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Business Leadership Series Part 2: Assess the Current State

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The second instalment of the Business Leadership Series offers a structured guide to go deep and get a good, close look at the current state of your organization from a number of different perspectives. Now that you’ve got a grip on the business model, based on part 1 of this series, and a high-level view of the organization, it’s time for a more detailed look at what’s happening.

In step two, Assess the Current State, you need to gain a deep understanding of the business itself, as well as from the perspective of your company’s core constituents. These include: 

  1. Owners and Management
  2. Customers and the Marketplace
  3. The Team
  4. Competitors

For each constituent, I’ve pulled together a thorough list of the information sources you should be gathering to understand the business at a fine level of detail in order to lead and manage it properly. It’s basically a succinct laundry list – exhaustive but not unmanageable, and it’s been tested. This is the list I turn to myself when I’m involved in something new. 

To drill-down on each constituent and really get a sense of what’s going on, review as much of the following as possible: 

The Business

  • Products/Services
  • Product & client portfolio
  • Financial plans & results
  • Profit drivers
  • Metrics (financial, operational)
  • Operating rhythm
  • Processes and infrastructure
  • Risk management
  • Authority limits
  • Asset portfolio
  • Corporate support & allocations
  • Vendor support


  • Customer surveys
  • Marketplace surveys
  • Sales drivers
  • Customer & prospect lists
  • Prospect assessments
  • Customer profitability
  • Go-to-market (GTM) strategy
  • Customer contact points
  • Sales plans (and metrics)
  • Marketplace position
  • SWOT analysis
  • Industry presence 

The Team

  • Organizational structure
  • Direct & matrix reporting
  • Corporate support
  • Recent staff evaluations (top 20% / bottom 10%)
  • Compensation (process, awards…)
  • Training & development opportunities
  • Performance management process
  • Communication rhythm 


  • Expectations
  • Goals & objectives planning / measurement
  • Areas of focus
  • Communication rhythm
  • Operating rhythm
  • Connectivity across the org


  • Key competitors
  • How we match up
  • SWOT analysis
  • Market space available
  • GTM strategies
  • Industry presence 

When I joined the LOGiQ³ family back in 2015, I used the exact lists above to figure out what I needed to pay attention to. It’s not always a perfect fit – some of the items don’t apply or make sense based on the business, and some information won’t be available. Still, it provides a useful framework for you to cover your bases.

Certain areas, such as the asset portfolio or vendor support, may not be relevant depending on the circumstances of your company but it’s still good to be aware of them. Keep them on your radar as you grow and expand to offer new products and services and determine long-term strategic goals.

In fact, with LOGiQ³ recently becoming part of the RGAX family, I find myself coming back to this list to help me determine what I need to understand to help operate the businesses within my new portfolio. It’s literally a “page from my book” that you can use in your own role. In order to really understand how the business works, you need to go after this information. Absorb it. Ask questions. Get your new team to work with you and dive deep so that, beyond the surface, you understand how everything (and everyone) works.

Once you’ve completed the assessment, you’ll be ready to Create the Vision – step 3 of the Business Leadership Series.

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Written by: Raymond DiDonna

Ray DiDonna is Senior Vice President, Head of Underwriting and Claims, responsible for leading all underwriting and claims business lines for the Americas unit of RGAX. Ray has been in the insurance industry for more than 30 years holding leadership roles at various organizations including The Hartford Group, General Electric and Phoenix Life Insurance Company.

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