By: Doug Laburn, Executive Manager, Partnerships, Lombard Insurance
A core tenet of how we think about building businesses and our underlying organisational design is ensuring our people and partner businesses are empowered to act. To make decisions, take risk and hold real accountability.
For us, this approach has been strongly validated as we navigate our way through a societal and economic crisis not many of us have imagined possible. We have more minds applying themselves, more people solving problems, and more skin in the game. We do not need to rely on a handful of positional leaders with an impossible task but can rely on a network (or community) of quality decision-makers connected to their clients, intermediaries and associated stakeholders.
The ongoing leadership challenge for us is to consistently create and improve enabling environments for our people and business partners to take the lead and progress. And at the same time, manage the associated risks. This remains true whether we are faced with a world in crisis or not.
What underpins our ability to succeed at this comes down to how we think about trust. You take risk in trusting people, but you can achieve very little if you do not. In taking that risk you are making a positive judgement on that person or business. I find three questions worth paying attention to in making this judgement:
What character and ability is demonstrated? Both are important in building a view on raw potential. But character more so, particularly under stress. A clear view on your own business’s character is a prerequisite here.
Are we aligned in what success is? Where alignment principally means we win and loss together, each play our part and share in what we create in a sustainable manner over the long-term.
How is accountability taken? You often only find this out when you are in it, but it is a key determinant on whether you are prepared to increase the trust given and thus, the potential of the relationship.
The outcome is invariably not perfectly aligned to what you had in your mind’s eye. It usually surpasses it. Because talented and motivated people are taking more opportunities and tackling more problems than you can on your own.