by Sarah E. Dale and Krista S. Sheets
ROP=Return on People™
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What is Your ROD…Return on Decisions? 5 Key Practice Management Areas to Assess
In an industry that is constantly changing, high-performance advisory practices are always looking ahead, planning, and making proactive decisions to guide their future path. Average advisory practices, on the other hand, find themselves simply reacting to the everyday chaos of life and running on that proverbial hamster wheel! In which camp do you reside?
There is no question that there is more to think about and more to do in today’s financial services industry. The simple days of showing up with no plan and winging it no longer lead to success! Consider your decision making for the first six months of 2016; then consider what decisions you should make for the second half of the year. In order to effectively and efficiently drive growth there are five critical elements that must be evaluated and be in tip-top shape.
- It Begins with Purpose
At some point in their careers, advisors spend time creating their vision, mission, compelling story, and value proposition. Subsequently, they create marketing materials and then tend to check that off the “to-do” list and return to business as usual. Are you living and working your “why”?
- Can your entire team articulate your purpose, vision, and story?
- Does your team make daily decisions to demonstrate that purpose and value?
- Do your clients know the totality of your value proposition?
- What decisions do you need to make today to ensure that your advisory team gains clarity on your purpose and lives it every day within their individual roles?
High-performance teams are a critical component of the success equation in today’s industry, but with more people partnering up and working together, often more challenges surface. High-performance teams have an organized structure where roles and responsibilities are clearly delineated. Each person understands not only what is expected of them, but also what is expected of every other team member and the value that each individual brings to the team. High-performance teams have a communication plan that is the foundation of their success. High-performing teams demonstrate a commitment to effective and efficient communication with tactical daily huddles, weekly team meetings, monthly and quarterly strategic sessions, consistent electronic communication, and the use of their CRM. As you consider the remaining months of 2016,
- Do you need to make adjustments to your structure?
- Do you need to conduct a role alignment activity to ensure that you have the right people owning the responsibilities that are best suited to their natural attributes, skills, and interests?
- Do you need to adjust your team communication plan or return to your commitment of weekly meetings and daily usage of your CRM?
- What decisions do you need to make today to improve the organization of your most important asset – your people? Are you maximizing your Return on People, your ROP™?
Time is your most precious resource; are you using it wisely? In order to drive efficiency, high-performance teams utilize a consistent method to assign, execute, and follow up on tasks, and they have processes for every repeated activity within the practice. The business is truly systematized. High-performing advisors ensure that they have a balanced calendar every week with time for clients, prospects, centers of influence, and practice management. Regardless of role, high-performing individuals utilize block time strategies to ensure that their time is balanced in a way that drives towards their individual responsibilities, goals, and ultimately the vision of the practice. As you consider the remaining months of 2016,
- Are there areas of the practice that are inefficient and need to be systematized?
- Are there repeated mistakes occurring and “to-do’s” falling through the cracks?
- Do you have documented standard operating procedures for all repeated activities within the practice?
- What decisions do you need to make today to improve where, how, and with whom you spend your precious time?
High-performance teams have a well-organized client base that is divided into segments based on their value to the practice. Both quantitative and qualitative criteria are utilized and no more than three segments should be needed. High-performance practices keep things simple and focus on the “ideal” not the “minimum.” As you consider the remaining months of 2016,
- Do all team members and centers of influence know the definition of your ideal client relationship?
- Do you need to migrate clients who no longer fit your practice and could be better served elsewhere?
- Are you focusing on your ideal market and niche as you bring in NEW clients or are you falling back into the old practices of bringing on anyone?
- Do you have your segmentation criteria for Platinum, Gold, and Silver documented?
- What decisions do you need to make today to improve the organization of your client base?
High-performance teams have documented service models clearly delineating what each segment of their client base receives. They have systematized client communication plans and customized appreciation. They have scalable investment models and a consistent pricing structure. As you consider the remaining months of 2016,
- Does your team need to adjust your service model?
- Do you need to create a menu of deliverables for your client segments?
- Do you need to review your pricing model and ensure that you avoid discounting your value?
- What do you need to do to improve the client experience?
- What decisions do you need to make today to improve the organization of your solutions, products, services, and deliverables?
Adding chaos to disorder is never a good idea! With these five elements in good shape, your team and practice can focus on driving growth! Be sure to spend time evaluating your practice and making proactive decisions to drive efficiency, drive new business, and drive team member satisfaction and success.
If you are looking for a simple way to evaluate your team and your practice, consider our suite of powerful assessment tools. These effective resources help identify the root causes of obstacles that may be hindering the ultimate success of the team and facilitate key decisions needed for the future growth of the practice.
- People Insights – Uncover the unique talents of your people and align them to business goals
- Team Insights – Uncover challenges affecting four elements of team dynamics (interpersonal, structure, management approach, and leadership approach)
- Business Insights – Uncover challenges within the seven critical functions of your practice
- Performance Insights Process – Complete analysis of your team dynamics, business effectiveness, and individual strengths
- Practice Management Tools – Systems developed to help you build efficiency in your practice
- Know Service: Connect with Clients. Shape Your Future. Differentiate You. – Full solution to analyze your client base and set up systems to properly serve your clients
As you consider your current state of the practice halfway through the year, what is your current Return-on-Decisions? And, more importantly, what decisions will you make going forward to drive success for the remainder of 2016?