The last long weekend of the summer has come and gone. You're feeling ready to tackle some projects that you've been kicking down the road. But you may not know where to start.
If one of the things on your 'to-do' list is 'improve our group insurance proposition', here are some ways to get the ball rolling.
Think bite-size chunks
Most big system improvement projects fail because the scope of business change is simply too large to digest and execute well.
At Sentro, we encourage our customers to take a business-impact view of system improvement. Where is the biggest current pain point? Your customers and your front-line administrative teams will be able to easily tell you what needs the most attention.
Focus your initial efforts on improving that specific pain area. Maybe it is renewal processing. Maybe it is new business onboarding. Maybe it is customer invoicing.
Then (and this is the hard part!) ensure that your executive knows that you are deliberately not going to try to solve every business problem in one step. Tell them you will be able to demonstrate improvements in the major business pain area faster as a result of this approach.
The result is usually a smaller, but faster and more impactful project, with tangible results to point at. Crucially, it builds momentum and trust for follow-on projects that address other areas of business need.
Trust your instincts
It can be tempting to reach for the really expensive comfort blanket of a big name management consultant to tell you what you should be doing. Before you know it, you are looking at a multi-million dollar project (with a lot of it going to consultancy fees!). Your improvement project is dead in its tracks before it even starts on a cost/benefit basis.
It doesn't have to be that way. It shouldn't be that way.
If this sounds like the way your company operates, perhaps consider this response when that idea is floated:
"Ok, so we're looking at spending USD $150,000 for a consultancy to scope our core group system improvement project and make some recommendations. How about we take that budget, give half to the consultant, and use the other half for a small project to do a proof of concept that materially improves something now?"
A small proof of concept project can get quick results - and help you break the cycle of dependency on expensive consultants.
Get to know who you're working with
When you're making any big change in your business, it is really important to know who is going to be alongside you to help make it happen.
We love getting to know our customers better. Of course we want to understand the business problem that needs solving, but we also want to know our customers as people too.
That's really important to us at Sentro. We know we are going to be working together with our customers for a long time. So we are really open and transparent. If we can't do something, we'll tell you. If we understand what you're trying to get done, we can offer ideas on how you might do it.
Our co-founders Rob Ellis and Hans Frauenlob have decades of experience successfully delivering business change projects in corporate environments. The Sentro team have a track record of successful implementations.
When you work with Sentro, you get the benefit of this experience without the big-ticket consultancy price tag!
Start by starting - with the goal in mind
There is a Chinese proverb that says "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step".
Sometimes, the hardest part of the journey is deciding to start it at all.
If you truly believe that your business goal is worthwhile, then taking steps towards that goal will keep you on course.
High-performance teams and athletes are usually excellent at breaking the big goal ("climbing Mount Everest") down into smaller interim goals that take them towards the prize ("getting a team and supplies to Base Camp").
At Sentro, we've got that experience on our own team. Hans Frauenlob is an Olympic athlete - he has lived the experience of achieving audacious goals through focused, goal-driven effort. If you'd like to talk to Hans about how to successfully pursue big goals, please message him on LinkedIn! We're always happy to discuss ways to get your important projects underway.