25 Jun 2021

Teamwork that was the magic word!

Andrea Simoncelli from Generali Towarzystwo Ubezpieczen S.A.

It was a dark rainy afternoon when I arrived at Chopin Airport in Warsaw. November is not one of the best month to choose to come to Poland but miserable weather outside was better than gloomy atmosphere I found inside the Company I was requested to chair. Good people poorly managed . Company at a brink of default needs to believe turnaround is possible and to achieve a turnaround you need  to set up a team. Teamwork that was the magic word. Teamwork means unified spirit, to forget  past responsibilities, to stop complaining and finding reason of failures, to learn from mistakes, to move forward with renewed optimism, to challenge common saying, to experiment new way of working, to surprise customers, to develop taste of success, to be generous. All these tasks have been achieved  choosing right people who worked in the right places.  Company results turned from red to black  in 18 months much earlier than planned thanks to the successful implementation of a varieties of actions from products to sales network, from tariff to IT systems from customer service to  claims handling. All these actions were backed by a simple and agile organization. Clear roles and responsibilities and personal accountability. Behind each number of Profit and loss Account must be seen the name of a Board member responsible. No useless role definition, no visiting travelers, no advisors who never bear final result  but professionals who know their job and  know risks of their decisions. Two unforgettable years that turned an healing entity in one of most respected insurance company in Polish market. To restructure a Company is similar to work in First Aid department inside an Hospital. You have to know the business, to be able to take quick decisions, to rely on colleagues support and to take risks knowing that time is playing against you. Polish successful story is typical Generali story. It is part of  our DNA wherever you work. Particularly in Eastern Europe where Generali group was set up in 1831,a Lion can not be defeated. Regardless outstanding financial numbers , increasing  market share, improved Net Promoter Scores , award and local Authorities recognitions, what made me most proud of was a statement expressed by the whole Board Members, the TEAM, during end of the year celebration meeting where they say “thank you to have discovered inner potentials we did not believe to have”. People management this is what is all about. When we state that insurance is people business means we have to start from managing our people first and than our customers and stakeholders. Generali people has no nationality. We are unified by Generali values regardless passport we owned. Same values of 190 years ago that I discovered during my first visit to Trieste and that are now carved in my mind for the next years to come.