iC3 2022 Annual Review

The iC3 2022 Annual Review – iC3 Perspective

As I write this, we are approaching the end of February and 2022 is rapidly disappearing in the rear-view mirror. Before last year is permanently consigned to the archives, I thought it might be useful to reflect on our perspective on some of the significant happenings of the year with the iC3 2022 Annual Review!

  • People

Retaining and recruiting high-quality people remained a major challenge for brokers throughout the year. Our clients did a great job of embracing some new tools such as the Stay Interview and Great Conversations. Now more than ever it’s critical that we establish a true connection with our people.

  • Way of working

Any hope of a return to all staff working from the office disappeared completely early in the new year. Our clients had no choice but to adjust to a dramatic change in the way of working. Again, connection with your people is a vital link and must be based on trust and empowerment.

  • Organic growth

Achieving real organic growth [as opposed to growth from rate lift] remained an elusive goal for most brokers. Having said that, some of our clients are hitting double-digit growth. We are urging our clients to shift planning for growth from use of an incremental percentage like 5% and rather shifting to a capacity-based planning model. By that, I mean how much new business should a producer be able to generate in a year?

  • Hard market

Our clients continued to be frustrated by insurance companies’ lack of empathy for the difficult task a broker faces when advising a client of non-renewal or a dramatic rate increase. It would be so welcome if companies would take a more collaborative approach to deal with the hard market.

  • Broker consolidation

The big brokers keep getting bigger and at a breathtaking pace. This fact does not appear to have weakened the spirit of our clients. They remain committed to long-term independence and the ability to effectively compete in the marketplace of the future.

Looking ahead to 2023 there are some clear priorities which we are addressing with our clients.

  • Confidence

In a recent poll, we reaffirmed that our clients remain confident that they can maintain their independence and compete long-term. They have a plan, and they know that what got them to where they are won’t get them to where they are going.

  • Best Practices

To be sure that this confidence is well placed, our clients are actively embracing the Best Practices Self-evaluations we have developed based on our 25 years of experience helping brokers build great companies. The first step in the successful completion of a plan is having a realistic grasp on where we are today.

  • Great resignation et al.

We are pleased to hear from numerous clients that the employment scene seems to be stabilizing. This should not be taken as a prompt to revert to old ways of dealing with staff. Leaders need to continue to develop their leadership skills and forge connections with their team members that really matter. It seems that the hybrid work model is here to stay and following close behind is the 4-day work week.

  • HR role evolving

We are very pleased to see more of our clients formalizing the HR leadership role and we support the evolution of the traditional ‘HR Leader’ role to the increasingly more effective role of ‘Leader – People & Performance’.

  • Leadership development

It seems that most brokerage leadership team members have learned their leadership skills on the job. Being an effective leader will be a defining competency this year and going forward. We will be doubling down on our resources around leadership development.

  • Green peas

Our clients have accepted the reality that poaching from other brokers is no longer a sustainable recruiting strategy. Instead, they are investing in onboarding and training programs that support hiring ‘green peas’.

  • Acceleration

Our theme for 2023 is “Acceleration”. We believe the best contribution we can make to our client’s success is to help them accelerate their progress by making sure they are leveraging their strengths, overcoming their weaknesses, and seizing the huge opportunities that are available.

This seems to be an appropriate time to remember that the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity. Insurance brokerage remains one of the truly great entrepreneurial business ventures. We share our clients’ optimism and confidence for the future

If you are seeking resources to help you accelerate your progress, we are always available for an exploratory conversation. Feel free to reach out to me rick@ic3.ca