A New Cove
Exciting news, friends: We have set our killer whale free!
I’m talking about our logo. The Cove killer whale is no more. It feels so empowering, and I have my business coach to thank.
Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Michele Soregaroli www.transformationcatalyst.ca. She put me through the meat grinder of her Business Differentiation BlueprintTM process, which helped refine Cove’s purpose, vision, and mission. With her encouragement, we’ve been aligning my professional life at Cove with my personal values.
Ultimately, we discovered and embraced the multi-dimensional idea of Space to Breathe® as core to who we are. We integrated this concept—both literally and figuratively – into everything we do for our clients, ourselves, our community, and environment at large.
Space to Breathe® has become the foundation of our Cove brand, but don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the whales.
Space to Breathe® for Clients
We create Space to Breathe® for our clients by implementing insurance strategies that ensure they will have financial security during times of emotional upheaval caused by a death, a disability, or a critical illness within a family or business.
Our planning process aims to bring peace of mind in knowing that everything that can be done has been done to plan for the unexpected…thus, creating Space to Breathe® for our clients (and their loved ones).
Our New Brand
We’ve also implemented the concept internally. Thanks to a collaborative engagement with branding expert and graphic designer Elena Rivera MacGregor CGD www.riveradesign.com, we’ve had fun re-inventing the look and feel of Cove’s brand identity, website, various publications, and client reports.
Riding high on inspiration, we decided to also renovate our offices to reflect this transformation. We created a physical Space to Breathe® with a spacious, brightly coloured new work environment and by converting our boardroom into a meditation/yoga room. We use it regularly and are thrilled with the results in our peace of mind and productivity.
Greener Citizens: 1% For the Planet
We’re even more committed to reducing the harm we do to the environment. To that end, we’ve become a registered member of 1% For the Planet, an international community of organizations that support grassroots environmental activism.
As the name implies, we’ve committed to donating 1% of our annual gross revenues to qualified non-profits in the environmental space. We’ve chosen to focus on the production of clean water, including the restoration of waterways and the development of solar energy technologies.
We understand that the environment is not a top priority for many. For people to care about the environment, they must first understand their own capacity to make a difference and to identify specific actions they can take to do their part. The threshold for caring about the environment changes from person to person and can be based on their economic circumstances, their needs paradigm, or their awareness of the impact they are having on the planet.
We are the first insurance organization in Canada to become a member of 1% for The Planet.
Less Stress: 1% For People
We are also committed to helping others increase levels of happiness and personal fulfilment. We believe that stress is a happiness preventer; by helping to reduce stress in others’ lives, we can achieve our goal of increasing happiness.
By supporting individuals and organizations focused on relieving human suffering and unleashing human potential, we are fulfilling our second mandate. To that end, we have started a fund with the Charitable Impact Foundation (www.chimp.net) called 1% For People that is focused on directing funds to organizations that are dedicated to stress relief.
B Corp Status
We are especially proud that Cove is now a certified B Corp.
B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. (www.bcorporation.net)
We are the first Insurance-related business in Canada to become a B Corp and are encouraging others in our industry to follow.
As we walk down this B Corp path, I realize how important this movement is and what a great community it is. It supports our purpose of leading a fundamental shift from Unconscious Entrepreneurialism to Enlightened Continuity in a very poignant way.
From Old to New
2016 was an interesting year in the insurance industry in Canada. It was year one of a two-year transition process from the old life insurance tax legislation to the new. As of January 1, 2017, all new life insurance policies issued as well as existing policies that are changed substantively will lose their grandfathering and will be governed under the new post-2016 exempt test rules under the Income Tax Act. We will have much more on this as we watch the companies roll out their new products for this new era, so stay tuned!
The last few months of 2016 were extremely busy, rushing to complete underwriting and get insurance policies in place before the December 31 deadline. It has taken us a few months to tidy up loose ends and make sure our clients who wanted a grandfathered policy got it in place in time. We celebrated our achievement one Monday in February, acknowledging that we had succeeded and everyone had pulled together so well as a team.
During this February meeting, we took time to reflect on not only the busy past few months, but also the past year. While many others use December/January as time for reflection, our feet didn’t stop running Fred Flintstone style until a little bit after that, and Christie and I are so proud of how well our entire team handled this transition.
Amir Jafari, who joined us late last year, experienced a trial-by-fire as we worked to meet all the deadlines put in front of us. Amir has a Master’s degree in accounting and, prior to joining Cove, worked in various staff and project management positions in public accounting, investment banking, wealth management, and real estate development.
As our Continuity Manager, Amir gives the rest of us Space to Breathe® as he manages our Right Way Path™ planning process and makes sure nothing falls through the cracks. Our long-term aim is for Amir to be a full Continuity Advisor, serving clients directly and working alongside Warren Campbell and myself. We are glad he joined us when he did.
An update on Warren, who joined us in late 2015: he’s settled into Cove, flexing his analytic muscles as he supported our team to meet our deadlines. He brings a great depth of technical knowledge and experience, and, given our long relationship, it’s like having a good friend as a colleague.
One of the aims of having Warren join Cove was to provide us with a backstop and continuity should something happen to me (I‘m not actually anticipating going anywhere for some time, but I realize how important it is important to be prepared and to practice what we preach. It gives us comfort in knowing that we are walking the walk when it comes to doing the planning that we recommend to our clients.) As much as Christie can run Cove from an administrative perspective, it is not her desire if I am not here with her. We all believe that it is in everyone’s best interest to bring greater certainty to our business continuity for the benefit of our clients. It is what we coach our clients, and it’s interesting to go through the process ourselves to see what it feels like to make the decisions that go into developing a successful continuity plan.
One of the more interesting aspects of this process for me is integrating a plan to not only continue the bricks and mortar business elements, but also build in the assurance of the continuity of our value system. This part of the process requires a lot more thought because values are less tangible and not only need to be identified in some concrete manner, but they also need to be reinforced by documented commitments and goals. Becoming a B Corp certainly has helped this process, but there is much more to do. For example, we’re working on formalizing our financial support policies internally regarding the allocation of our financial support commitments to 1% For The Planet and 1% For People. We look forward to sharing those commitments with you.
With the freeing of our killer whale, the transition of Cove is almost complete, and we’re looking forward to facing the post-2016 insurance era head on. It’s an opportunity for new beginnings and creativity, both things that we highly value.
In closing, may you be happy, and may you be free from stress and pain. May you not be deprived of the good fortune you have attained. May you be peaceful.
More to come soon. Stay tuned…
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