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Jul 08
Robert "Bob" Harper, former BIGiOK Chairman, passes away on June 28, 2024

bob-harper

Robert “Bob" Earl DeWayne  Harper,  CPCU, CIC, retired shareholder at Rich & Cartmill Insurance passed on June 28, 2024 at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa with his two sons by his side.

Bob was born August 8, 1939 at St. Anthony hospital in Oklahoma City to Winifred Casey Harper.   Bob's Dad (Thaddeus S. Harper, Jr.) was killed in an auto accident six months before Bob was born.  It was the first of several life challenges Bob would overcome. Bob was the youngest of eight.

When he was in the 9th grade, his family moved to Chandler, OK.  Bob always said it was one of the best things that ever happened to him.   Bob was always proud to be a Chandler Lion! Bob was especially grateful to his speech teacher, Mrs. Marvel LaGere, who encouraged him to participate in Speech, Debate and Drama.

The principal at Chandler High School, Mr. Shelby Wyatt, pulled Bob aside his senior year and told him he needed to go to college.  Bob attended Central State University (UCO) in Edmond and graduated from Okla. City University. The whole time Bob worked to pay his tuition.

In the fall of 1961 while walking through the Student Union at OCU, one of his professors introduced him to Charlie Doggett from the Travelers Ins. Company, who was on campus recruiting. Bob  told him he had enlisted in the Navy and was leaving after the first of the year. He kept Charlie's  business card.

Bob served two years in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Saratoga. He was on board the Saratoga in October of 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

After his enlistment was up, he returned to Oklahoma City and reached out to Charlie Doggett. He interviewed and was hired by the Travelers Ins. Co. He was a field rep. and traveled the state calling on independent agents. He and Charlie were friends for 60 years.

After four years with the Travelers, Bob joined Alexander &  Alexander (now called AON) as an insurance broker.  He enjoyed the work,  but did not like working for a large corporation.  He saw Jack Mandeville as they were leaving church and Jack invited him to come talk to Dick Teubner, Ed Bentley and him about joining Rich & Cartmill.

Bob began at Rich & Cartmill on Jan. 1, 1970. He would be there for 48 years.  In that time, Dick, Ed, Jack, Bob and later Ron McCullough laid the foundation for where Rich & Cartmill is today. They were strong advocates of the independent agency system, and were always willing to share ideas with fellow independent agencies.  Bob always felt R&C was more than just a place to work and talked often of the Rich & Cartmill Family. Up to the day he retired, he was always one of the first people to welcome a new employee to Rich & Cartmill.

Bob was Past President of the Ind. Ins. Agents of Tulsa, the NE Okla. Chapter of CPCU and served as President of IIAO in 1989-90.

For many years he taught classes at the IIAO – Norman School – with his good friends Ken McGranahan and Bruce Schutte.

Bob had a well earned reputation as a nice guy – because he treated everyone the same.

 

He is preceded by his first wife, Jane Sherry Harper, and his second wife Barbara Ann Harper. He is survived by his two sons, John and Mike and their families, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Services will be Friday July 12 at 11:00 at the Church of St. Mary; 1347 E. 49th St.; Tulsa, OK. Reception to follow in the church hall. The service will also be livestreamed at www.churchofsaintmary.com​.

To honor Bob, in lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to the Tuition Assistance fund at Bishop Kelley High School – 3905 S. Hudson; Tulsa,  74135​


May 15
Let’s Take Your Financial Decision-Making to New Heights!

 

Looking at overall financial practices and getting them in alignment can feel like scaling a mountain solo. What if there were a tool out there to elevate your organization's financial prowess...and have someone to make the journey with you?

You've come to the right place.

Crafted with precision, this assessment is designed to empower your agency with cutting-edge accounting best practices, unlocking avenues for enhanced financial acumen.

At its core, our Financial Assessment boasts a comprehensive approach to evaluating your financial landscape. It goes beyond the basics, offering unparalleled insights that serve as a guide to optimize your agency's financial performance.

Our expert team, armed with a wealth of experience, delves into the intricacies of your financial practices.

Through meticulous analysis, we identify specific areas for improvement and present you with tailored recommendations. These insights not only streamline operations but also fortify financial controls, laying the foundation for sustainable growth.

Through this process, you will gain the ability to elevate your financial decision-making to new heights. Navigating challenges with confidence becomes second nature, and your agency will become or continue to be strategically positioned for long-term success.

In a dynamic business landscape, financial acumen is a game-changer. Let us help you find the catalyst that provides you with the tools and insights needed to not only survive but thrive.
Seize this opportunity to enhance your agency's financial resilience and chart a course towards sustained success today!

 


Curious about other assessments available to you? Take a look! 

BIGIOK.COM/ASSESSMENTS​


Looking for more resources available to you?
Take a look at those, too!

EQUIPPING

TECHNOLOGY

OPERATIONAL

FINANCIAL

MARKETING

STRATEGIC

by: Sara Bradshaw-Ray, CIC, CKC
BIGiOK Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

(8-7-3-2)​​​​


May 15
FTC Issues Ban on Non-Compete Clauses


FROM: Big “I” Government Affairs Team

DATE: April 23, 2024

RE: FTC Issues Ban on Non-Compete Clauses

This afternoon, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a fin​al rule that is designed to prohibit the use of most non-compete clauses in employment agreements. The controversial and highly-publicized regulation was approved following a 3-2 vote of the commissioners.

 

The Non-Compete Clause Rule is similar in many ways to the initial proposal unveiled by the FTC in January 2023. Most notably, after its effective date, it will ban the use of any new employment agreement term or condition that prohibits, penalizes, or functions to prevent a worker from seeking or accepting employment with a different person or starting a business after leaving a job. This rule applies to employees and also to independent contractors, interns, volunteers, apprentices, sole proprietors who provide services to others, and other types of workers. 

 

The IIABA staff continues to review the text of the 570-page release, but below are some of the most notable elements that we have discovered so far: 

 

  • Treatment of Other Types of Employment Agreements – As with the draft proposal, the final regulation does not prevent the use of all types of restrictive employment covenants. Non-solicitation, non-disclosure, no-business, and other types of employment agreements are unaffected by the rule if they do not prohibit or function to prevent a worker from switching jobs or starting a new business.

 

  • Sale-of-a-Business Exemption – The draft rule unveiled last year included an exemption for certain non-compete clauses between the buyer of a business and a seller, but the usefulness of this otherwise helpful exclusion was diminished because it only applied to sellers holding at least a 25% ownership interest in the entity. The Big “I” argued at length in its April 2023 comment letter and in a separate FTC-hosted forum that this ownership stake restriction should be eliminated, and we are pleased to report that the FTC has done so in the final rule. The regulation now does not restrict one’s ability to enter into or enforce a non-compete agreement with a person “pursuant to a bona fide sale of a business entity, of the person’s ownership interest in [the] entity, or of all or substantially all of a business entity’s operating assets.”

 

  • Effect on Existing Non-Compete Clauses – The FTC’s initial proposal would have nullified any non-compete agreement entered into before the final rule’s effective date. The final regulation takes a different approach and allows non-compete clauses with “senior executives” in place on the effective date to remain in force. The measure defines a “senior executive” as someone who earns at least $151,164 and serves as a business’s CEO, president, or other senior-level officer with significant decision-making authority. Any non-compete agreements that apply to workers who are not senior executives will not be enforceable after the final rule’s effective date, and the regulation requires the person who entered into the non-compete clause with the worker to provide notice before the effective date indicating that the restriction will no longer be enforceable. 

 

  • Effect on State Law – The final regulation is intended to preempt any state law that conflicts with its terms to the extent of any such conflict. 

 

  • Effective Date – The final rule is scheduled to become effective 120 days after it is formally published in the Federal Register, but the expected legal challenges discussed below could mean that this regulation never takes effect. 

 

Despite the FTC’s action this afternoon, the ultimate fate of the non-compete agreement regulation remains in serious question. The FTC maintains that it possesses the legal authority to prohibit the use of non-compete agreements (and to ban other business practices and forms of contracts) as a result of a 1914 statute, but this novel assertion will soon be challenged in federal court. In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has already announced that it will initiate its legal challenge tomorrow. 

 

The Big “I” will review the final rule in closer detail in the coming days, and anyone with questions is welcome to contact Wes Bissett in the meantime at wes.bissett@iiaba.net or 202-302-1607.



May 10
2024 BIGiOK Annual Conference and Showcase
May 07
Navigating Change Through the (KOLBE) Lens of Self-Awareness

kolbe visual 

In the realm of change management, self-awareness stands as a guiding light, illuminating the path towards successful transformation. Understanding our strengths and challenges is not just beneficial; it's essential for crafting a tailored plan that navigates the complexities of change…and we can do that when we have information like our KOLBE Strengths at our fingertips.

Acknowledging our strengths empowers us to leverage them effectively. Whether it's leadership prowess, problem-solving acumen, or exceptional communication skills, recognizing our strengths enables us to deploy them strategically during times of transition. This proactive approach amplifies our contribution to the change process, driving positive outcomes and inspiring confidence within the team.

Equally important is the recognition of our challenges. Identifying areas where we may struggle allows us to confront obstacles head-on, rather than being blindsided by them during critical moments of change. By addressing these challenges proactively, we not only fortify our own resilience but also contribute to a smoother transition for the entire team.

Crafting a change management plan rooted in self-awareness fosters authenticity and trust. Leaders who openly acknowledge their strengths and challenges cultivate an environment of transparency and vulnerability, setting the tone for open communication and collaboration. This inclusive approach encourages team members to embrace their own strengths and challenges, fostering a culture of mutual support and growth.

So how do we do that?

 

Well..take a look at this “Change Management MO" that has been curated specifically for those aware of their own KOLBE strengths. 

Click here for Kolbe Change Management MO

Ready to unlock your Change Management MO and more?!

Begin by joining us for one of the upcoming KOLBE Workshop dates in 2024!
●      May 21, 2024 from 1:30 - 3:30pm (CT)
●      August 13, 2024 from 1:30 - 3:30pm (CT)
●      October 30, 2024 from 1:30 - 3:30pm (CT)

Have questions now?

Send me an email at sara@bigiok.com and we'll find a time to get together to talk more about how you and your organization can leverage Kolbe! 

Want to know more about what else is going on in the education world of BIGiOK?

Visit our website: BIGiOK.com/education

Let's unlock your strengths (and sales!) potential today!

sara sig 

by: Sara Bradshaw-Ray, CIC, CKC
BIGiOK Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

(8-7-3-2)​​

May 07
This month “at the table,” MyNetworkers talked, learned about, shared, and discussed IMPACTful Connections… and the essence of leaders worth following.


This month “at the table," MyNetworkers talked, learned about, shared, and discussed IMPACTful Connections… and the essence of leaders worth following.

Within the powerful discussion, we dug into Gallup's Four Pillars of Leadership: Trust, Compassion, Stability, and Hope.  And at the core the two things that make a foundation stand… Courage + Connection.
 
Trust serves as the bedrock of effective leadership. By embodying traits like honesty, clarity, and behavioral predictability, leaders establish a strong foundation for their teams. Trustworthiness must be a priority skill, fostering an environment where trust flourishes. For instance, renowned leaders like Nelson Mandela and Angela Merkel exemplified trust through their unwavering integrity, earning the loyalty of their followers.

Compassion distinguishes exceptional leaders. Going beyond performance metrics, compassionate leaders prioritize their team members' holistic well-being. They openly share struggles and encourage honesty, fostering a culture of empathy and support. Take Bill Gates, who not only revolutionized technology but also channels his resources towards global health, epitomizing compassionate leadership.

Stability breeds confidence and psychological safety. Effective communication ensures clarity, making individuals feel heard and valued. Leaders like Satya Nadella of Microsoft instill stability by fostering open dialogue, empowering teams to innovate and grow amid uncertainty.

Hope ignites vision and optimism for the future. Leaders who articulate a clear direction inspire enthusiasm and perseverance. Visionaries like Elon Musk epitomize hope by pioneering groundbreaking technologies that promise to reshape our future.


At the core of these pillars lies courage and connection. Courage enables leaders to navigate challenges boldly, while connection fosters meaningful relationships that drive collective success.

It is truly amazing when we, as leaders (those who lead ourselves and one another well) can cultivate IMPACTful connections that propel both individuals and organizations towards greatness.​


May 07
Navigating Success: The Crucial Role of Strategic Planning for Agencies Today

​In the fast-paced world of insurance, agency owners often find themselves immersed in the day-to-day operations of their business, leaving little time to strategize for the future. However, the importance of strategic planning cannot be overstated, as it serves as the compass guiding agencies toward long-term success. In this article, we’ll delve into why strategic planning is imperative for agency leaders and introduce an innovative solution tailored to your busy schedules – the "Agency Plan in a Box."


The Strategic Imperative:

​​Running an insurance agency demands a delicate balance between serving clients, managing teams, and keeping up with industry trends. Yet, without a well-defined strategy, agencies risk becoming reactive rather than proactive, missing out on growth opportunities and facing unforeseen challenges. Strategic planning empowers agency leaders to anticipate market shifts, identify strengths and weaknesses, and set a clear direction for sustainable growth.


Mission, Vision, and Values: The Foundation of Su​​ccess:


One of the key elements of strategic planning is the formulation or refinement of organizational statements like Mission, Vision, and Values. These statements are the bedrock upon which the agency's culture, purpose, and identity are built. Articulating a compelling mission, envisioning future success, and establishing core values align the team and resonate with clients, fostering trust and loyalty.


Assessing Strengths and Crafting a Future Plan:​


Strategic planning goes beyond lofty statements; it involves a comprehensive analysis of individual and agency strengths. Identifying these strengths allows agency owners to capitalize on what sets them apart in a competitive market. Simultaneously, it sheds light on areas for improvement, paving the way for targeted initiatives that enhance overall agency performance. Crafting a plan becomes a strategic exercise that aligns with the agency's strengths and addresses areas of development.

quote




INTRO​​DUCING 

Agency in a box logo


The Sol​ution:


Recognizing the time constraints faced by agency owners and key leaders, "Agency Plan in a Box" brought to our membership through BIGiOK Consulting emerges as a tailored solution to facilitate strategic planning efficiently. Scheduled for June 12, 2024, this program offers a condensed yet comprehensive 6-hour workshop, filed to provide six Continuing Education (CE) credits for participants licensed in Oklahoma. The workshop centers on creating or refining crucial organizational statements and delving into strengths to lay the groundwork for future success.


A Workshop Tailored to Agen​​​cy Needs:


"Agency Plan in a Box" participants will benefit from expert guidance and receive valuable resources and a comprehensive guide to navigate the planning process. The workshop's focus extends beyond theory, offering practical insights that agency leaders can immediately apply to their businesses. The condensed format ensures that participants can invest time strategically without compromising their day-to-day responsibilities.


Follow-Up Coaching for Sustained S​uccess:


Recognizing that strategic plans require ongoing attention, the program includes three follow-up coaching sessions with expert facilitators. These sessions aim to keep participants accountable and ensure their strategic plans remain on track. The personalized coaching enhances the program's effectiveness, providing a support system as agency owners implement their strategies in the dynamic insurance landscape.

BIGiOK’s "Agency Plan in a Box" programming addresses a critical gap in the industry, offering a time-efficient and impactful solution for insurance agency owners. Strategic planning is not a luxury but a necessity for those who aspire to thrive in an ever-evolving market. By investing in their business's future success, agency owners can secure a competitive edge and navigate the complexities of the insurance landscape with confidence. Prepare to transform your agency's trajectory with "Agency Plan in a Box" – the compass for a strategic journey toward lasting success.

The time to secure the future success of your agency is now. Embrace the transformative power of strategic planning with "Agency Plan in a Box." This groundbreaking program is not just a workshop; it's your compass for navigating the complexities of our dynamic industry.

Plan now to join us in June 2024 to totally redefine your agency's trajectory. Craft or refine your Mission, Vision, and Values, assess your strengths, and design a plan that aligns with your unique identity, then stay accountable to your plan. This isn't a one-time event – it's a strategic investment in your agency's growth.

Don't let the demands of the present hinder your agency's potential for lasting success. “Agency Plan in a Box" can help you unlock a clear roadmap to navigate the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities. Your business deserves a strategic edge – seize it now!  But space is limited.  This is designed for a small, intimate cohort, so grab a spot while they’re still available.

Go to BIGiOK.com/education to secure your spot and propel your agency toward a future of unparalleled success.  Questions?  Let me know how I can help you, Sara@BIGiOK.com​


by: Sara Bradshaw-Ray, CIC, CKC
BIGiOK Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

(8-7-3-2)​​

Apr 03
Fitting Together the Attracting, Developing, and Retaining Pieces to the Employment Puzzle.

 

Whether it's bringing someone on, helping them grow, or setting them up for success during their tenure, organizations must spend the intentional time and effort towards these important pieces to the employment puzzle.

Our Equipping Assessment is an invaluable resource meticulously crafted to empower your organization in attracting, developing, and retaining top-tier professionals at every level.

This comprehensive analysis delves deep into your agency's landscape, unveiling untapped opportunities for cultivating a talented workforce. With a keen focus on individual team members, the second element of this assessment explores their personal growth journeys in areas crucial for both their individual success and the overall prosperity of the agency.

By harnessing the insights gained from this assessment, you can strategically equip your agency with the tools and strategies needed to foster a culture of excellence and ensure sustained growth. Together, we'll not only unlock the full potential of your agency and pave the way for long-term success in an increasingly competitive landscape, we will bridge the gaps and find that missing piece!


Curious about other assessments available to you? Take a look! 

BIGIOK.COM/ASSESSMENTS​


Looking for more resources available to you?
Take a look at those, too!

EQUIPPING

TECHNOLOGY

OPERATIONAL

FINANCIAL

MARKETING

STRATEGIC

by: Sara Bradshaw-Ray, CIC, CKC
BIGiOK Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

(8-7-3-2)​​

Apr 03
Unlocking Success: Your Agency Plan…In A Box!

 

In the realm of agency management, it's commonly observed that we ALL can get caught up in the day-to-day operations of business - sometimes overlooking the importance of planning for the future. We may be quick to embrace new opportunities or trends we see others succeed with, without taking a moment to consider how these fit into overall business strategy. While this enthusiastic approach can be motivating, it's important for us all to ensure that our decisions align with long-term goals and aspirations.

Conversely, some agency managers may have established organizational standards, like vision, mission, and values, but these may have fallen by the wayside over time. While these standards were initially set with good intentions, they may have become disconnected from the daily activities of the organization.

Both the spontaneous and stagnant approaches to agency management are common but can pose challenges for agencies. It's essential for agencies to invest time and energy into strategic planning and maintaining their organizational standards to ensure they're on track to achieve their objectives.

Regardless of the current circumstances, the significance of strategic planning cannot be overlooked. By actively defining goals, assessing opportunities, and fostering a proactive mindset, agencies can navigate towards sustained growth and success in an ever-changing landscape…that's where we at BIGiOK Consulting can help.
 

Ready to get to work?

Put June 12th on your calendar and plan now (pun intended) to be a part of a very exclusive cohort embarking on this strategic planning journey together in a 12-month program called “Agency Plan in a Box." 

 

It begins with a day-long workshop to help jump-start your agency visioning, crafting or modifying your key organizational statements (Vision, mission, values), identifying your innate strengths, and even goals and action plans for taking your agency to the next level.  But it doesn't just stop there – it also includes three quarterly executive coaching sessions to help you monitor and adjust your plan along the way. 

 

To learn more and secure your spot now CLICK HERE!

 

Let's unlock your agency's potential and start planning for the future today.


by: Sara Bradshaw-Ray, CIC, CKC

BIGiOK Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
(8-7-3-2)



Apr 03
SuperPower Sales: Embracing Your Unique (KOLBE) Strengths

 

In the realm of sales, understanding your personal abilities and strengths is like discovering your secret superpower. It's not just about what you can do; it's about how you can shine.

Knowing your natural abilities and strengths empowers you to work smarter, not harder. By focusing on what you do best, whether it's connecting with people, problem-solving, or storytelling, you can build genuine rapport and trust with your customers. This authenticity sets you apart and makes your sales approach more effective and guess what else??? It makes it enjoyable.

Why not have a way to tailor your sales techniques to suit different situations and clients - and have these strategies come from a place that energizes you?!

For instance, if you're a great listener, you can tune in to your customers' needs and concerns, making them feel heard and valued. If you have incredible follow-through, you can be the one who is counted on over and over again to get it to the finish line. This personalized approach fosters deeper relationships and boosts your sales success.

Take a look at this “Sales MO" that has been curated specifically for someone with these four KOLBE strengths. 

Pretty super, right? (See what I did there!)

So how do you begin (or continue) to aim YOUR sales approach well???

 
Begin by joining us for one of the upcoming KOLBE Workshop dates in 2024!
●      May 21, 2024 from 1:30 - 3:30pm (CT)
●      August 13, 2024 from 1:30 - 3:30pm (CT)
●      October 30, 2024 from 1:30 - 3:30pm (CT)

Have questions now?
Send me an email at sara@bigiok.com and we'll find a time to get together to talk more about how you and your organization can leverage Kolbe! 

Want to know more about what else is going on in the education world of BIGiOK?
Visit our website: BIGiOK.com and go to BIGiOK.com/education for a full calendar of education events.

Let's unlock your strengths (and sales!) potential today!​


by: Sara Bradshaw-Ray, CIC, CKC

BIGiOK Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives
(8-7-3-2)
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