If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that everything can change overnight. Back in 2019, cyber security and climate change were two of the biggest risks on everyone’s mind. Today, those are still major threats, but COVID-19 and widespread protests have emerged as the most pressing issues of the moment. Who knows what will be next?
As the saying goes, the only thing that’s constant is change.
This makes it hard for business leaders to prepare for the future. No one can predict what will happen. The best we can do is position our companies to withstand anything.
Planning for All the “What Ifs”
A lot can go wrong… and quickly. FEMA says that about 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen after a disaster. In the insurance industry, we know all about preparing for common disasters, like fires, burst pipes, server failures and flu.
But are we ready for less predictable risks such as social movements, pandemics and technological revolutions?
Businesses can position themselves to adapt to these changes by adopting a values-based leadership model.
The Benefit of Values-Based Leadership
As the world shifts, so do employee and customer expectations. In the past, companies could get away with focusing only on business. Today, they are increasingly expected to walk and talk the values of empathy and authenticity.
Although some business leaders may want to stay away from controversial ideas, modern companies may not be able to ignore social issues completely.
Horizon Media’s Finger on the Pulse study found that 81 percent of Millennials expect companies to be committed to good corporate citizenship, and Sourcing Journal found that 87 percent of Millennials and 94 percent of Generation Z expect companies to address social and environmental issues.
The message is clear. More and more, companies are expected to demonstrate strong values. And if they don’t, modern consumers might take their money elsewhere.
Dedication to a values-based approach can help guide each decision and earn the trust of consumers. As our country continues to grapple with social and environmental movements, and as consumers expect more and more from businesses, value-based leadership is increasingly essential.
Creating an Agile Company
Values-based leadership may also lead to greater corporate agility. When you’ve built an internal culture of trust, your team is more willing to honestly discuss and assess problems and to take risks in the pursuit of new, innovative solutions. When customers and employees can see that you are authentically serving them, and working with their best interest in mind, they are more willing to collaborate … and to forgive mistakes.
Thriving in the New Normal
Recent events have shown that yesterday’s business practices might not be effective tomorrow. To survive, companies need to walk their talk by focusing on the “human” side of business.
Here, at Insuresoft, we took a step back from the busy-ness of our daily work and asked ourselves, “Why are we really in business?” The “human” answer had nothing to do with growth or profitability. Our real purpose is to help people protect what matters to them. We do that through our software, yes, but the software is simply the mechanism for delivering a sense of security and protection … and, more importantly, for helping people quickly get back on their feet after a loss. At Insuresoft, our values drive how we deliver that protection and assistance. When we apply those values to our everyday business decisions, it changes what we do and how we do it.
By applying values-based leadership, we can all make the best decisions for clients and employees as we navigate each new normal together.