How Cultured Is Your Agency?

Kevin Trokey on September 08, 2014

The existing culture in your insurance agency is the single biggest factor in determining your future success.

But before you continue reading any further, take a minute to describe the culture that exists in your own agency. Now, think about how you arrived at that culture.

Okay, what did you write down? If you are like most, you described a "service" culture. Or maybe you described a "sales" culture. And, in terms of how that culture came to be, if you're being honest, it just sort of happened, as opposed to purposefully creating the culture.

Because we have two primary goals as a sales organization – keeping the business we have and getting the business we don't – we start to divide our focus on sales and/or service. We even start to define our culture as sales or service.

We may start to focus so much on the growth and retention numbers that we lose sight of what it is that drives those numbers.

And, worst of all, we may unintentionally create a divided culture, separating the sales team from the service team.

Instead, commit to building a culture of results.

A culture of results is all encompassing and unites the entire team. A culture of results won't focus solely on the final growth and retention numbers, but instead, focuses on what is needed to bring the greatest value to its clients. There are many variables that go into that client value, but it starts every time with two fundamentals: environment and discipline (both will be discussed in later posts).

My primary purpose in this post is to get you thinking about your culture in a very intentional manner. I want you to realize that your culture CANNOT be left to chance; you have to be more purposeful in building your culture than perhaps anything else in your agency.

As you start to think about your future culture, consider these ideas.

  • Either your people will determine the culture that exists, or you will use your desired culture to determine the people who exist.
  • An existing culture will ALWAYS defend itself. If you have an unhealthy culture, it will work to beat down anything that looks like positive change. If you have a healthy culture, it will self-police and remove anything and anyone who stands in the way of positive change.
  • Your culture has to be the filter of everything that comes in to your agency. If something new doesn't enhance and reinforce your desired culture, it doesn't belong.

You get to choose your culture. Of course, choosing it doesn't make it a reality. You have to work hard to build and maintain that culture. It's hard work, but it is the exact hard work that makes everything else relatively easy.

 

Photo by © John Kropewnicki | Dreamstime.com

Topics: Leadership + Management