Opportunity Out of Chaos

The pandemic has been a never–ending  challenge in the way we work. Every procedure, every solution, every assumption—all need to be rethought. But that doesn’t mean the process can’t be rewarding and maybe even a little… fun?

Zac Sutherland, Vice President of Sutherland Insurance, created a simple way for brokers to collaborate to overcome some of today’s challenges. “I’m part of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Southwestern Ontario and  we’ve been having weekly meetings since COVID started. I was loving the ideas and creativity that came out of these calls, but what it lacked for me was the insurance and broker specific focus.  I ended up reaching out to Traci Boland to chat, and at the end was thinking this is great, we should expand this out to a larger group.”

“Zac and I agreed that if we’re both struggling, worried we might miss some kind of communication, other brokers must have  similar issues,” said Traci.  “So we figured,  why not share resources? We reached out to six brokers based on location, their role in the brokerage and the relationships we already had with them. Monday nights at 8:30 we grab our drink of choice and go on a video chat to talk about our week.”

“We’re all having the same issues and none of us know the right answer,” said Zac. “In this  situation, it’s a lot of throwing stuff at the wall and hoping you’re right. What we lack when we communicate internally is that fresh set of ideas. This is a forum that allows us to cultivate that creativity we’re looking for.”   Traci continued, “It’s been nice to have a group of brokers we can bounce ideas off—you take from the call what you want. We’ve gone over everything from how we’re taking care of our staff at home, how we’re taking care of clients, what’s the best way to get information out, how are people handling the increase in phone calls. It helps  everyone to come out with new policies and procedures.”

“None of us are used to running a business from home while our kids are running around,  and all the other distractions that come with it,” said Zac. “There have been some great ideas I’ve taken from the group and  immediately been able to implement. My favourite thing is hearing other people talk about issues I hadn’t even thought of. I don’t know if these calls will continue past the crisis, but I hope they do—it’s been  invaluable and I’m grateful for it.”

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