Insurance--The Boundary Walls vs. The Peoples Premise.

AuthorMoll, Arther I.

The success of my loss prevention efforts is the result of programs designed to involve and tap the resources of the employees of the companies who engage me.

My safety committees arc composed of the lowest level of employees: no management and no supervision. The focus, suggestions and decision making of these committees, and the reduction in frequency and severity of accidents that results from their efforts, are always eye opening.

As an ongoing test. I contrast the utilization of this usually untapped potential with the management practices of most insurance companies. I invariably end tip shaking my head in wonder.

I am now thoroughly convinced that the reasons for our industry's doldrums are not natural disasters but rather result from a management style that is better suited to oversee a medieval manor and its serfs than a 20th century workforce.

How can employees flourish if they live in constant fear of losing their jobs and are thought of as being expendable.

The tunnel focus that we must only satisfy stockholders may make the bottom line look great but it will only be for the short term.

We need broader vision such as those practiced at the General Electric Company.

Writing in the GE annual report. John F. Welsh. Jr. Chairman of the board stated: "We run this company on a people premise. The only way to win is to get more output from less input. We believe the only way to gain more output from less input--to grow and win--is to engage every mind within our businesses--exciting, energizing, involving and rewarding--Everyone.

"We're betting everything on our people--empowering them, giving them the resources and getting out of their way--and the numbers tell us that this focus has not only pointed us in the right direction but is providing us with a momentum that is accelerating.

"With this objective of involving everyone we use three operating principles to define the atmosphere and behavior at GE:

* all our behavior

* everything we do

* every target we set

"Boundary-less Behavior--Simply put, people seem compelled to build layers and walls between themselves and others and that human failing tends to be magnified in large, old institutions like ours. These walls cramp people, inhibit creativity, waste time, restrict vision, smother dreams and above all, slow things down. The challenge is to chip away at and eventually break down these walls and barriers, both among ourselves and the...

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