This episode’s guest, Sharon Alford, is the Vice President of Direct-to-Consumer Business Development at VSP Vision Care. She has been in the vision insurance industry, making leaps and bounds in technology and innovation because of her leadership and outlook.
You have to be in development mode all of the time... It is a race. Technology just does not stand still.
Alford speaks to the recent trends in the insurance workplace since COVID, and how VSP has continued to thrive because of their proactive approach to technology. As an example, she uses her company’s use of smartphones to receive prescriptions for and order new glasses without having to physically see a doctor.
This no-contact method of doing business has allowed VSP to maintain relationships with otherwise unreachable people during a global pandemic, ultimately giving a foothold to better customer care and support.
This care and support, she says, are the backbone of the industry. How can we better serve the customer? How can we always have the end-user in mind? In this case, VSP reaped the rewards, being ahead of the curve and prepared with stable innovation developed years before.
Building the Unicorn
Sharon breaks down her idea of a unicorn business in the insurance industry, focusing on the technology that is available in parts but has yet to be put completely together into an allencompassing platform.
While she is always looking for ways to build VSP into that unicorn, Sharon knows the only way to be able to do so, is to stay as up to date as possible with her industry. Her executive team promotes a tremendous amount of trust to her of real time knowledge to stay current.
Attending conferences and technology symposiums, she is able to connect and invest in partnerships which is significant to her company’s knowledge and success.
If you ask for these things, you better deliver.
Staying on Top
When asked how companies not just get to the top but maintain their status at the top, Sharon suggests that it is all about your outlook.
The key is to be involved in all aspects of development. She sits down with the developers, managers, and programmers to engage on their level where they can take pride of ownership.
Leadership and Humility
As Sharon pulls back to the memory of her mentors and even her own company’s president states, she can maintain conversations with the janitor as well as the CEO. For her, cultivating an inclusive culture from the top to the bottom transforms company perspective and ideals.
Our company’s type of leadership communicates with humility is what makes the difference. For Sharon staying in the trenches with her team, supporting and sharing vulnerabilities are truly something to live by.
Being a leader and having humility is a rare quality.
To learn how to be a better leader, join us at The Insurance Leadership Podcast for more insights on how you can become someone others will follow.