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Too Corporate? Heck No!

By Sarah Walsh

Giant’s Causeway – Ireland


Hello Dear Colleagues,

I hope this finds you all well, with a healthy tan and enjoying the last dog days of summer. It’s not over yet, but sadly we’re on the back side of the season. Not to worry though because fall, and its promise of new starts, is right around the corner!

September is always a busy time at PayneWest, and we’re gearing up for it! After Labor Day week, the fun begins with Service Mastery and Riscover in Spokane, followed the next week by a meeting of our entire management team in Missoula to start 2020 planning, followed a couple weeks later by CONNECT in Coeur d’Alene.

Speaking of CONNECT, the invite to this event went out last week and like last year, the response has been overwhelmingly positive! All our non-sales-related colleagues are encouraged to attend a session of CONNECT (M-W or W-F of the week of Sept 30-Oct 4). Sales colleagues – please note the session overlap on Wednesday, Oct 2nd. Thank you in advance for being in your respective offices that day and uber-available for clients. Don’t let this stop you from selling though… it will be a good time to hone your cold-calling skills!

So why does PayneWest invest in sending the majority of colleagues to Coeur d’Alene for a few days? Or sending our sales colleagues to Network Builder? Or colleagues to Service Mastery, Riscover, LiveIt, etc., etc., etc.? The answer is CULTURE and the importance of continually making ours better and stronger. To accomplish that, sometimes we need to take time away from the office to sit back and see what we’ve got. I sure believe we’ve got something really special and worth protecting and improving.

Speaking of CULTURE – every once in a while, I will hear a comment from a colleague saying we’ve gotten “too big” or “too corporate.” When I hear that, I shudder and get an icky feeling. Are we “too big?” Back to that something special I mentioned above… can we really have enough clients and colleagues to share in that? I don’t think so, and in fact, believe “the more the merrier!”

Are we “too corporate”? Well, we are a “corporation” with 30 locations and roughly 765 colleagues across 4 states – but I also think we’re one big, extended family with cousins everywhere! And big families need to have some level of organization to function, grow and live in harmony. Without that, the family may fall apart, or at the very least live a chaotic existence. So the next time you hear about a new process being implemented, a new “rule” to follow, a benchmark to hit, a “no” to a request, etc., know that behind it, it’s all about keeping the family together and functioning well. (Of course, if something seems really goofy, please speak up for the good of the family!)

Looking forward to seeing you at one of our next reunions!


Earned Designations and Completed Programs

  • Alyssa Goins, Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist (AFIS)
  • Paul Kmosena, Certified Risk Manager (CRM)
  • Roxanne Nelson, Personal Lines Coverage Specialist (PLCS)
  • Jessie Reed, Personal Lines Coverage Specialist (PLCS)
  • Rebecca Sanne, Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS)
  • Tara Vanderhoof, Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist (AFIS)