SaskBroker Magazine > It's not more things, it’s the right things

It's not more things, it’s the right things

By Nicole Sinclair, Advisor to the President & CEO, IBAS
Posted on October 14, 2021

Just over a year ago, IBAS President and CEO, Derek Lothian told me I was now the Editor of SaskBroker Magazine. I excitedly gripped the most recent edition and thanked him, but internally I was panicking. The publication was stunning, the information it contained was unlike any industry publication I had been a part of in the past, and it was clearly a meaningful tool for the association. This is now my fourth edition of SaskBroker magazine and it the portion of my job I look forward to the most.

IBAS as an organization does many things. One could say we do too many things. I won’t list them here because not only would that take up way too much space in this precious publication, but it would be simultaneously overwhelming and a bore. What putting SaskBroker Magazine together does is force a moment of reflection. When I sit down at my desk and start reviewing the activities of the past four months and activities on the horizon, I am usually a bit taken back. The opportunity to look at a period and be truly proud of what a small team and an engaged membership can do is typically reserved for annual reports, but SaskBroker Magazine allows for this type of reflection and appreciation multiple times per year. As the ultimate celebration of one year of publications, I have kicked Derek out of the driver’s seat and momentarily stolen his column, so I guess you could say my plans are all coming together.

Moving into 2022

In the spirit of never slowing down, IBAS scheduled a full slate of activities for fall of 2021. The annual golf tournament was the inaugural ‘return to in-person event’ and we wrapped it up in a furry of other meetings and engagements, some for groups who have only ever been able to gather via Zoom; and it felt great! Once we shifted gears into full-blown convention planning it felt like the world was (nearly) back to normal.

We were all thrilled about convention — although it is not the full ‘return to normal’ we have all been dreaming of, but, IBAS is putting member safety first and foremost. We had secured a world-class line up of speakers and entertainment, planned delicious meals, chosen a beautiful location and were organizing incredible décor, but none of that matters if safety does not come first. IBAS members are leaders in the business of risk management and it chose to show leadership in the face of risk and postpone the event. The right thing is not always the easy thing.

This fall will see the return of the Rural Brokerage Advisory Committee. The committee was originally formed in 2019 but tapered away during the early months of the pandemic. IBAS members serve 241 different communities; the rural perspective is critical to ensuring that IBAS is representing the interests of all members, including those with unique challenges and opportunities. The committee will also serve as a forum for brokerage leaders to share ideas and learn from one another. As an avid cheerleader of collective voices being amplified, I am elated to have been involved in the process so far and to watch it grow and develop.

Collective support, amplified voices and building community, be it through coalitions, committees, councils, or associations is my cup of tea; luckily for me it is also a large part of my position at IBAS.

Empowering the Collective

My ‘cup of tea’ got a name from the IBAS Leaders Forum — I am a Mediator, “Kolbe found Mediators excel when working on teams, pulling forces together, bridging differences, responding to needs, and blending abilities into productive efforts.” What great confirmation that I am in the right place, entrusted with the right role. Also, a great example of the learning opportunities provided to even the fly on the wall of a marvelous program.

The Leaders Forum blends peer mentorship, group discussion, targeted learning, and shared accountability; the first in-person session in September marked the half-way point for the programs first year. Hearing the concept last fall and watching its development, launch and success in a single year has been fascinating. I believe it is a program that will make a giant impact on our journey of building and nurturing resilient, world-class insurance brokerages in Saskatchewan.

In the same spirit, the IBAS Emerging Brokers Council has thrived in 2021. This group is some of our greatest brand champions, truly passionate about the insurance industry, about IBAS and about community — running charity campaigns, recruiting the next generation, being a voice nationally and locally and ensuring that the unique perspective of young and emerging brokers is present and reflected in all we do. As positions change and new individuals step up to fill vacant positions, I believe that these individuals will continue to be advocates and leaders in the industry. If that isn’t building the next generation of brokerage leaders, I don’t know what is.

What’s Next?

As we move into year-two of a three-year strategic plan, IBAS will continue to pursue our mission of protecting Saskatchewan consumers, families, and businesses by nurturing world-class insurance brokerages. As the needs of brokers and brokerages evolve, so too will the types of events and education we offer. With principles in place to guide these activities and an open feedback loop between membership and leadership, the association will continue to generate extraordinary value for our members.

Changing regulations, evolving demographics and even weather patterns affect the needs of the industry — being nimble enough to respond quickly to evolving needs is challenging but critical. Relevance is temporary. It is one thing to be busy, but ensuring we are busy with the right things is what ensures the continued relevance of organization like IBAS and that comes from member engagement. Survey feedback, discussions with principals, relationships with government, and an open mindset are the keys — and we have our members to thank for entrusting us with that information and providing us the opportunity to serve their needs, both in the moment and long-term.

As we prepare to head into colder months with many unknowns stemming from provincial and national restrictions, election results and ever-changing policy targets, I believe we can be truly confident in one thing — that our communities, workplaces, and province are stronger when together.