I was floating around the Hollard website for a job I am working on and noticed this very interesting post on the site involving Denis Beckett, TV personality and straight talker. So what does Hollard have to do with Beckett? Well they hired him to take a look under the hood and hold up a mirror to what he saw so his client could see what has been going on within. As soon as I saw this I was a little sceptical. A well-known personality who has a reputation for exposing the truths of things we perhaps would rather not see hired by an insurance company to tell everyone what that company is really like? The term “hired gun” came to mind.
As I see Hollard, it did nail its culture to the mast. That invited us all – clients, suppliers, observers, staff, the lot – to eternally needle, nag and sting, pushing this company ever further onward and upward. But then, everyone got a bit used to the mast, and noticed it less.
Greatness doesn’t happen in one go and then stay sewn on like a Brownie badge. It’s an endless quest, always for more. Hollard has gaps, gaping ones included. The culture says “we’re friendly??, but is silent on how to extend that into reconciling disputes. The culture says “use kop, originate, innovate??, but some people have done exactly that and had their backsides kicked half around the block.
Everyone has a notion of the Friendly part of Hollard’s culture, but many have no idea of other parts, or what lies beyond. How does it relate to your job? Where is culture a thing you do? Or is it a totem to sing hymns to?
There can never be an end to questions. Developing culture is work in progress and always will be. In the mist ahead astonishing possibilities loom. Very soon success will be more measured by whether you have the human energy and will to keep it up. Hollard is way ahead of its time. Now is no moment to let the momentum flag.
This is a really interesting way of doing an “About” page! I wonder how many companies will hire a personality prone to be critical of you if you turn out to be full of it and then post the analysis of your company on your website as an introduction to your company? As Beckett put it, Hollard has “telescope foresight and steel testicles”. Why did they do it? Here is what they said:
What do you do when you need to see yourself as others see you?
You call Denis Beckett and ask him to have a trek through your company, meet your people and hold up a mirror in his unique and insightful way … and tell it like it is: warts and all.
Why would we bother? How could we dare? Because times and challenges have changed in the last decade and we needed an objective view so we could polish up the good bits and panel-beat the not-so-good bits. Also important is that we’re on a committed course to go from good! to great!
An honest culture temperature taker was vital: Someone who wouldn’t hesitate to give us an unvarnished verdict to serve as a bench-mark as we go forward.
10 points Hollard!