If you love football, then you know how frustrating it is to be a football fan. Every offseason, you get excited about the potential for the upcoming season. Before the season begins, you read all of the articles and watch the analysts.
They all say “This is the year.” Your team added some of the top defensive players in the league. You’re convinced they solved their offensive woes, too. Your team added a star wide receiver, and the running back is looking great in training camp.
Then the season starts and your team suffers loss after loss. You question how professionals can spend so much time and money on the sport, yet fail to improve. As the season continues to sputter, more and more people call for the team to fire the coach. At the end of the season, they fire the coach and hire a new star coach from a great team.
“Next year,” you and the rest of the fan base tell each other.
The next season begins and your team still loses. Year after year, the same cycle repeats itself.
When it comes to innovation, insurance company claims departments have a lot in common with your favorite underachieving football team. Top talent in every department. Great recruits from top companies. Lots of talk about the newest technology. But each year, you get the same results.
How can you solve this problem?
The One Thing
In “The One Thing,” Gary Keller shares several lessons we should apply to the insurance claims industry. He does so by simplifying the decision-making process. Whether you’re the general manager of a football team or an insurance claims executive, you can apply Keller’s following lessons to your situation.
The Six Lies Between You and Success:
- Everything matters equally;
- A disciplined life;
- Willpower is always on will-call;
- A balanced life;
- Big is bad.
These “Six Lies Between You and Success” pollute insurance claims departments. Claims professionals will get what they put in each day. If that’s emailing about hundreds of claims, then claims professionals will get routine claim maintenance. They will not achieve innovation. By making routine claim maintenance the priority, claims departments are falling victim to the six lies standing between the claims department and innovation.
The Four Thieves of Productivity:
- Inability to say “No”;
- Fear of chaos;
- Poor health habits;
- Environment doesn’t support your goals.
In his lesson “Four Thieves of Productivity,” Keller further examines why people tell themselves “The Six Lies Between You and Success.” While I can’t make any assumptions about whether there are poor health habits in your claims departments (unless your claims professionals are gorging on the vendor-sponsored food!); I can assume that the four thieves should resonate with you.
Insurance claims professionals do what they do because that’s what everybody has always done. No one has ever been terminated for saying “yes” to a responsibility. People who follow the status quo feel safer than people that hinge their success on a business transformation. As a result, claims departments are productive at claims maintenance, but they often leave much to be desired when it comes to innovation.
The Focusing Question
Keller condenses the entire book into what he calls “The Focusing Question.”
What’s the one thing you can do now such that by doing it everything else will become easier or unnecessary?
Good questions are the path to great answers. By combining a small focus with a big goal, the Focusing Question provides you with the ideal starting point to achieve something great.
Claims innovation requires starting with ”The One Thing” today: tasking your best claims manager with transforming the claims department. While this may sound drastic, it truly is “The One Thing” that will transform an insurance company. I’ve seen it. With a strong leader dedicated to this project, executives will breeze through the process of selecting vendors, identifying key requirements, troubleshooting workflows, and handling anything that stands in the way of true innovation.
Once “The One Thing” is addressed, many tasks will follow: assigning a good leader from the IT department, engaging an outside consultant, and supporting the department with future-focused software. But until executives dedicate their best claims manager to “The One Thing”, claims departments will suffer from unnecessary obstacles.
Claims departments and football teams will keep underachieving until they get their franchise quarterbacks. You can hire all the star free agents and coach your teams to change, but if your quarterback spends his time focusing on routine plays, get ready for another year with the same results.
Who will be your company’s Tom Brady?
Wesley Todd is the CEO and Founder of CaseGlide, a case management system for insurance company and law firm analytics, collaboration and automation. Todd provides his network with insights into the future of insurance claims at www.caseglide.com.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.