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How Advisory Firms Can Stop Dying and Start Living!

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Without the existence of a strong strategic team, you can kiss away the idea of positive growth, culture, and profitability.

The people on your strategy team directly impact the pace of change and clarity at a firm. And the lack of a strategy team implies you think you know it all and don’t want buy-in or champions of change floating around the office. Furthermore, if you build a team that is too slow with discussing ideas, deciding, and presenting them to you and the firm, the firm won’t get clarity and grow AND the staff won’t get clarity on their responsibilities and stay engaged, productive, and motivated to improve the business. All this leads to the culture degrading, staff leaving, new candidate hires not interested in joining, and clients not referring. I see this repeatedly at professional services firms and blame it for being one of the TOP reasons that firms never reach their goals of culture, profitability, and ease of effort.

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While this lack of team building knowledge keeps me in business as a transformation consultant, I rather see firms do this on their own so they don’t die. Firms are dying everyday and that means lost jobs and consumers not experiencing the positive impact that advisory firms provide. So stop dying and start living by learning to create a strategy team that brings clarity and solutions to the firm.

Criteria for Strategy Team Members:

  1. represent a staff role at the firm
  2. confident
  3. quick to provide feedback on ideas
  4. strategic thinker
  5. motivated to grow the firm
  6. a champion of change
  7. able to keep up with the pace of discussion and change
  8. willing to put the firm’s needs before theirs
  9. perceived as a leader
  10. energetic

Steps to creating the Impactful Team:

  1. Have all staff complete the Performance Assessment
  2. Interview each person that seems to meet the criteria. Share this team idea and and get their reaction to possibly being appointed as a member. Your gut will guide you on whether or not they are a possible pick.
  3. Gather the possible team members together, discuss the purpose of creating the team, and ask them to create a Top 10 items list of changes they would want, one change idea for each, and to present this to you within 30 days.
  4. During the presentation, ask deep-dive questions, how they felt working together (watch the non-verbal responses), how they feel about being appointed to the strategy team, how often they believe they should meet, what pace of discussion and decisions should occur, and what pace of change and implementation they would expect from the firm.
  5. Appoint those that seem to excel and tell them it is a 3-month trial appointment and if all goes well, it will be extended to 1 year and they will receive a year-end bonus for their help and time. You want to empower and incent them to give their best effort.
  6. Pre-schedule a monthly meeting with the strategy team so they know they have your support, attention, and expertise accessible to them on a consistent basis.

Now get going and grow, enjoy the revived culture, and clarity of this effort!

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