Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Lloyd's of London's Dynamic Strategy


This blog post considers Lloyd’s of London’s strategic plan, "Vision 2025", in light of Dunlop et al’s “Dynamic Strategy Implementation” and Collis and Rukstad’s “Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?”. I argue that Lloyd’s Vision 2025 strategic plan, and the way it is being implemented, exemplifies many of the tenets of these two articles. It should be noted that beyond just a well designed and communicated strategic plan, the strategic plan is based on an in-depth analysis of market trends and a recognition of the key strengths of Lloyd’s of London, and the opportunities in light of these two considerations, which also positions it for success – however, I will not focus on this in the blog post.
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On Tuesday, April 15, 2014 Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s), the London, UK-based insurance marketplace, announced its 2014-2016 strategy. On face value, this seems like nothing out of the ordinary - three year strategies are quite common.  However, this 3-year strategy is unusual. Rather than an independent strategy, it is only one of several symbiotic strategies that will be implemented to help reach one ultimate strategic goal, Lloyd’s Vision 2025.

Upon taking up his appointment as Llyod’s Chairman in 2011, John Nelson almost instantaneously began conceptualizing a long-term vision and plan for Lloyd’s. The result was “Vision 2025”, a strategic plan for where Lloyd’s wants to be in 2025.

Although Nelson has admitted that “Vision 2025 will be a real challenge for the Lloyd’s market to execute”, Lloyd’s has developed a strategic plan that incorporates numerous best practices for successfully implementing such an ambitious strategic plan in today’s unstable markets (Boyle). Despite the length and complexity of Vision 2025, Lloyd’s has a strong fighting chance of achieving the goals of this plan.

First, Lloyd’s developed a clear, precise vision that will drive all aspects of Lloyd’s’ operations for almost 25 years –  “making sure Lloyd’s becomes the major global hub for specialist insurance and reinsurance by 2025” (“Vision 2025 Overview”).Collis and Rukstad state,  “the strategic objective should be specific, measurable and time bound” (4). Lloyd’s objective is just that; it clearly defines the scope, states the time goal, and the success can be measured based on market data. This succinct statement is then accompanied by a detailed, yet simple, one-page document that provides greater detail on the vision to ensure there is no misinterpretation of the strategy (9). 

Lloyd’s recognized from the outset that reaching this vision cannot be reached via a linear path, which is why smaller strategic strategies will be implemented every few years. These smaller plans set forth how Lloyd’s will work towards Vision 2025 over that smaller time period, while simultaneously allowing for the Vision 2025 strategic plan to be adapted based on current market trends. As stated in Lloyd’s 2014-2016 strategy press release, “Vision 2025 was always intended to be a dynamic strategy and, two years from its launch, there are some changes in emphasis” (“Evolving Lloyd’s Vision 2025”).

Lloyd’s has also accomplished that which Dunlop et. al state is imperative to successfully implementing a strategy but most organizations fail to do, translating ambitious goals into specific actions (3). The 2014-2016 Plan is a highly actionable document. It not only clearly states and describes the 3-year strategic priorities, but for every priority provides descriptions and metrics for what success looks like, the corporation’s roles and the market roles, and specific market goals and corporate actions.

Overall, Lloyd’s' development and implementation, at least on paper, seems to be a paramount example of how to successfully implement a dynamic, long-term strategic plan. However, only time will tell whether it actually allows Lloyd’s to achieve Vision 2025.

Do you believe that implementing separate smaller strategic plans to help achieve an overall strategic plan by splitting the overall plan into manageable and adaptable chunks is a useful tactic? Or, does Lloyd’s method of implementing a dynamic strategy overcomplicate what is an already complicated process by muddying the waters of the greater vision and strategic plan?

References and Works Cited

Boyle, Charles E. "Lloyd's Focuses on Brokers, MGA's, Capital in New Details for 'Vision 2025' Plan." Insurance Journal. 21 Apr. 2014. 21 Apr. 2014 <http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2014/04/21/326847.htm>.  

Collis, David J., and Michael G. Rukstad. "Can You Say What Your Strategy Is?" Harvard Business Review (2008).  

Dunlop, Amelia, Vincent Firth, and Robert Lurie. Dynamic Strategy Implementation. Rep. Deloitte UP. 

"Evolving Lloyd's Vision 2025." Press release. Lloyd's of London. 15 Apr. 2014. 21 Apr. 2014 <http://www.lloyds.com/news-and-insight/news-and-features/lloyds-news/lloyds-news-2014/evolving-lloyds-vision-2025>. 

"Lloyd's Strategy 2014 - 2016." Lloyd's of London. 21 Apr. 2014 <http://www.lloyds.com/~/media/Files/Lloyds/About%20Lloyds/Strategy/LloydsStrategy20142016.pdf>. 

"Lloyd's Vision 2025." Lloyd's of London. 21 Apr. 2014 <http://www.lloyds.com/~/media/Files/Lloyds/About%20Lloyds/Strategy/Vision2025201404.pdf>. 

"Vision 2025 Overview." Lloyd's of London. 21 Apr. 2014 <http://www.lloyds.com/lloyds/about-us/strategy/vision-2025>.

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