Download our step by step guide to making a start
Earlier this year we held a series of virtual round-table sessions with brokers. We discussed the key challenges and successes brokers have experienced during COVID-19.
The impact of COVID-19 has led to the reduction of face-to-face engagement, seeing communication and collaboration become reliant on virtual platforms. Collaboration is a key day-to-day broker activity across both internal teams and with clients, the lack of being able to physically meet has often felt like a barrier to effective collaboration. Whilst we have all adapted to using technology like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to improve communications and collaboration, the opportunity is out there to increase the impact of our virtual approach to communication.
Nic Hartley, Ecclesiastical’s Head of Business Improvement and Innovation, talks us through how you can be collaborative in a virtual world.
With the current challenges, we can’t ignore the fact that there will be very few, if any face-to-face meetings taking place at the moment, so it is vital that brokers find ways to continue to communicate and collaborate. This is an opportunity to establish a new approach to working that can be applied and continued when we emerge from this pandemic. Online platforms and video conferencing can allow for the replication of face-to-face meetings, conversations and workshops. But how do we solve problems, identify opportunities, collaborate effectively and increase impact along with better outcomes in a virtual world?
We all have experienced it, virtual meetings that lack the sources of energy that we get when we meet face-to-face making them tiring, challenging us all on how we can remain present and engaged. We have lost the informal catch ups whilst making a coffee, instead relying on scheduling meetings that inevitably take up more time. To compound this we experience offline meeting agendas and structures simply being moved online without any changes to reflect this virtual delivery. Often we end up with a day of back to back meetings with limited time away from the desk or screen. What if you could replace these meetings with a structured process that leads to more ideas, clearer decisions and better outcomes?
A lot can be achieved by putting in place a good process where you have a clear path that makes it easier to come up with ideas, make decisions and solve problems. Good collaboration isn’t dependant on being in the same room, it is a mind-set that can be assisted by effective facilitation.
There are some really good reasons to try a different approach to virtual collaboration. To do this all you need to do is give it a go…
The Collaboration Sprint is a tool that has been adapted from an original concept created by AJ & Smart, a Berlin based design agency. You can use the Collaboration Sprint whenever a group of people in your organisation need to identify challenges, solve problems and make decisions. It’s a tried and tested tool that’s been used to great effect by companies and teams around the world. It’s also been successfully used by Ecclesiastical on a number of occasions.
Getting started, is more important than waiting for the right moment and it’s better to have 10 good ideas than 0 perfect ones. Rather than having endless, circular discussions about finding that ‘perfect’ solution, could it be time to embrace an action-orientated and experimental mind-set?
Download our step by step guide to making a start
Nic Hartley, Head of Business Improvement and Innovation at Ecclesiastical has been with the company since 2017 as Head of Innovation, but has been in the industry for 25 years in broking and underwriting roles with Allianz, AIG and Sterling Insurance.
Innovation is such a broad and expansive subject, he's involved in a range of activities that includes driving innovation adoption and training across the group, creation of new value propositions, digital transformation and user experience design and technology led projects, which range from online trading to connected sensor technology and drones.
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