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April Is National Financial Literacy Month


In its 125-year legacy NAIFA has been an innovator, educator, advocate and protector, yet every organization and generation has its own set of challenges, and NAIFA’s is no exception, NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux said Sunday at the NAIFA Career Conference and Annual Meeting.

In his remarks to the National Council, Mayeux, who joined NAIFA as CEO in July 2015, offered a reality check to members with charts that displayed the twin realities of a shrinking membership base and declining revenue.

“We ignore lessons of history at our own peril,” Mayeux said, citing sobering examples of a changing industry that includes a shrinking workforce, fewer companies and an aging agent population.

“The industry is changing, there's no doubt about it. But are we responding fast enough to these changes? Are we nimble enough that we can thrive in this new environment? The stakes are high.”

Mayeux cited Kodak and Blockbuster as two companies whose products and services once dominated the marketplace only to lose their share because they did not adapt to the environment and change to meet consumer needs.

On the other hand, companies such as BMW, which after World War II was forced to dismantle its production of aircraft engines, is a case study in adaptability. After its factory floors were shut down, BMW survived by making pots and pans and other kitchen utensils.

“Think about that the next time you're in a 750i!” Mayeux said.

BMW is an inspiring story on a company’s ability to be nimble and change. Asking the audience how NAIFA will evolve and change, Mayeux suggested the following:

  • We must have an enterprise mindset that is open to change. “Unless we as leaders are willing to consider all our options in a vastly changing market, then our decision-making process will be flawed.”
  • We must think and act holistically. “NAIFA is a Federation of 600 state and local associations. But we are One NAIFA. We need to think and act as one enterprise,” Mayeux said.
  • We must adapt our business model to changing conditions. “Change can be scary, but we need to face up to it. It is reality. The answer lies in better understanding and responding to our members and their needs,” Mayeux said.

Mayeux challenged the National Council to affect change “one step at a time.” A major focus at NAIFA National will be the creation of a value proposition “that makes NAIFA membership truly indispensable,” Mayeux said.

NAIFA will work to diversify its revenue portfolio, Mayeux said, through  training and professional development programs and by enhancing corporate partnerships.

Said Mayeux: “I am confident that if we are nimble, embrace creative thinking and stay focused on NAIFA's mission, we will succeed as ONE NAIFA.”



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