I have a thing for art. Not just fine art, but any kind of art. Art can come in many forms - whether it's a painting, a cartoon strip, or the ever so slick product packaging at companies like Apple and Nest. I've come to appreciate art in all forms.
We recently went through a mini redesign of the office and we wanted to incorporate art work that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but pieces that can convey our company's culture. I personally believe having art in the office is "tres importante"! We spend so much time in the office, just as we would put art around the house to enjoy, why wouldn't we do the same in our office space? Artwork can also inspire us to be creative, to think outside of the box and drive innovation through that thinking.
We had some incredible etching of our Maxims done on our Board Room and Meeting Room glass panels, as well as displayed some of our Eli's photos around our office. The personal added touch of these pieces, really does speak to our company culture and an environment that our staff feel a sense of belonging.
While continuing to look for more artwork options (we've got more walls!), I came across gapingvoid. I thoroughly enjoy their work and also the purpose behind it. gapingvoid not only creates art work, but they affect change in business and business culture, through the use of their distinct style of drawing. It really is Art With Purpose.
Here are a selection of some pieces that resonated with me and our company from the gapingvoid.
Does your office have some cool art work? How does your office art convey your company's culture or business purpose?
I'd love to see some! Share your story!
*This is part of a Blog Series: Five Reasons Why E-Learning Works.*
Late last year, Natalie made an intro on E-Learning, and listed briefly some of the reasons why E-Learning works. Today, I'll take a quick stab on the first one up: Immediate Results and Feedback.
I don’t know what was more stressful in university, writing an exam or waiting for the results. It seemed like a lifetime before we got our grades back.
Instant messaging, Instagram, Twitter, scratch lottery tickets. In a world where everything has to be faster than yesterday, most up to date as well as provide instant gratification, it’s hard to compete if your product doesn't meet today's needs.
Education and training development is no different. Students are looking for immediate feedback and results. E-Learning can assist in providing immediate feedback to correct misunderstood material. The more immediate the feedback the better, because each step of learning builds upon the previous step. If no feedback is given, the the next step of learning may be building upon an incorrect interpretation (source: Mindlogicx).
Incorporating quizzes that pop up immediately after a set of learning objectives offers good feedback and reinforcement for learning. In many circumstances, results have shown that students gain a better understanding of the content when immediate feedback has been presented - it's the building effect of learning.
In addition, E-Learning allows for different formats of questions and quizzes to be inserted at the appropriate place through out the curriculum. This variety of testing encourages engagement and attentiveness amongst students.
At LOGiQ3 we are thrilled about our state-of-the-art Underwriting Video E-Learning solution. Our solution provides students with immediate feedback and results. We have incorporated knowledge check questions and final exam questions throughout each module, where each response is graded immediately. No waiting to see how well you did.
Our E-Learning solution also allows us to update the curriculum at any time to match industry enhancements and trends. Each student signed up through our Learning Management System has access to updated materials at all times. This puts an advantage to the student, ensuring he/she is current in their career development.
What are your thoughts on E-Learning? What are some of your thoughts of receiving immediate results and feedback?
Stay tuned for more reasons on why E-Learning works.
Heather Douglas is an Underwriting Manager at LOGiQ3.
For a limited time only, we are offering 20% off our Underwriting E-Learning Training Program!
Some years ago, I attended a seminar on meditation techniques. As a Type “A” personality, proud Aries, and the bearer of the name of Boudicca’s right hand warrior (Geraldine), I thought mediation would help me to empty my mind and learn the value of stillness. It did – and I highly recommend it to everyone. But an unexpected bonus from the seminar was the advice given by the teacher – a convert to Buddhism. She said that one of the best ways to still one's mind was to stop watching/reading the news first thing in the morning and before going to bed. This really resonated with me - should the last thing I see before going to bed be the ravages of war? Should I begin my day watching the antics of some despised politician?
So I stopped. That day. Really.
Of course I read and watch the news throughout the day. But I no longer digest every detail of every dreadful story. I skim the headlines, follow business articles, read the columns of favoured writers, check out my horrorscope … I am probably one of the few Torontonians who have no idea what Rob Ford is up to today. Or what Taylor Swift wears to bed…
I encourage you to make your first 2014 resolution to embrace beauty and harmony first thing every morning, and last thing at night.
Here are 2 web sites to help you through media withdrawal:
TUT: Each day I receive a note from The Universe; I read Mike Dooley’s books before I sleep. I have attended his seminar in Toronto. He makes me feel … warm and powerful and humble and joyful.
Upworthy: Videos of real people living real lives. Moving, inspiring, thought-provoking; relevant.
Make 2014 the year you choose stillness and harmony.
Gerri Sefi is Chief Compliance Officer of the LOGiQ3 Deposit Broker Distribution Channel.
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Only TWO more days to go folks!!! This is our last push to achieve our final goal of raising $2,000 for Men’s Health. We are a few hundred dollars off from our final goal, if you haven’t already shown your support, please consider helping out the cause! You can help us by making a donation of any size online.
Our last Movember blog post received the most reads this month! It's probably due to the attractive lush-staches we showcased. Wondering how our team's mo-s are doing? Check some of them out! (who's in the lead?!)
I know many of you are urging us to keep our Mo’s beyond November, so I recently came across this from our Movember support group to help us keep our ‘staches neatly trimmed and smelling fresh!
The Art of Shaving
Still looking for some great pointers to refine that mini-Mo and grow it into a maxi-Mo? Here are some helpful grooming tips:
1. Keep the hair on your upper lip trimmed and shave off scruff on the rest of your face. Use a pair of sharp tipped scissors and The Art of Shaving’s limited edition moustache comb to trim your Mo to the appropriate length and shape.
2. From the start of growing, align the edges of your moustache so it looks defined as it continues to grow in. This will transform the look of normal facial hair growth into the early appearance of a killer Mo.
3. Keep your moustache clean. Avoid washing it with regular soap, as it will leave your facial hair hard and bristly – shampoo it instead.
4. Moisturize the skin above your lip; it will be dry without the daily exfoliation from your shaving brush and razor.
5. Comb your new facial hair with the grain to soften and train the hair. Try an after-shave gel as it has a slight hold to keep facial hair in place.
Follow these simple steps, and your upper lip will be flowing and showing in no time.
No Mo, no mercy!
This blog series is dedicated to answering the question: Why should I consider Life & Health underwriting outsourcing?
A couple of months ago, I discussed the first driver behind companies considering underwriting outsourcing or undergoing an underwriting strategic review - >Upcoming change in the volume of business (increases or decreases), resulting in resource issues.
Today, I will dive into the second driver:
- Automated underwriting engine implementation projects – the underwriting capabilities of the past don’t match the future needs
The implementation of automated underwriting engines, also known as ‘automated underwriting systems’ or ‘expert underwriting systems’, by insurers and reinsurers has been taking place for several years but is still far from universally adopted. A report by the Society of Actuaries and Deloitte in 2009 put adoption by Life insurers at 29%.
The triggers behind these projects are typically one or more of:
- Reduce underwriting costs – by having fewer Underwriters on staff
- Improve underwriting consistency – by following pre-defined underwriting rules identical cases would have identical underwriting decisions
- Reduce the time to underwrite a case – especially for simple products where a series of ‘Yes/No’ questions can lead to a policy being underwritten and issued
- Reduce the amount of data required to underwrite – by using alternative sources of data, such as pharmaceutical or driving records, a case can be underwritten with the costs/inconvenience of having the proposed insured undertake a medical review
All good to know you say, but what does this have to do with outsourced underwriting? Good question.
Firstly, the implementation of an automated underwriting engine is not a simple nor quick process and typically will take from 6 to 24 months to complete from project initiation to implementation. During this time, the implementation project teams rely upon access to the senior underwriters in the department to specify the system, build the rules, test the system and finally train others on using the system. The issue? How do you make sure that your day-to-day production underwriting needs are not impacted?
Two alternative solutions exist, you can hire independent underwriting consultants to fill the production underwriting gap or you can engage a professional outsourced underwriting team to make sure that your clients are not impacted with poor time service.
Secondly, once you’ve gone through, or ideally as you’re going through the automated engine implementation you realize that the underwriting skills you need in the future will not be what you had before. With many underwriting cases being handled automatically what your underwriters are left with are cases which the rules couldn’t handle. These may be complex cases, high face amounts, older age products, all of which will still need to be underwritten by a ‘real’ underwriter. Therefore you're faced with two issues.
- How do I quickly train my Junior Underwriters to be able to handle the complex cases which are being kicked out by the system? Especially as the traditional training route of starting on simple cases has now disappeared into the automated underwriting engine?
- How do I access Senior Underwriters to handle the complex cases while my Juniors are being trained?
Here is another scenario where engaging a professional outsourced underwriting team may be the answer. The outsourced underwriting team will likely have the right skills and capacity to handle the type and volume of cases that you need to have underwritten as they are kicked out of the Underwriting engine. In our case, at LOGiQ3 we also have the ability to train your Junior Underwriters to create a long-term solution for your internal underwriting team.
Hopefully this has given you some insight into how outsourced underwriting can help as part of your automated underwriting engine implementation project. If you’ve any further questions or comments please feel free to get in touch me.
On a closing note, I invite you to take a closer look at our underwriter training program by clicking the large button below.
It's Movember and the time for change is now. Last year, the gents at LOGiQ3 started the Movember movement for the first time and raised a healthy amount towards men's health. We're proud to say we're bringing the sexy back (or are we?), and the gents will once again participate in this great cause.
As part of Generation Moustache, the gents have committed their faces to the cause and will be growing a moutache for the entire month of November. Of course to make this initiative a success, we'll need a little bit of help from you. Donate to our team and help us raise $2000+ this year.
Your donation will support world-class men’s health programs that combat prostate and testicular cancer and mental health challenges. These programs, directed by the Movember Foundation, are focused on awareness and education, living with and beyond cancer, staying mentally healthy, living with and beyond mental illness and research. Programs in these areas help to achieve our vision of an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. To find out more, visit the programs section of Movember’s website.
Here are some light-hearted FAQ's to get you started if you haven't yet:
Q: Although some ladies can grow moustaches I am not one of them - Can I still get involved?
A: Well yes Mo-Sista you can! In addition to your generous donation, you can support by encouraging your male friends to participate! We are holding a special LOGiQ3 event on November 29th where our Mo-Sistas can participate!
Q: I just look plain silly with facial hair and people stop, point, and laugh at me – What do I do?
A: Tell them testicular cancer is nothing to laugh at – and having a little bit of fun while supporting a good cause is all around a good time!
Q: My wife doesn’t like it when I grow a ‘stache – what do I do?
A: She doesn’t like it when you come home at 2 a.m. or when you leave the seat up either – are you going to stop doing that too?
Q: Does a goatie count for Movember?
A: Yes – if you shave off the beard part of it.
We really hope you can join us this Movember either by donating to our team or by helping us spread the word. Better yet, join in on the fun by growing a stach and starting your own team!
Thanks for swinging by! We'll be doing a two week weigh in on the lovely mo's around the office, be sure to check back soon.
Until next time,
Swift | Silent | Hairy
Natalie on behalf of LOGiQ3's Mo-Bros
Natalie Ho is Assistant Vice President at LOGiQ3
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It is amazing to watch my 4 year old nephew Tyler learn. He learned to swipe a phone at the age of 2, he also learned very quickly how to navigate the remote control buttons and picking his favourite episode of CARS on the DVR just shortly after that. Now, he learns from his books and pens that read back to him, where he's been able to pronounce dinosaur names I've yet not been able to.
Technology has become so accessible in everyday life, it is hard to imagine NOT incorporating technology when it comes to education and on-going training development.
Tyler is an example of how technology cannot be separated from a child's ongoing development. Technology is part of every child and adult's daily life, so why should your career development learning ignore the importance and influence of technology? In this 5-part series, we will look at why E-Learning is a benefit for career development on an individual or corporate level.
What is E-Learning?
E-Learning is the use of any electronic media or communication technology with regards to any kind of education. Online training solutions complement today's technological advances and also accomodates an individual's busy schedule. Often times due to budget contraints or priority obligations, training and development becomes a "nice to have" within an organization rather than a "must". E-Learning solutions are a cost-effective and time-saving alternative.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will dive deeper into five reasion why E-Learning works (from the individual and corporate perspective), this includes: 1) Simplicity and Speed, 2) Immediate Results and Feedback, 3) Better Fit for Today's Business 4) Most Up to Date Content and 5) Delivering the Best Experience.
You can read the next post in this series here.
I hope you'll stay tuned as we uncover these topics for you!
Natalie Ho is Assistant Vice President at LOGiQ3
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Interested in Underwriting E-Learning Solutions?
Chris and I were fortunate to be able to attend TEDxToronto late last week. True to the TED brand, it presented many ideas worth spreading and true to the event's theme, all the speakers discussed the importance of the choices we make.
There were a few talks that I thoroughly enjoyed at TEDxToronto: The Choices We Make, though I really did enjoy all of them, some amazing choices people have made in their lifetime. Here is a quick round up of a few for you:
Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs did a fantastic job on his talk about the "New Canada", how the demographics of Canada have changed and we as businesses and individuals need to find new ways to serve the new Canadian. Highlight of his talk for me? "Googling Asian Cusine + Milk yields NOTHING". You'll have to watch his talk in a few weeks to understand.
Joel MacCharles of WellPreserved.ca is a home cook and spends a few days in the year preserving jars of food. Why? Look up "Castoreum" a common ingredient for "natural flavors" and you'll probably understand why he decided to cook and preserve his own food. I've become inspired to learn more about how to preserve food.
Mark Bowden, President of TRUTHPLANE gave both a humorous yet compelling talk on first impressions and body language. Did you know we put people into four categories - Friend, Predator, someone we want to have sexual relations with, and someone we are indifferent of - from the first 7 seconds we lay eyes on them? He was obviously very successful at persuading me in putting him into my Friend zone as I'm sitting here writing about why you should check him out.
As you may know already, Chris and I are co-organizing TEDxKingStreetEast 2013: The Power of a Question. An independent TEDx event taking place on October 9. Prior to being engulfed by the whole TEDx experience, I have to say, I didn't know too much about TED. I just knew that I liked their videos, what it stood for, and the countless things I learn from watching their videos online - many of which became conversation starters (including some of the things I learned last week).
However, after weeks of planning, connecting with other TEDx community members, and the pleasure of attending two TEDx events in Toronto (TEDxToronto and TEDxKingStreetWest), we're now beginning to understand that TED is much more than interesting videos on a website. It's a giant gathering of like minds and a place to connect curious people, and it's that curiosity which stems interesting conversations and in turn bulids an incredible network.
I also realized that gaining the support of speakers, sponsors, and attendees isn't about a good sales pitch. Rather, I found that those who are naturally drawn to technology, entertainment, design, innovation, sharing ideas, and building new relationships naturally appreciates TED and see the value intrinsically.
For those of you who have not had the pleasure to be engulfed by a TED or a TEDx experience and find this post even a tiny bit intriguing, I dare you to get in touch with your local TEDx community and get involved. There are over a thousand TEDx events globally, there's bound to be one close to you and the experience, whether it is being a attendee/delegate, a speaker, an organizer, or a volunteer is extremely rewarding.
The world is changing, constantly. TED bring together groups that will help shape that change and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.
Thanks for reading!
Natalie (Connect with me anytime)
Tickets are onsale for TEDxKingStreetEast 2013: The Power of a Question.
In June the Freedom2BeGreen committee posted a blog regarding how to be green in the city. Well, we couldn’t just give the suggestion we had to try it out ourselves! We have created a small vegetable garden on our balcony which includes cherry tomatoes, full-sized tomatoes, chili peppers, and chives.
We have started off small with only a few vegetables that we encourage our staff members to enjoy with their lunches or take home to use in a recipe. So far only the cherry tomatoes are beginning to show themselves, and there is a bit of a story to go along with this.
Last year we grew cherry tomatoes only and this year we planned on growing them again. Just before I went to purchase the baby plants I noticed that something was growing out of the pot we used for the cherry tomatoes from the previous year. Odd I thought, because tomato plants do not re-seed themselves. I began to think maybe some weeds were growing in the pot, but on closer examination they were in fact little cherry tomato plants! How, you ask? Well, it turns out that if you do not collect all of your tomatoes from the vine and one or two drop into the soil and are left there, the tomato decomposes and the seeds are left in the soil and can grow new life the following season. So, a new tip for cultivating annual tomatoes is to simply let a few drop into the soil and leave them there for next year! Cost effective, and eliminates the planting process!
Many different recipes use our veggie garden ingredients in combination with others for a variety of fresh dishes.
Try our salsa recipe.
A delicious salsa recipe made with fresh tomatoes, chili peppers, and chives.
3 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, chopped
2 hot chili peppers finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper
Put chopped onion and garlic in a strainer; pour 2 cups boiling water over them then let drain thoroughly. Discard water. Cool.
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.
Makes about 2 cups of salsa.
More to come from Freedom2BeGreen as our garden grows... stay tuned! What are some of the green initiatives you are involved with? We'd love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!
Lindsay Loft is an Underwriter at LOGiQ3.
Organizations often train their sales team to avoid a 'no' - from the tried and true sales methods to newer ideas about closing a customer, you're always looking for a "yes"!
A simple fact I like to share with sales people is that “no” is a good answer!
In fact it is the second best answer, after “yes”. Too often a sales person is so intent on getting a “yes” and avoiding a “no” that they look for, or are more satisfied with, a “let me think about it” or some other way that the customer just puts off saying “no” to either save themselves saying it or your sales person hearing it!
What any good communicator does is listen. A good salesperson is always listening for the subtle signs that a customer is looking for something more. Do they need more information, someone's approval, or simply time to think? A great salesperson listens for a "no". They don't want to hear "no" - they want to know what the customer is saying no to, and why.
Face to face sales is the most expensive form of marketing and/or order taking so getting to the “no,” if that is really the customer's answer, is what you need to do.
How? Well, how about instead of asking for a “yes", ask ”Will you say yes if I provide that answer/information to your satisfaction”. Use this or another similar approach that suits your style to make the customer understand that answering “no” if that is what they mean is OK. It will save time for both and we can all agree that is a good thing.
Seems so obvious, but I can tell you both customers and sales people get trapped by avoiding the “no” and unless you are consciously working to not allow this to happen it becomes a comfortable habit.
So what do you think, do you avoid the “no”? How do you close to a “no” if it’s not going to be a “yes”? How do you avoid wasting both parties' time when they have trouble saying “no”?
We’d like to hear from you, please leave me a comment below to start an engaging discussion.
Until next time,
Doug Paul is a Managing Consultant at LOGiQ3 working on the Insurance Distribution Advisor Screening, Monitoring, and Compliance initiative.
Learn more about the key deliverables of the Insurance Distribution Initiative.