Leadership Council

The Christensen Group Leadership Council is a group of business unit leaders focused on CG’s long-term business strategy. The 2025 Vision Plan is our written long-term strategy, and includes yearly initiatives by department. Review it here.
We meet monthly to discuss critical issues and collaborate on topics meant to propel profitable growth, value innovation, share cross-company best practices and honor our commitment to the 4Cs (Carrier, Client, Coworkers, Community).

COmpany Leadership
Bruce Christensen
Bruce Christensen
Eden Prairie
Ross Dahlof
Ross Dahlof
Eden Prairie
Sam Olinger
Sam Olinger
Eden Prairie
Jake Olinger
Jake Olinger
Monticello
Rick Redding
Rick Redding
Eden Prairie
Bob Schmitz
Bob Schmitz
Eden Prairie
Tyler Simmons
Tyler Simmons
Eden Prairie
Announcements

February Leadership Update

February 16, 2024


We discussed the kick off to the "Single System" project. Our goal is to have every department, save QP, all working from one system (CL, PL, EB, Producers, Accounting, Life). Qualified Plans (401k) will remain outside of the system to ensure their client data, which is highly regulated by the SEC, is outside of our system and domain. That said, we do plan to track which clients are 401(k) clients, so we can run better reporting and find cross-sell opportunities from this single system.

This initiative marks a significant step in our long term commitment to enhancing our operational efficiency and ensuring we have the best tools in place to support our work.

Over the next two months, we will be conducting an in-depth comparison of the systems offered by two leading companies in our industry: Vertafore and Applied. Our aim is to perform an "apples to apples" comparison of these platforms. This is a comprehensive evaluation to determine which system best meets the needs of our entire company.

The outcome of this project will play a crucial role in shaping our long-term operational capabilities and, ultimately, our success.


We reviewed a draft of our 10-year vision and the 2024 initiatives that were provided by managers and teams. Thanks for everyone who has shared ideas! We will be sharing the final copy of the document at our February 29 State of CG meeting.


We believe recognition is important to motivating individuals and rewarding our team for work well done. We talked about ways we could increase recognition across the company. We brainstormed ideas and decided to continue the conversation in the next month. 

Read more

January Leadership Update

January 25, 2024

PERSONAL LINES As a follow up to our December meeting, we discussed our approach with Personal Lines. As a reminder, Personal Lines clients are facing challenging times. There is less of an appetite from carriers to write new business. Carriers renewing business are giving major increases, if they decide to renew at all. Our Personal Lines team is staffed with amazingly talented folks. We have an opportunity to win business or plant seeds to win business in the future.   At a recent Sales Meeting, Tony Larson (Personal Lines Practice Leader) reiterated the market conditions and talked to producers about how they might set expectations with Personal Lines referrals. We are open to consulting and advising clients, however we need to understand most clients won’t have options to move now. We believe having consulting and advising conversations with prospective clients now, and then consistently following up when the market softens, is a smart long-term growth opportunity.

2024 STRATEGY PLANNING SESSION We hosted a session on January 22 with all managers (leaders of people) to discuss our 10-year vision for Christensen Group. It was an energizing day to hear ideas and what obstacles we may have to grow our business. On January 23, the Leadership Council met to refine and finalize the 10-year vision and 3-year goals.   Over the next 2 weeks, your manager will be connecting with your team to recap what we talked about and gather your ideas on 2024 initiatives/projects to tackle to assist in achieving the 10-year vision and 3-year goals.   We will host a State of CG in February or March and share the finalized 10-year vision, 3-year goals and 2024 Initiatives. We look forward to hearing from the team what ideas you have!

Read more

December Leadership Update

December 19, 2023

MN SAFE & SICK TIME We reviewed the additions to our PTO policy with the new MN law going into effect on January 1. We decided that all employees will receive the Safe & Sick time, even those who live in another state. Watch for an email from Alicia Williams in the coming weeks with what this means for you. 

PERSONAL LINES This is no surprise to the team – Personal Lines clients are facing challenging times. There is less of an appetite from carriers to write new business. Carriers renewing business are giving major increases, if they decide to renew at all. Our Personal Lines team is staffed with amazingly talented folks. We started discussing, what if we were to open our doors for more business. Ultimately, we decided this would be a better-suited conversation for the Personal Lines leadership group. The PLD leadership team (Lynn Pettis, Laura Falconer, Tony Larson, Charlie Christensen and Sam Olinger) will be discussing and coming back with a strategy and game plan.

P&C CARRIER APPRECIATION We discussed the P&C Carrier Appreciation event. It was a great success with high turnout from carriers and CG employees. We see the benefit from doing this event every year, because it strengthens our relationships with carriers and it’s a way to differentiate ourselves from other agencies. We explored if we should expand the event to Employee Benefits and 401k. Our initial thought was to host department specific events every year and come together for an All-Carrier event, once every 5 years. We decided to revisit this in the coming months.

2024 STRATEGY SESSION PLANNING & APPROACH Every 3-5 years we’ve done a deeper dive on our long-term vision. In 2024, its time for our leaders to gather to focus on the long-term view of our organization. It’s an exciting opportunity to pause and envision the future state of CG. One thing is for certain – protecting our team and culture will remain a priority for us.   This January we will bring together all managers and Leadership Council members to an offsite to discuss what’s ahead. As an outcome of this strategy session, all employees will receive updates on our long term vision and shorter term goals (2024 initiatives). This offsite will be held in late January and our launch of the 2024 Strategic Plan will be delayed. You can expect to hear more information at the State of CG in February or March. If you have any questions, please ask your manager, department leader or anyone on the Leadership Council.   Currently, leaders are filling out a pre-session survey to help us collect everyone’s input and insight to today’s realities and our future goals. 

Read more

December Leadership Update

December 18, 2023

MN Safe & Sick Time We reviewed the additions to our PTO policy with the new MN law going into effect on January 1. We decided that all employees will receive the Safe & Sick time, even those who live in another state. Watch for an email from Alicia Williams in the coming weeks with what this means for you.  

Personal Lines This is no surprise to the team – Personal Lines clients are facing challenging times. There is less of an appetite from carriers to write new business in MN. Carriers renewing business are giving major increases, if they decide to renew at all. Our Personal Lines team is staffed with amazingly talented folks. We started discussing, what if we were to open our doors for more business? Ultimately, we decided this would be a better-suited conversation for the Personal Lines leadership group. The PLD leadership team (Lynn Pettis, Laura Falconer, Tony Larson, Charlie Christensen and Sam Olinger) will be discussing and coming back with a strategy and game plan.   P&C Carrier Appreciation We discussed the P&C Carrier Appreciation event. It was a great success with high turnout from carriers and CG employees. We see the benefit from doing this event every year, because it strengthens our relationships with carriers and it’s a way to differentiate ourselves from other agencies. We explored if we should expand the event to Employee Benefits and 401k. Our initial thought was to host department specific events every year and come together for an All-Carrier event, once every 5 years. We decided to revisit this in the coming months.   2024 Strategy planning session & approach Every 3-5 years we’ve done a deeper dive on our long-term vision. In 2024, its time for our leaders to gather to focus on the long-term view of our organization. It’s an exciting opportunity to pause and envision the future state of CG. One thing is for certain – protecting our team and culture will remain a priority for us.   This January we will bring together all managers and Leadership Council members to an offsite to discuss what’s ahead. As an outcome of this strategy session, all employees will receive updates on our long term vision and shorter term goals (2024 initiatives). This offsite will be held in late January and our launch of the 2024 Strategic Plan will be delayed. You can expect to hear more information at the State of CG in February or March. If you have any questions, please ask your manager, department leader or anyone on the Leadership Council.   Currently, leaders are filling out a pre-session survey to help us collect everyone’s input and insight to today’s realities and our future goals. 

Read more

October Leadership Update

October 17, 2023

2024 STRATEGY SESSION AND APPROACH Every 3-5 years we’ve done a deeper dive on our long-term vision. In 2024, its time for our leaders to gather to focus on the long-term view of our organization. It’s an exciting opportunity to pause and envision the future state of CG. One thing is for certain – protecting our team and culture will remain a priority for us.   This January we will bring together all managers and Leadership Council members to an offsite to discuss what’s ahead. As an outcome of this strategy session, all employees will receive updates on our long term vision and shorter term goals (2024 initiatives). This offsite will be held in late January and our launch of the 2024 Strategic Plan will be delayed. You can expect to hear more information at the State of CG in February or March. If you have any questions, please ask your manager, department leader or anyone on the Leadership Council.   BEST PLACES TO WORK IN INSURANCE SURVEY RESULTS We reviewed the trends on our latest Best Places to Work in Insurance Survey. We reviewed the upward momentum in some places and discussed some areas where we strive to improve upon. We look forward to share some key points with you during the Fall Business Meeting.  

2024 HEALTH PLAN We discussed our plan for 2024 CG Medical Plan. We will share updates at the Fall Business Meeting. Heads up: Open Enrollment is mid-November for the 1/1/24 plan.   **2024 SALES GOALS ** Tyler Simmons, leader of Producer Council, provided an update on the 2024 Sales goals process. Going forward the sales team will have a larger focus on our CG sales velocity and how each individual contributes to this number. Sales velocity will be used as a common term in sales meetings and check-ins with producers on their personal goals.   Sales Velocity is a metric used by Reagan Consulting to compare an agency's new business against other firms and report it in the Best Practices Study. Expressed as a percentage, sales velocity is calculated by dividing the new business written in the current year by the prior year's commissions and fees. A strong sales velocity metric is 15%.

Read more

September Leadership Update

September 27, 2023

Assurex

Now, we can share more updates about this secret networking group we’ve been discussing over the summer. We’ve officially joined Assurex. We’re excited to continue our onboarding processes with the Assurex team.

We have been partnered with a Mentoring agency, DeFendis, to introduce our team to the resources now available. Our department leaders are currently learning and understanding the benefits. Each department leader will be sharing information in the coming months. Specifically in P&C, we’re thrilled to introduce our Segment leaders to practice groups (focused groups of sales/leaders in that industry) in the next few months.

We are still early in the process. We will share more as we know more.  

Personal Lines Update

We previewed the email message Bruce will be sending to all Personal Lines clients. All employees received a preview of the message on September 22. This is anticipated to be sent the first week of October.

2024 Health Plan

We discussed our initial plans for 2024 CG Medical Plan. Our final decisions will be made in the next 6-8 weeks. Heads up: Open Enrollment is mid-November for the 1/1/24 plan.

Read more