Originally published 4/24/20 - Updated 12/29/22
The well-known story of The Wizard of Oz presents some excellent analogies for ways of dealing with life's challenges. You may find yourself responding in a similar fashion to when you contact your risk management partner for advice.
In 2022, most of us can identify with Dorothy.
In the story, Dorothy was living happily and prosperously in Kansas. Sure, she had a low-interest mortgage on her house with her bankers Aunty Em and Uncle Henry, but we like to think she leveraged her cash into a well-balanced portfolio and was looking at incorporating Dorothy, Inc. in the next year. She had just finalized affordable health and tornado insurance for all of her employees.
Then Dorothy's dream home was smashed by a tornado and she landed in a place called Oz... without thinking to call her insurance agent first.
Many companies have been blown around by the winds of economic threats due to any number of reasons and are off in search of a Wizard. Sensible business people can still rely on their financial advisors to help them take an objective look at what's insurable and what's not, how to get emergency assistance, how to make sure they are proactively managing corporate risks, and how to better manage the continuation of their businesses after a loss.
But since you can't really click your heels three times and get back to a more prosperous year, maybe you will identify with another Wizard of Oz character - possibly the Scarecrow.
Scarecrow was the character who burst out singing, "If I Only Had a Brain."
If you have read the story or seen the movie a few times, you know Scarecrow wasn't really lacking in basic intelligence. He just realized he needed to see the Wizard achieve optimal operating intelligence.
We're all the same way about something. In your financial life, you need the brains of the Wizard to deal with regulations and compliance. In a business setting, you practically need a Wizard to just navigate the crazy world of workers' compensation. Or perhaps the challenge for which your company needs consulting brainpower is putting together HR strategies meant to aid in the recruitment of key personnel. You may be like our version of Dorothy who needed help getting her employees retirement plans, health insurance, vision, and dental.
Or maybe it wasn't necessarily expertise that you were missing, perhaps it was something more. This has also been a year when a lot of us could identify with Lion.
In the story, Lion was off to see the Wizard get courage. The lion didn't exactly feel lionhearted. And in 2022 especially, most of the rest of us didn't either. This is where your risk management advisor can help. The courage you need to succeed is already inside you, but your risk advisor can give you the facts that back up your faith in yourself. Sometimes all it takes is a little inspired courage to get you doing what you need to do, even if you have a little rational fear about doing it, by being very sure of your insurance safety net.
Or maybe, for us, we had Lion-like courage through a difficult season...but as the dust settles, we find we've lost the passion we once had for our dreams.
The Tin Man
In the story, the Tin Man needed a heart. He had been cursed by the Wicked Witch of the East so he lost his love for a munchkin named Nimmie Amee. The Wicked Witch employed Nimmie Amee as a servant and didn't want her running off with the Tin Man.
Could this part of the story possibly be analogous to anything commonly experienced in the business world?
Yes! It can!
Business people often hit a wall as they build their companies. Things seem to be going well, revenue is growing and it's looking like this year will be your best one yet...and then a pandemic strikes and knocks you off your feet. The wizard comes alongside to rekindle your passion for business after a stressful season - to restore clarity in your vision and restore confidence in your business.
Business is risky, and accepting that fact is part of the allure for many business owners, but it doesn't make it any easier when something happens. What does make it easier is working with your risk management Wizard to remind you of why you went into business in the first place.
Winter-Dent is your Risk Management "Wizard." We meet with you to understand your plans and desired journey, hear about the challenges you've encountered along the way, and help clarify your hopes & dreams. Then we go to work behind the curtain. We help troubleshoot and problem-solve. We fill in the gaps in your business intelligence with timely advice and information. We help you minimize risk so you can take bold action. We'll help you rekindle your drive for success.
Whether the pathway to success is clear...or yellow and brick, with a chance of thunderstorms...Winter-Dent is there.