There is no doubt these are trying times for insurance company leaders and employees alike. The oft-quoted motivational adage that with crisis comes opportunity has become an overused cliché in the current environment. The reality is there is no greater need for strong leadership than in times of crisis. When things are going reasonably well, sins of omission and commission are often overlooked as a company and its employees move past bumps in the road. Budgets are not scrutinized to the same degree in prosperous times, and technology investments by insurance company IT departments are not squeezed for the same ROI when things are going well. But under the stress of crisis, the luxury to overlook or turn a blind eye does not exist.

Today, every decision’s impact is amplified by the urgency of the situation. One step in the wrong direction can lead to dire financial consequences, and as a result, there is a strong tendency to shore up decision-making and leadership in general, with thorough analysis and careful progress in an attempt to avoid a misstep. An increased emphasis on metrics for business and IT projects has insurance executives spending great quantities of time justifying expenditures. In reality, it is the counterintuitive that is needed right now. Leading in times of crisis requires action more than analysis, and speed more than care. The missed opportunity has at least as much potential impact under the stress of turbulence as the step in the wrong direction.

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