Implementing change can be overwhelming in the insurance industry in Africa, especially when the change is substantial. However, breaking down change into manageable parts can make the process less daunting and more effective. Adopting a customised change strategy can lead to smoother transitions when new changes are introduced in insurance operations. Such an approach increases acceptance of change in the organisation.
Applying this strategy in Africa could help address the financial and economic challenges currently faced by the insurance sector on the continent. By breaking down change into manageable parts, insurance companies in Africa can gradually implement new strategies, monitor their effectiveness, and adjust as necessary.
The change approach allows for the gradual adaptation of employees and customers, reducing resistance and increasing the likelihood of successful change implementation. Moreover, it will enable firms to quickly identify and rectify any issues, ensuring that the change improves performance and profitability.
The change approach
Change is a constant factor in business; the insurance sector is no exception. However, implementing change can be overwhelming, especially when the change is substantial and the environment is challenging. This situation faces most companies in Africa’s insurance sector, grappling with financial and economic difficulties. But there is a strategy that can make this process less daunting and more effective: breaking down change into manageable parts.
This approach, often called incremental change, has proven successful in various industries across the globe. One notable example is the MVP Advisory Group, a US-based insurance consultancy firm. They adopted a phased approach to change management, which involved breaking down significant changes into smaller, manageable steps. This method allowed them to implement new strategies gradually, monitor their effectiveness, and adjust as necessary. The result was smoother transitions, increased acceptance of change among employees, and improved business performance.
The business benefits
Adapting such a strategy in Africa could help address the financial and economic challenges currently faced by the insurance sector on the continent. By breaking down change into manageable parts, insurance companies can gradually introduce new strategies without causing significant disruptions. Each small change is monitored and evaluated, allowing for adjustments.
The customised change approach in insurance reduces the risk associated with implementing large-scale changes and allows for the gradual adaptation of employees and customers. People naturally resist change, particularly when it’s sudden and substantial. However, introducing change can help mitigate this resistance, increasing the likelihood of successful implementation. Furthermore, by allowing time for each change to be absorbed, insurance companies can ensure that their employees fully understand and adapt to the new ways of working, leading to better performance.
Moreover, this incremental approach to change provides an opportunity for continuous learning and improvement. Each step in the change process offers valuable insights that inform future efforts. For instance, if a change improves efficiency or customer satisfaction, similar teams can apply in other business areas. Conversely, if a change does not yield the expected results, the company can learn from this experience and avoid making the same mistake.
The added value: Psychological safety
In addition to these practical benefits, breaking down change into manageable parts can also have psychological benefits. It can make implementing transition less daunting, helping foster a positive attitude toward change among employees. This positive mindset can further enhance the effectiveness of the change management process.
Africa’s insurance sector needs to embrace the concept of incremental change. By breaking down change into manageable parts, the industry can navigate its challenges more effectively and lay the foundation for sustainable growth. This approach may require patience and perseverance, but the potential rewards – increased efficiency, enhanced customer satisfaction and improved profitability – make it worthwhile.
Adopting incremental change management is not just an intelligent strategy for Africa’s insurance sector; it’s necessary in today’s challenging economic environment. It’s time for the industry to take this crucial step toward sustainable growth and success.
The writer is the Founder of Nimdier, a change management company | Ex-Global Board Member, ACMP
Email: [email protected]
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