Unlike a listed company, which is owned by shareholders, a mutual company is made up of a community of members. This community of members guides the direction and governance of the entity, rather than shareholder interests. While this is the first time I have worked at a mutual organisation, I have not only been truly inspired by the leadership team and the staff at PPS, but also by our members and the business model itself.
The ICMIF Intelligence Committee (IC) will be meeting again in a few weeks at P&V’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. We will be kindly hosted by IC member Philippe de Ridder, Strategic Planning & Intelligence Manager, and P&V Group CEO Hilde Vernaillen, known to many of you already as an ICMIF Board member and President of the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE).
Many years ago, when there was no such thing as Generation Y, X or even Z a father gave his son some advice as he was about to leave the family home: “The time has come for you to leave home and my advice to you is to remember three things: use cooperative banks, visit cooperative shops and put your trust in mutual insurance companies.” Life was simple then, the son trusted his father’s advice and the family tradition of using mutual and cooperative businesses was carried on to the next generation easily.
When it comes to leadership, the business model and objectives of a company play an important role in determining the most appropriate leadership style for the organization. For example, leadership in a mutual company is inherently different to that of a company with shareholders and thus requires a unique approach.