What I learnt from a fun 'Dragon's Den' event before our Christmas party
It was supposed to be fun, but wow, I learnt so much!
It was to start as an innovation 'dragon's den' with our younger (under 30s) presenting ideas to take our business forward.
As managing director, I was looking to give our younger Mulberries a chance to demonstrate their presenting skills, and possibly with luck, identify an idea or two we could take forward.
5 minutes presenting. 5 minutes of Q&A.
The senior leadership team were the Dragons!
I'm a mean boss at times
It was important that the peer pressure of presenting was removed. So I sent the presenting group to the cafe in our building. Which is 3 floors of stairs down, and UP! This was a deliberate ploy so when they entered the Den they would be slightly puffed out and under a little bit more stress. Again, training for presenting under stress in front of clients and prospects.
The quality of our youngsters to present is staggering. Each one of our five young Mulberries have amazing skills and confidence. If this is the snowflake generation, then keep on snowing!
We had three themes which thundered through each pitch:
A desire to learn and grow, not just technical skills but business ones as well
A desire to push our digital strategy harder, faster and more meaningful to their generation
A desire to keep the values and culture of Mulberry Risk, today and for the future
This was true raw feedback, in a format that really opened my eyes to the amazing talent we have at Mulberry Risk.
What will be implemented
I said that we had 5 presentations. And I was hopeful of having at least one idea to implement.
I was not prepared to have five ideas. Each credible, actionable and highly valuable to the future of Mulberry Risk. These are:
Expansion of our digital marketing across other social channels
Creation of Lunch and Learn events, which will be recorded to support creation of further digital assets, develop presentation skills and increase knowledge
Creation of a mentoring structure, both peer to peer and senior to junior
Strategies for increasing the commercialisation of our digital assets
Increasing internal communication around the business activities, the market and our clients
A final word
All leaders of business, large or small, constantly think about the culture of their business.
It is easy to read books, watch videos and find blogs that teach us about culture. One of our clients has the best culture I have ever seen in a business. And I envy them very much.
So I was floored when I could hear that each one of our young Mulberries wants to protect the culture we have.
I know it's not perfect, and there is much more to do. But I couldn't have wished for a better Christmas present than that.
The author, David Hughes, is the founder and CEO of the Insurance Data & Analytics consulting business www.mulberryrisk.com