When 2020 began, it was just like another calendar year. Then the rise of COVID-19 cases followed, which led to a total lockdown.
Unexpectedly the world shut down. Physical human interaction stopped, and we had to go digital. Digital transformation was already taking place, but the innovators were largely leading it. Since March, everyone had to innovate and digitalise at speed or face the consequences.
This year also had some positive and powerful revelations. Here are the positive things we have taken from 2020.
Giving back was more important than ever
The economic and health crisis of this year made the need to help people who were less fortunate ever stronger.
Various COVID-19 emergency funds were seeking help to support their communities. We responded by making donations to The Trussel Fund, a UK food bank network, that provides emergency support and helps people who are unable to access food and necessities. Also, to Single Homeless Project (SHP), our former charity partner, that is working with homeless people who become even more vulnerable during the pandemic. To The Royal British Legion to support their 2020 Poppy Appeal and the ABF The Soldiers Charity.
Also, in 2020 we selected a new charity partner, Ellenor, a hospice that provides care and support to families facing terminal illness. It was moving to see the efforts of the r10 team to fundraise for Ellenor, from shaving their heads to mini-marathons to bake off challenges to virtual walks and more.
We encouraged and celebrated the volunteering stories of our people during the lockdown, from delivering food to people who were isolating to being a befriender with AgeUK and more.
Adapting and evolving
This year certainly taught us that things might not go as planned, and we need to be more flexible with our expectations.
Strategic plans and targets took a different meaning, bringing the need to adapt and prioritise what is important. For us, it always comes back to building trust into everything that we do by responding to the demand for modernisation.
We were well equipped to start working remotely, and with a few enhancements, trials and errors, we were good to go to work with our clients, associates and partners. We focused on working collaboratively, improving and refining our services, as well as attracting the best talent – using new ways that can flourish in the new normal. The r10 team grew introducing capabilities across several areas, such as business analysis, delegated underwriting authority, project management, solution design and marketing.
We have also moved to bigger and more innovative offices that we are hoping to enjoy more soon!
Putting our people first
Our priority has been and will always be to support our people staying healthy, connected and productive.
We listened. We ran an employee survey to see how we can support better the team, with missing the social aspects of work coming up as a common theme. When the government guidelines allowed it, we met outdoors in various bubbles across London and had business lunches in small groups.
We made pledges. We encouraged our people to think of a positive aspect of their lockdown and take it as a pledge to their new normal. Continue spending more time with family, taking morning walks, local shopping, were some of the changes the r10 team would like to keep.
Our people were reminded of the support that is available to them; with more frequent “check-ins”, office home setups, appreciation gifts, and their access to the Employee Assistance Programme.
Also, we took some of our entertainment virtually too. We had fun participating in team-wide quizzes, cocktail making classes, and a Christmas wine and cheese tasting!
New ways to share expertise
Webinars became trendy during the pandemic.
We hosted our first r10 webinar, with Jo Flint and Beth Cooper, r10’s People Advisory experts, discussing how organisations are using an agile mindset to stay ahead in the changing world of work. The webinar was supported by a well-received whitepaper written by Beth on Agile HR: Putting People First, explaining how people-centred, engaged and productive organisations can be developed through the adoption of Agile HR.
Our experts were invited into external webinars too. Intelligent Insurer invited Peter Mungeam, r10’s Director, in their series of Insider On Air Webinars as a panellist to explore how to ensure organisations approach key business challenges with the right technology. Also, they invited Amechi Peirce-Howe, r10’s Managing Director, to discuss digital transformation, delivering improved customer experience and operational efficiency, by leveraging new tech and digital capabilities. Also, Helen Dines, r10’s Director, was part of a webinar hosted by MDD Forensic Accountants to discuss the key issues relating to catastrophes, and the use of Tech and AI in CAT claims.
Invested in partnerships
This year showed that coming together to make a change is powerful. Expanding our network of partners became more important than ever, bringing faster innovative solutions to our clients that have the power to accelerate their digital transformation.
We partnered with Riskbook, as their global implementation and integration partner. Riskbook is an independent provider of reinsurance placement technology that can radically enhance productivity and improve the daily lives of reinsurance brokers and underwriters.
r10 also partnered with Netcall, a leading provider of intelligent automation and customer engagement solutions, to bring fast and cost-effective technology solutions to business problems – without depending on IT, blowing the budget or replacing core systems.
Furthermore, we are proud to be part of the ACORD Solutions Group Licensed Integrator Partner Program. This is the next chapter of global messaging that enables greater collaboration, accelerate market modernisation, and fully leverage data interoperability between all parties involved in the global insurance value chain.
Continued doing what we do best
We had a lot of “can you see my screen?” and “can you hear me?” moments. Still, we stayed focused on delivering high-quality expertise and important projects for the London Market modernisation.
For example, we implemented several system improvements and new solution projects for the London Market central services. A claims management solution for a client, a Delegated Authority (DA) software implementation for a managing agent, as well as a project initiation for another DA software implementation for a global reinsurer. Also, a talent solution partnership for several difficult projects of a client and more.
r10 continued working on the IR35 reform. We worked closely with our clients and workforce to understand the impacts on people, the key risk areas and what changes to expect from this legislation ahead of April 2021.
Our experts wrote lots of blogs. Helen Dines, r10’s operations expert, wrote an Operational Resilience blog series on practical pandemic planning, remote working, and recovery. Also, our experts wrote blogs on topics around Project and Change Management, such as managing your team remotely, PMO and successful delivery, delivering bad news and recommending alternatives, project feasibility, lessons management, components of successful change management.
Not forgetting to celebrate
This year told us that celebrating small or big milestones are equally important.
It was a driving force for us to celebrate 1,000 successful engagements this year, boosting our morale, learning, and capabilities.
Another proud moment for us; r10 is a finalist at The European Software Testing Awards 2020 for two categories, Best Overall Testing Project (Finance) and Testing Management Team of the Year. In partnership with ARUVI, we got shortlisted for delivering the testing programme for a London Market client’s Brexit project using an optimal testing approach and a highly efficient and innovative testing management team model.
Looking forward to 2021
2020 showed us that we shouldn’t take things for granted and to be grateful.
We remain positive for the prospects of 2021; with the hope for change that the new world leaders in the USA bring and the rolled out of the COVID-19 vaccine. This year proved that we should be prepared for the unexpected. Our resilience makes us ready to tackle whatever 2021 will bring, and we are hopeful as to what opportunities lay ahead.
A big thank to our community of clients, associates and partners for their ongoing support, and the r10 team that pushed to stay motivated, support each other and find ways to improve.