Welcome to our first newsletter of 2020. This past week we held our annual State of the Company meeting for our entire team to spend some time together reflecting on 2019 and looking forward to 2020.
We ended last year with growth and in the Top Quartile of our industry, remaining one of the Top 100 Brokers in the U.S. A tribute to our people and partners – and a thank you to our clients.
I’d like to share a couple themes I feel are worthy to share – not only because you are a stakeholder (or interested enough to read this newsletter) – it may be something to think about for your own business. Along with these couple of themes, I’ve listed the top 10 tactical action items we can expect to invest in:
• Delivering on our Client Experience promise and being a Great Place to Work, results in Profitable Growth.
• Continuous improvement is a key for us to be able to be more effective with the client experience we deliver, the need for financial performance, and the attraction and retention of the top performing professionals in our industry .
1. We have targeted several areas for process Improvement – using our Quality program and service teams model (LEAP TEAMS)
2. We are advancing our development of our people through a theme of Personal Growth with some emphasis on the power of the brain and a focus on “train your mind”. At our meeting, we engaged a guest speaker, Dr. Jerry Teplitz, who showed us how the mind can be an effective way to enhance your day and life, along with some techniques to use on a daily or situational basis so one is using their mind to their advantage.
3. We had three trading partners sponsor our annual meeting this year – PURE Insurance, Hanover Insurance, and The Hartford. The all had the benefit of attending our annual meeting and our sales meeting that followed – where we spent more time with Dr. Teplitz using the power of the brain to remove fear as a hurdle and gain confidence and resilience.
4. We will have several leadership training sessions in 2020 for our leaders – anyone who has been granted authority in their role to oversee and develop others need to attend these in order to be “management certified” at Smith Brothers. We feel this will bring consistency and alignment to our Servant Leadership management philosophy and consistency across our business as we grow. We believe we can scale this in a way that allows us to grow and not lose our unique culture.
5. One of our sessions will be on enhancing our Employee Development Plans that we use as our number one engagement and development process. We have over 200 of them active with a goal of 100% participation, engagement, and development around enhanced two way conversations – peer to peer – with aligned specific goals and resources for all team members.
6. We have several new people who have joined Smith Brothers recently and will continue to bring in talent as we invest in succession and growth.
7. We have our eye on one to two acquisitions in 2020. We will be picky and conservative at todays asset prices. In our annual meeting, we discussed the Debt Cycle and where we may be as an economy in the economic cycle and our model of moderate debt to weather future storms and be prepared to take advantage of our competitors who have been less people focused and less disciplined.
8. Managing a clients Total Enterprise Risk is at the core of our differentiation. In 2019, over 22% of our new business came from current clients and our retention was over 95%. We get the interdependency of sales and service – not one better than the other.
9. We held our annual meeting via video conference live for all of our regions to tune in and we held it in our new Growth Room – a room dedicated to the theme of “always growing”. A businesses profitable growth and a persons personal growth are part of the vibrancy and health of being well.
10. We will give back to our community in the spirit of Helping Others as we always have. Situational help and donation of time and dollars will be continuous for us.
I am always glad to – and enjoy – exchange of strategies and best practices with any business or family.
Be well in 2020!