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Are you ready to cope with the key challenges in 2021?


Stuart Blake, my co-founder at The Bridge International shared an article last week celebrating our 3 year anniversary and reflecting on what have we learnt, what has worked since we launched the business. I would like to thank our clients, colleagues and friends for all the support and advice, especially through the worse of the pandemic when Stuart Brown and I were locked down in Victoria.


Another lesson learnt; The Power of Simplicity


The only thing I would add to Stuart Blake’s reflection on lessons learnt over the last three years is the power of simplicity, both in strategy, solution design and communications with clients.


We have learnt how important this is in how we design and promote The Bridge and our services. It has also been a philosophy in the phase two product build of EziClaims suite from our Insurtech in the US, The Claims Bridge; digitising and automating the hail claims process. Simple user interfaces and a modular, suite based approach to an end to end solution.


As Leonardo da Vinci famously wrote, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Clearly Steve Jobs and Jony Ive were fans. One of our most Famous Industrial designer, Mark Newson also lived by this mantra – which you can see in the Qantas product. He now works for Jony. So, we continue to simplify and refine our approach, even though the challenges for our clients may be quite complex.


The key Challenges ahead


Stuart outlined three key challenges he saw for leadership in 2021, which I would like to build on.


1. How do you create an innovation culture in the hybrid workplace approach?


In addition to the challenge of driving social connectedness and belonging, I also believe innovating via video conferencing is super hard.


VC requires structure, but ideation needs an unconstrained environment and discussion

Video conferencing has been a fabulous tool that has enabled business continuity during COVID-19, but I believe a balance of both work from home and time in the office will be required to optimise business outcomes.


2. Accelerating investment in Customer and digital


I agree that digital investment is key to survival, but businesses need to focus on improving the moments that matter for the customer, rather than creating impressive complex multi-channel journey maps that are difficult to implement.


I also see further investment in digital transformation driving more customer data capture, but more importantly, more insights. Stuart Brown published some interesting thoughts on this subject last year on five simple steps to become an insight rich business.

It’s not about being impressed with the data science and amazing intellect of your data and analytics team, but with the insights and outcomes that these insights drive.

With more data comes more responsibility on privacy and security. If you get this wrong, brand reputation impact is now rapid and materially significant as we have seen recently with Facebook and TikTok.


3. Responsive in 2020 to proactive in 2021


Last year was about responding, but this year is about being proactive and getting things done at pace

Keeping it simple and focusing on the customer, digital and data “moments that matter” is key to moving your organisation forward.


4. How are you currently performing in these critical areas?


Like Stuart, I found it invaluable to get a third party, independent view on my operational scorecard in my various COO roles, and understanding how I was performing within the industry and comparable verticals. This is useful now, as you go planning for the next financial year.


The Bridge 360 Degree Review


The Bridge 360 Degree review is a fast-tracked diagnostic, benchmark and assessment of your organisation. Generally, it can be completed within two to four weeks as we take a simple, pragmatic approach and focus on things that really matter.


Our approach includes both quantitative and qualitative diagnostics, including proprietary designed financial and competitor analysis, stakeholder interviews and questionnaires for senior leaders all the way through to the frontline staff.


We provide analysis on internal capabilities and benchmark performance against peer groups and other sectors.


The output of the review provides a snapshot of performance across The Bridge Triple Play of culture, customer and commercials, customised against your purpose, plans and objectives. We provide an overview of opportunities, challenges and explore barriers to achieving your strategic goals.


Give me a call to discuss. I can provide more detail and we can tailor an approach to your business.

David McDonald

Managing Director

The Bridge International




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