by Angus MacCaull
One evening in 1997, I had an epiphany.
“We haven’t eaten French fries in months!”
It was the year my family moved to the American Midwest. My mom, Wendy, was doing research at Indiana University during her sabbatical from StFX. My dad, Harley, was flying back and forth to Nova Scotia regularly for meetings at AA Munro. He was also using the year to deepen his reflective practice, studying business books and endless reports from an old dot-matrix printer.
“But why aren’t we eating French fries?” I wondered.
My parents had seen the change in our family’s routine as an opportunity for a transformation in our family diet. Amidst the buzz and the stress of a new neighbourhood, new schools, and new friends, they decided to stop serving fries to my brothers and me at home. It was months before I even noticed that I was eating healthier.
Over the past year, in 2015, our company went through a major change. Moving from TAM to SIG has brought us new workflows, new relationships, and new ways of thinking about our business. It has meant new perspectives on being insurance professionals. It certainly hasn’t always been pretty. And it’s ongoing—major changes take time. But it’s been inspiring to see positivity as workgroups and TeAAMs step up to address the challenges.
There have also been many individual changes throughout our company this year. For example, I talked to Angela MacDonald just before Christmas in Port Hawkesbury. Angela is new to AA Munro, but she’s not new to insurance. She brings twenty-eight years of experience in the industry to the Cape Breton TeAAM. She comes most recently from Johnson Insurance, where she represented a single line of products. Now she represents a whole bunch of markets! I asked Angela how she’s been staying positive during this big change in her career.
“You have to have an open mind,” she said. “Be eager. I could have gotten discouraged. I had to stay focused and have an open mind and ask questions.”
Even when there are benefits, change can be tough. Whether it’s a geographical move, a systems shift, or a new stage in your career, there’s almost always some type of turbulence. Staying positive is a great first step. And when we take a second step and embrace change as an opportunity for transformation, sometimes small miracles happen. Getting a group of growing boys to eat their hamburgers without fries? Ha! I know it’s possible. I’ve seen it done.
And I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few little miracles at AA Munro as we move into 2016.