The Future of Insurance
7 Tips for Implementing What You Learned at Applied Net 2015
November 20, 2015
So much work and energy often go into attending a conference that it may seem like everything concludes once it’s over. In actuality, post conference is when the work begins. Applied Net 2015 will have introduced new ideas, new methods and new concepts that can help you improve business practices in your organization, but only if you return to the office ready to put what you’ve learned into practice.
It starts with creating the plans that will carry you through the year as you work towards clearly defined goals within your business. Aim to build flexibility into your planning process, with regular feedback and new ideas to help you use what you’ve learned.
Follow these 7 tips to organize your process and develop the concepts that will best benefit you and your agency or brokerage.
- Put together a list of 5 action items
Start by creating a list of the top five action items you most want to implement within your agency or brokerage this year. These should be the things that your office is most likely to realize in the coming months. Be practical and focus on what is achievable to avoid creating a wish list. The goal here is to create a solid plan that keeps everyone on track to completion. If you have more than five items, narrow it down by looking at what will benefit you most in the short term.
- Make a separate list for supporting ideas
At a conference as large and widely attended as Applied Net, you are bound to have been inspired by ideas from a variety of fellow attendees. Use this list to explore these ideas and add any that you’ve come across in the weeks since the conference. These items may not be actionable right now, or perhaps they need refining before becoming viable. Write them down regardless and review them periodically. The process of looking over old inspirations will help you form new ones.
- Map the ideas onto the action items
For each of your top five action items, connect ideas from your list of possibilities that would support and advance each project. For example, if one of your top five projects is: “Start Using Download,” look through your notes from sessions such as “Streamline Your Workflow Utilizing Activity Notes and Claims Download” or “Exploring IVANS Exchange” that mentioned download. Review your handouts from classes, and any suggestions from panelists, or insights from the exhibit hall as well as any notes you took yourself to flesh it out.
- Archive anything not doable [for now]
No matter how carefully you plan, there will still be more items on your list then your organization can implement. Archiving anything that you don’t have the time or resources for in the next few months will help you focus on projects that can yield a more definite, immediate benefit.
Keep access to your original list of projects so that you can return to it at any time, but stay focused on short-term objectives to start to see the impact of what you learned at conference as soon as possible.
- Schedule time to take action
If members of your team were in attendance with you, schedule a meeting with them. Compare your lists of action items and ideas. Take time to consider what projects you have the capacity to carry out, as well as what will be most likely to benefit the business.
For those team members who weren’t able to attend, share your insights from the conference to give a sense of what has inspired you. Share a summary of what you learned and why it’s important with your team, and get their feedback. Their support will ensure that the implementation process runs smoothly.
- Prioritize your projects
This step is critical to truly begin the process of putting thought into action. Choose one project from your list of action items and supporting ideas to begin working on immediately. Ideally, this will be the one that is the most likely to yield significant results in the shortest amount of time, or the one that will have the biggest positive impact on your organization. Once you’ve chosen, sort the rest of your top five list by order of time necessary for implementation.
- Connect with people
Once you start work on the most important things on your list, tracking your progress and receiving feedback is crucial. Applied University, Applied Client Network Forums and the Applied Client Portal are all resources available to support you as you put your plans into action to benefit your agency or brokerage.
Ensure that you are open to new ideas and methods to help your business grow after the conference, and keep in touch with the speakers who inspired you. Collecting all of your notes and handouts from the conference in one location is a good way to keep track of what you’ve learned and where you hope it will take you in the months ahead. Reaching out to your fellow Applied Net attendees can also be a valuable resource as you work towards putting the things you’ve learned to work in your agency or brokerage.
What was the best thing that you learned at Applied Net? Tell us by commenting below!