, look to grow through acquisition. Organic growth is hard to achieve in insurance, so an M&A strategy is a quicker path to growth objectives. Often this takes the form of marrying two different companies, but it also can involve bringing on teams or bolting on capabilities. No matter how an insurance organization expands, it’s critically important to keep communicating with stakeholders. Companies that go through M&A aren’t just managing integrations; they also have to manage expectations.

Connect the dots: leadership, communications, business results

Enterprises everywhere want to build loyalty so strong that customers won’t switch providers and will pay a premium for their products or services. Those goals might seem lofty, but many organizations are doing just that. The question is: How?

The answer: customer experience and employee engagement can beat out a superior competing product. These are not just “warm and fuzzy” aspects of running a business. They directly impact the buyer on a personal level.  Various studies show that customer experience and employee engagement have a material impact on the top and bottom line. Before I discuss the data, I’ll share a personal experience.

Insurance M&A necessitates communication


The insurance industry is seeing an uptick lately in mergers and acquisitions, especially in global reinsurance, and that got me thinking about some of the challenges that arise in integrating businesses and cultures.

Whether it’s a broker acquiring a new subsidiary or team of producers to expand its capabilities or geographic footprint, or insurance companies that are seeking economies of scale, combining two different cultures is challenging. It’s no exaggeration to say that no merger or acquisition – in any industry — can be truly successful without good communication. This is such a big topic that I’m going to explore it in a three-part series. In this first installment, I’ll talk about the reasons insurance organizations need strong communication programs anytime they’re engaging in M&A.

How’s your recovery shot?


This year’s Masters was another amazing edition of one of the world’s most-watched golf tournaments. Seeing a 21-year-old player display poise beyond his years and smash all sorts of records en route to his first major championship was inspiring. It was awesome to see great performances from some of the veteran champions, too. Watching the Masters this year reinforced for me the idea that there are parallel skills in golf and business.

One of the most important of those skills is the recovery shot. The best golfers in the world all seem to have an uncanny ability to follow up a bad shot with a really good one. That is as important in the business world as it is in championship golf.

Want a Great Culture? Communicate it


“Culture” is a buzzword in corporate circles; many organizations and senior management teams talk about creating or building a culture. Globally, having a strong culture is desirable. A 2015 Deloitte survey of 3,300 executives in more than 100 countries cited “culture and engagement” as the most important issue they face. Any way you slice it, this intangible thing called “culture” is an important component in high-performing organizations and those companies that employees want to work for. The key thing to know is that culture is fundamentally about communication.