Sandra Snowball, Regional Manager Coastal Region, FIA
The new norm, face-to-face vs online, vax, booster, quarantine, masks… A daily use of words. An inclusion in every conversation we have – so how do we plan for and consider the future in a world of unknowns?
We have all experienced the anxious feeling of the unknown over the past two years and we still wonder just exactly where this will all end up. But, as South Africans – as intermediaries and entrepreneurs – once the initial panic subsides, we begin to consider the possibilities of what changes are on the horizon and what role we are going to play.
Within the context of the FIA, engagement with our Members is key and once the initial panic of how do we now engage subsided, we knew the ‘new norm’ could result in positive outcomes. Our ability to engage more widely with our Members via online forums was always a possibility and the true test was to come. Then came the inevitable questions. Will everyone embrace the changes? How do we make this an easier, quicker seamless transition? To Zoom or Teams? However, we found our way and we have all enjoyed a small laugh when an impassioned plea or argument is completely lost in translation while we say “you’re on mute”.
Fast forward two years later and the statistics speak for themselves – our engagement with Members is higher than ever. The FIA team made quick decisions and with a lot of hard work, we were able to extend our reach to members who ordinarily found the face-to- face engagement too time consuming.
Through technology and digital meetings, we were able to offer a host of online member engagements to discuss the pressing issues of BI, PI and Sasria, provide training on the FSTC codes and extensive Employee Benefit sessions as well as continue to offer CPD- accredited presentations. In the past two years some of the webinars and workshops we offered to Members included:
• Business Interruption Training Workshop
• POPIA CPD Session
• Business Interruption Response Plan Workshop
• Professional Indemnity Workshops
• Employee Benefits Workshops
• Healthcare Workshop
• Code of Conduct & Advice Process Workshop
• SASRIA Webinar
• And, of course we hosted two spectacular Summits with an enviable lineup of speakers and topics.
In the same time period, we launched our CPD Online Platform to ensure quality CPD content for Members. Our now 18-month-old CPD Platform has already undergone a facelift with additional features and loaded content providing CPD without leaving your desk, bed or couch and without the restriction of a specific time of meeting.
Mistakes have and will be made – this is part of life. Improvements are mandatory and learning from our mistakes is crucial. We listen, encourage and support. Your business success is our success and we will continue to strive for our industry successes.
Our lives are changed and there will be scars that remain but every challenge brings change and change drives ingenuity – whether out of need or want. We don’t always get the ending we want but the journey is for learning and we may be surprised at the outcomes.
The FIA continues its path of protecting and defending the intermediated business in South Africa and we are proud to represent this industry!