The Art of War is an ancient Chinese treatise written over 2,000 years ago by Sun Tzu. It is widely thought of as a definitive work on military strategy and tactics. The book is required reading for officers within various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and various governmental intelligence agencies.
The lessons articulated in this classic text have applications within the insurance industry too – especially for entrepreneurial-minded agencies looking to maintain their competitive edge. Let’s take a look at some of the book’s guiding principles and how they relate to producers. Don’t be surprised if we also include some commentary about how CHART can help grow your business as well.
PRINCIPLE #1: According as circumstances are favorable, one should modify one’s plans. Almost every successful agency has a well thought-out business plan.
This strategy includes details on preferred domestic insurance carriers, product distribution methodologies, and administrative processes/ workflows. While having structure in place is important, the ability to adapt in a dynamic, ever-changing marketplace is a critical element to a business’ survival.
New opportunities bring new challenges – ones that can’t always be addressed by the status quo. Lloyd’s of London has an international reputation as an innovative, forward-thinking insurance provider. The CHART Exchange gives domestic agencies the opportunity to interact with decision-makers from this venerable market. Our team will help align your new business program/product idea with those London Syndicates possessing the most compatible risk appetites and underwriting philosophies.
PRINCIPLE #2: On open ground, do not try to block the enemy’s way. On ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your enemies. Our philosophy has always been that other agencies are not the competition in the marketplace.
Rather, it is the customer’s decision whether or not to buy the coverage. Whatever effort our industry colleagues expend to raise awareness about the consequences of uninsured risk within our target audience helps us all.
Our organization emphasizes peer-to-peer networking as a key benefit to its members. As with any other elite group, the CHART Exchange serves as the quintessential example of the “iron sharpening iron” adage. Member agencies can learn from, forge business relationships with, and otherwise prosper by interacting with other agencies possessing similar entrepreneurial mindsets.
PRINCIPLE #3: It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Admittedly, this particular element comes across as sounding pretty dire.
There is, however a valuable lesson to be learned here. Sun Tzu is saying those who strategize and plan are better equipped to handle adversity. Successful entrepreneurs are ready for the unexpected and can act when new opportunities present themselves.
The CHART Exchange gives agencies the tools and access to resources they need. Insurance professionals unfamiliar with London can take advantage of our Incubator facility. By partnering with existing Coverholders, these agencies can expedite the launch of a new Lloyd’s-underwritten product or program into the marketplace.
Additional resources will be on display at our upcoming Second Annual Event scheduled in October. The meeting will include 40 workshops and panels addressing topics and issues relevant to the U.S./London marketplace. These sessions will be moderated by recognized experts in the various disciplines.
A number of vendors who provide services to the insurance industry will also be in attendance at the Fall meeting. These companies can offer agencies help in such areas as Actuarial, Marketing, Claims Administration, Legal/ Compliance, Systems, and M&A guidance.
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