October 21, 2021

Why Should Advisers Change Anyway?

I watched and listened intently.

Fascinated to hear what these leaders would have to say.

(These leaders of Financial Planning businesses.)

Fascinated to see how they’d answer the question at the beginning of our meeting.

The question which went something like this:

“As you look back over the past year…
What do you recall, which prompts you to say:

“Oh, My Word! I Can’t Believe I Actually Said/Did That!”?”

Looking back at our teenage years…
It’s normal to cringe with embarrassment at the memory of what we thought, said and did.
(Even though we were convinced we knew absolutely everything!)

Even decades later, when we hope we’re in our adult years…
We humans have a real problem with not knowing.
With speaking as if we’re endowed with The Truth of All Things.

Quoting psychologist Nancy Kline “We like to think we know everything!”

And that’s why I relish the work of researchers (like Julie Littlechild and Carrie Bendall).

Work which shows us how wide is the gap between what clients think, feel and say about us…
And what we think and assume clients think, feel and say about us.

Indeed, we can happily dance through our whole career.
Making a truly handsome living.
Doing good, honest stuff.

Without ever questioning our white-knuckle hold on our assumptions.

Which begs the question.

If we can create such commercially good results with those wildly-wide-of-the-mark beliefs…
What would happen if we uncovered the truth?
(And then did something about it)

So, let’s ask again.
Why Should Advisers Change Anyway?

And this is what I see (for now):

We change because… life teaches us how terribly wrong our previous assumptions can be.
We change because… not to do so leaves us suspended in a world which might no longer reflect reality.
We change because… today’s business rhythm can easily morph into a sleep-inducing lullaby.

This is why I have such tremendous respect for those who build businesses…
Where the culture constantly asks this question:

“What Can We Change About Ourselves Today, To Create a Better Outcome for Others Tomorrow?”

This is not a technique.This is not a project.
This isn’t about having a brainstorming session.
This is about ingraining that thinking into everything we do in our business.

This is a culture thing.
A culture that demands courage.
Intestinal fortitude.

A culture that causes you to regularly glance over your shoulder and exclaim:
“Oh, My Word! I Can’t Believe We Actually Used to Think/Say/Do That!”

(But what an exciting culture to be part of!)