Engage with Impact
Publish date: 06/05/2021
Claire Owens is a passionate, motivated, and impactful business leader who looks for opportunity within a challenge. Here she outlines what she hopes to achieve as Managing Director of FMG, as she plans to make her mark on the industry by simply focusing on the business and people of FMG.
Q: Your appointment as Managing Director came with the backdrop of the pandemic. How did you navigate the last 12 months whilst still driving the strategic vision of FMG?
A: For me, every day we are challenged in a new way. Covid-19 was quite simply another situation that we had to deal with, and as a business leader I had to adapt, because there’s only one thing in life that’s certain, and that’s change. I didn’t see Covid as a challenge, I looked at it as an opportunity. It was about seizing the moment, staying ahead, looking forward and using 2020 as a springboard to advance. Whether a crisis or a pandemic, or any change scenario in business, you’ve got to foster that energy to break down the barriers to enact a new way of working.
Q: It is a great achievement and challenge to lead a business through a crisis such as Covid-19; what lessons have you learnt during this time and how has the pandemic influenced your approach to leadership?
A: I have an authentic leadership style, and that approach has taught me to build your foundations on trust. Ultimately, you can’t operate effectively without putting trust in your team. A ll businesses had to take a leap of faith during the first lockdown regarding home working; and one of the lessons I’ve learnt during that time is to trust our colleagues; trust that they care about the customer, and trust that they will do the right thing. I often take up roles that come with a challenge, and I am forever learning to adapt my personal working model to fit the situation. The pandemic certainly showed me that while making decisions through a commercial lens is great, sometimes decisions have to go above and beyond that lens when we’re dealing with peoples’ health, safety, and welfare. You need to adopt a people-first approach and set new ways of working that are sensitive to the needs of staff and customers alike.
Q: You have previously mentioned that you are leading FMG in the next stage of their evolution; what will you be focusing on as part of that evolution and what do you hope to accomplish through that development?
A: For me, it is about the three Cs. Customer, Capability, and Capacity. The customer is at the heart of what we do. We have seen a 12-point increase in our NPS score, and I am determined to remain outcome focused and continue improving that customer journey. For FMG, that customer satisfaction journey will always be key. I am aiming to enhance the capability of FMG to benefit the customer base. I see technology as an enabler to that. We listen closely to our insurer partners, and I can hear that we need a leaner, faster, and easier claims process, so my ambition for the business is to become an integrated partner, not to act as a firefighter, but to integrate and be that connection between our partners, policy holders, and drivers. Our focus on vehicle repair and capacity, is to integrate with the supply chain. My challenge is how do we integrate effectively with the supply chain in order to develop the client proposition, enhance the customer journey and the value for our partners.
Q: What do you hope to achieve as a leader for FMG, but also as a leader within the wider insurance industry?
A: I engage with impact. If I’m not making an impact and shaping the direction of travel of the business, then I’m not doing my job. I operate under the umbrella of transparency and trust; if I say I’m going to deliver it, believe me, I’m going to deliver it. In terms of the wider industry… I start with the business first. I’m employed by the business not the industry. I want to advance the business, the customer journey, and create value for the clients and our partners, and I think if I crack that, by proxy, I’ve made a mark on the industry. For me, focus on your business, your people, and the industry will follow.